Made by independent breweries, many of them belonging to the Slow Food movement, which tries to recover the flavors of yesteryear, mixing centuries-old recipes with innovative proposals. Craft beer, as its name suggests, is made by combining centuries-old recipes with innovative proposals in small independent breweries. Although many of their producers usually belong to the Slow Food movement, the consumer’s appetite for this type of beer has dramatically increased in recent years, adding to the global trend that attempts to retrieve the flavors of yesteryear.
Here are some artisanal and craft-style beers of excellent quality which are manufactured in small to medium-sized batches and almost always seasonally in Spain, Ireland, Germany, Mexico and the United States.
Osborne, the Spanish winemaker group, in collaboration with the signature brewer Premium Beers From Spain, presents Toro de Osborne, a craft beer with a copper tone, and a lot of body and firm foam, which stands out for its peculiar aging techniques in oak barrels that previously contained sherry wine. This unique process gives it softly roasted nuances and sweetness, which makes it the ideal beer to enjoy alone or paired with a good Italian Gorgonzola cheese, toasted bread, and nuts.
In Dublin, The Porterhouse Company has a series of craft beers that stand out for their originality, Oyster Stout being the best-selling label. Macerated with Irish oysters, this non-traditional Stout offers a curiously fresh, saline, mineral, bitter taste and exudes a powerful aroma. It is highly recommended that it be taken with fish soup or a seafood salad.
In a small factory located in Berlin, four young master brewers have created a beer by adding fruits, made by and for the pleasure of women. It is a hugely successful offering, velvety on the palate and with a pleasant flavor of citrus fruit, currants, and pineapple. For its brewing purposes, new hops called Bavarian Tangerine with melon and mandarin flavors are used. It is a beer that goes down perfectly with goose or duck foie gras.
Los Cuentos de Puerto Vallarta brewery triumphs in the international market with its Tropical Beer, Ipa Kumukite, made with a secret blend of caramelized and toasted malts and four aromatic hops with fruity overtures. It is a tasty, fruity and refreshing beer perfect to be paired with Mexican style spicy dishes.
Founders Brewing Company, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, produces a black beer with really smooth jet black shades, which is made with ten kinds of barley malt, but at the same time, it is complex, rich and full-bodied. Its flavor is reminiscent of that of black chocolate, coffee, and wood. It is a beer that can be enjoyed in front of the fireplace, after a long day out playing winter sports.
So if you are a beer lover and like to explore new flavors and drinking experiences, you are in luck. The artisanal or craft beer phenomenon is here to stay. These days you don’t have to go far to find that special beer for that special occasion. Chances are there is an artisanal brewery very close to your house. ■