Autumn Beers - Introduction to British Ale Traditions (Part 1)
Although there are no rules for beer consumption, no one prevents you from recommending it. And in the fall, we suggest exploring some of the styles of British beer.
People on the misty banks of the Thames didn't drink beer to cool off on a hot, sunny day. They drank to understand the reason they were staying in a place where the rain was falling horizontally and the seasons don't really change. When the wind blows and the dampness takes over, beer no longer has to be refreshing - you look to liquid bread for something invigorating and hartening. But how do you find such beers when your vocabulary consists of "pale ale" and "lager"? Here are the keywords to use at the counter or in the store to enjoy a fall beer. Or just head on to Miezis un kompānija. Vecrīga to experience the beers first hand.
Bitter (Bitter). The gentlest introduction to autumn beer would be an English-style light beer or bitter. The bitters are the British "crispy ales" - dry, lightly roasted body with a balance of hops and roasted malts. This beer will go to the heart of even the most conservative - "simple beer" adherents (unless you mention style or the word "ale"). All the magic of this style is made up of easy drinking and pleasant notes of caramelized and roasted malt.
The only representative of this style in our range is the specially roasted Soho Švītiņš (Soho Dandy).
Brown ale. For a rainy day romance - leisurely conversation or simply reading a book - the brown line is the best choice. Medium bodied beer with a brown or dark bronze color. Caramel, bread, biscuits, maybe chocolate stand out in the flavor profile - most of the flavor is created by caramelized malt. The charm of this beer is a burnt-sugar-lollipop like beer that leaves a lasting taste and warmth like the embrace of a cozy British aunt.
In this category of beer in Miezis Vecrīga, you should definitely enjoy Labietis Fireplace - brown ale with chamomile or Maldugun "Pelēcis" - with bergamot tea.
Porter. A style of beer known to anyone who has been to the beer department.
Porter is an iconic British beer. It gets its name because of the dock workers (porters) who favor this ale for relaxation after (or during) a long day's work. According to John Feltham, a 19th century food and travel blogger, before the porters the 18th Century London dock workers' favorite drink was called "Three Threads".
Rumor has it that "Three Threads" was a beer blend served in any public house, blending three of the beers on the tap. Usually bitters, browns and matured "two-pence" beer (the strongest beer in a pub). But everything changed when a beer craftsman, Harwood, tried to imitate the "Three Threads" into one beer. The result was a deep-roasted, full-bodied beer with a strength that surpassed any thread. Porter soon realized that dense, carbohydrate-filled beer strengthens the body, while 5-7% alcohol takes care of the spirit.
How much truth is in Feltham's story about Three Threads? Unknown. But the porter is a staple in every brewery. Great examples are the multi-grain porter "Mr.Black" or "Lielais Kristaps" - porter with coffee.
Stout. In essence, stout is porter's biggest brother. Initially strong porters were called "extra porter", "double porter" or "stout porter". One of the meanings of the word "stout" is "strong" meaning in its essence "stout porter" means "strong porter". Over time, this beer was known simply as stout.
Stout embodies all the features of a porter, differing only in strength - about 7-9% alcohol degrees. Higher levels of alcohol allow the brewer to brew a deeper flavor - burnt and caramelized malt creates the bitterness of coffee or dark chocolate, which is to be enjoyed slowly and leisurely after hard work or a heavy dinner.
Stout also available in a wide range - the herbally-sweet "Yarrow Devil" or the magnificent Maldugun "Akacis" - a classic stout. Deep matured on the Miezis un kompānija. Vecrīga shelves is the imperial stout of Tanker “Father Midnight”. Young brewers of Odu brewery have created a delightful Imperial Milk stout with vanilla and coffee.
In fact, stout and porter variations require at least one more article - which we will describe in Part 2.