All posts by Beer Country

Beer Country is South Africa's first TV show dedicated to beer, braai and the open road. It's hosted by two of the thirstiest guys on the planet - Greg and Karl. Follow their fire-side journey as they crack open the brew culture of South Africa, discovering awesome beers and cooking great food along the way. This hoppy adventure is coming soon to a TV near you!
stout-for-winter

Beat the winter blues with these 10 reasons to love winter

Here at the League we love winter, because just like us, she delivers. Sure, summer brings the sunshine, but winter, now she means business. So, as the sunsets get earlier and the nights get longer, it’s time to pack away those pilsners and pale ales and start stocking up on stouts, porters, and black IPA’s. Let’s embrace the big and brooding side of beer with ales that are darker than Maleficent’s temper and blacker than Darth Vader’s jockstrap. Here are our top ten reasons to love winter and give in to the power of the dark side.

1.We don’t need to be afraid of the dark

Beers are fuller, darker, bigger, and they have names like Black Cab, Coco Psycho, Irish Whiskey Stout, Black Dog and Neu Blk.

2. We get to host awesome beer tastings

We are all about beer education. More people drinking better beer. So, here’s your chance to get back to school with the full range of roasty, toasty flavours. Bring on the dark-choc, coffee, liquorice and oak. Yes please.

3. Great craft beer delivered to your door

Now that it’s cold and wet outside, even more reason to give us a call or drop us a mail, and sign up for the best service you never knew you needed.

4. Winter is sexy

Slops and a vest will always lose to worn-in boots, your favourite Levi’s and your Granddad’s military jacket. Hey, with all those dark layers, you get to instantly lose a few kilos. Win-win.

5. Everything is frosty

Room temperature beers are no problem. This sounds a little crazy, but when room temp is a cool 13 degrees, it’s spot on for a dark ale with a massive flavour profile.

6. The nights are longer

Two extra hours of nocturnal beery fun to be had. Hey, you may even get to see the sunrise, with your cup of coffee, or your favourite coffee stout.

7. More fire

A lot more fire, and the best pairing for that is a dark beer, a leather wingback and your hound wrapped around your feet. If you’re really good, you’ve trained him to fetch your beers.

8. Comfort food

Cooking in cast-iron is good for the soul. Steaks, roasts, potjies, and let’s just admit it, carbs are back on the menu. Kiss the quinoa, hummus and celery sticks goodbye.

9. Pairing beer and movie nights

Curl up on the couch with your significant other (if that is an imperial chocolate stout, we won’t judge). Think Reservoir Dogs with black IPA, A Clockwork Orange with a seriously nutty brown ale, Skyfall with something dark and barrel-aged, Into the Wild with your favourite stout, and let’s go with Fight Club for the working man’s beer, London Porter.

10. We get to gift beer

The infamous mis-quote goes: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” It’s as true today as it was in the 1800s. With Father’s Day around the corner, happiness is just a mouse-click away (www.leagueofbeers.com).

So, to sneak this in one more time, winter is definitely coming, and this time you’ll be ready.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the beer of the month club to get exceptional craft delivered to your door.

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Learn the ABC’s of craft

Education is important and the building blocks of any topic are really its ABC’s. Beer Country have kindly taken us through the best alphabet of all – the beer alphabet.Hreo_ABCS_article

A: And Union – These guys pioneered the ‘craft is cool’ movement in South Africa. They make exceptional beers and even though they are brewed in Bavaria, they are a homegrown craft hero.

B: Barley – Malted barley is one of four magical beer ingredients. It gives colour, flavour and body. It also provides essential sugars which yeast converts into alcohol. Go barley!

C: Cape Brewing Company – One of ‘ze big guns’ in South Africa. CBC make incredible German style beers in the heart of the Paarl winelands. Definitely worth a visit, but take a taxi.

D: Devil’s Peak – South Africa was never the same after Devil’s Peak burst onto the scene, swinging a bag of hops like a medieval weapon. Two words – king’s blockhouse.

E: Ester – Ester handles League of Beers’ social media… just kidding. Esters are flavour compounds created by yeast. They can be fruity, spicy or floral.

F: Free delivery – Did someone say free?! Yes it’s true! Our monthly mix case arrives at your door free of charge. Does it get any better than that?

G: Growler – Contrary to popular belief, a growler is not the result of an imperial IPA binge. They are actually large jugs that you can get filled with takeaway beer at your favourite brew pub.

H: Hops – How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Hops give beer bitterness, aroma and flavour that ranges from earthy, spicy, floral to fruity, herbal and resinous. We. Love. Hops.

I: International brews – At League of Beers we strive to find the best beers from around the world. After we’ve drunk all the beers we then get more and put them in cases for you :)

J: Jack Black – Good ol’ Jack Black has been around since craft beers have been at farmer’s markets. They’ve come a long way since then and they’ve just built their own spiffy brewery.

K: Keg – Kegs are the best way to store beer, and beer on tap will often taste fresher. Believe it or not, cans actually store beer better than bottles because they are like mini kegs.

L: Light struck – When beer is exposed to too much sunlight it causes a chemical reaction that causes the hops to revolt. The technical term for this is ‘skunked’.

M: Mixed Case – Not only is a mix case a passport into a world of beer, fun, friends and awesomeness, it’s also been rated by the World Institute of Present Giving as ‘The best present ever’ since 2012.

N: Ninkasi – Ancient Sumerians drank a lot of beer. So much in fact that they had a beer goddess called Ninkasi. They also had a song which they sang to her, which was also a recipe for the beer. How crafty is that?

O: Only going to have one beer – An urban myth that every craft beer drinker attempts to prove, and fails. How can you blame them though? Craft beer is just so damn delicious.

P: Phenolic – This nasty aroma smells, like plastic or band aids, that is caused by wild yeast or bacteria getting into a brew.

Q: Quick beer – see “O”.

R: Resin – Hop flowers have a yellow resin substance inside them. This is what gives beer its delicious bitter flavour.

S: Sediment – If a beer is bottle conditioned, meaning there is actual live yeast in the bottle, you’ll find sediment in the bottom of the bottle. You can either discard it or swirl it into the pour.

T: Tasting League – An awesome group of League of Beers Legends who take pictures of the mix case beers. They also talk obsessively about beer on Twitter and Instagram on @TastingLeague.

U: U is for you – And you should be drinking a beer while you read this. Go on, we’ll wait while you fetch one.

V: Very popular – That’s what you’re going to be if you get your mates to subscribe to the awesomeness that is League of Beers.

W: Water – Beer is about 90% water so it really pays to use the best quality water. Some breweries like Newlands and Guinness are actually built around their water sources.

X: Xerophobia – The fear of dryness. The solution? You guessed it, a delicious monthly mix case that was lovingly curated by The League of Beers.

Y: Yeast – For the longest time yeast was a mystical thing that no one understood. It was only in 1857 that Louis Pasteur figured out the fermentation process. Louis you beauty!

Z: Zymurgy – No this is not a new fangled cult. It’s actually just a fancy word for the study or practice of fermentation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this taste of craft beer smarts. If you’re looking to dive deeper into the tank then sign up to the League of Beers Monthly Mixed Case today, and you’ll get instant access to our College of Craft course. It’s everything you need to take your beer smarts from flat to fizzy.

Nick-Bush

Coconuts, peanut butter beer and winter underground festivals: Meet the man behind Drifter

Our brewer of the month for May is none other than Drifter Brewing Company, with Nick Bush at the hoppy helm. We caught up with him on an island under a palm tree to chat about what inspires his beer brewing technique and his beer drinking ethos. Well, not quite, but drinking these beers that’s where you’ll feel you are.

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Ships’ wheels, maps, compasses, coconuts…Would you call yourself a Craft Beer Pirate?

Maybe more like a C​raft Beer Captain!​

Nick-Bush

You clearly love the ocean, any plans to feature it in a beer?

​​I’ve tasted a couple of beers that were made with ​ocean​ water, and they were interesting but ​salty! So ​I’ve never thought about ​brewing a beer with ocean water​ – or at least not on a commercial scale​. I do however have bottles of a small batch of Belgian triple ageing inside a shipwreck on the Atlantic seabed about 40m deep. So I guess you could say I’m using the ocean ​to develop a​ beer​!​

Your coconut ale has pretty much a cult following. Did you develop the recipe in a hammock, with some reggae in the background?

​Mozambique is the main reason for trying out this beer. I used to head up to that tropical paradise a couple times a year. There are so many coconut trees everywhere and ​I love coconut and ​I love beer, ​so ​why not try them together! The ​actual ​recipe development happened in Cape Town though.

What tunes are playing while you’re brewing?

We’ve got a record player so we usually spin vinyls throughout the day. Our favourite record in ​the collection currently is from The Drifters (aptly named) who play fun, soulful 60s music. Otherwise, Kenneth (who helps at the brewery) puts on his upbeat Malawian music.

If you were stuck on a desert island with a case of coconut ale, what would be your last meal?

Tacos! With freshly speared Kingfish and lots of coriander, lime and salsa.​

Your other beer is a lager, tell us a bit about it. Does it pair well with biltong and droewors?

What doesn’t pair well with biltong and droewors?! ​Though this may be biased, the Legend Lager is my favourite beer right now. It’s light yet still very flavourful and great with a snack like biltong.

Drifter-Nick-Bush

Do you remember your first beer? Was there one beer that changed your life?

I wouldn’t say one beer changed my life, but one trip did…to Portland, Oregon. I visited my other half, Anna, in December of 2012 and she signed us up to volunteer at a Winter Ale Festival. This is a festival where ​each brewery can only submit one specialty beer to have on tap. They were all unique porters, stouts, sours and barrel-aged brews and not a single one was under 7% ABV. It just blew my mind how different the beer scene was from South Africa. Breweries were pushing the limits and not afraid to take chances. I’m not going to lie, some of the beers at that festival weren’t my favourite, but they were interesting! I think it’s important as a brewery to make two types of beers: ones for everyday easy drinking that appeal to the masses, and ones that push people out of their comfort zones. We often get people who say, “I don’t normally like IPAs but I like yours.” We need to keep reminding people that these beer categories are so vast and to not immediately discard a certain style after trying one particular beer.

They say behind every good man, is a good… beer! And in this case a good woman. You two make a great team!

​Whew, what would I do without my Anna Banana?! She works a full time job during the day and then does work for Drifter in the evenings and on weekends, and truly is the reason the brewery has gained momentum in this past year. We make a great team because our skill sets really complement each other. This isn’t our first rodeo though! In 2014, we worked on a boat together as captain and stewardess.

You guys were responsible for Cape Town’s most popular underground beer festival (literally, a parking lot) Woodstock Winter Fest. Any plans to top that in 2016?

Haha! That was such a great day! The Woodstock Winter Beer Festival was actually inspired by the one in Oregon we volunteered at. Most breweries in South Africa do light beers and lagers and we wanted to have a festival that featured the dark and delicious brews that we all like to experiment with. Little did we know, how many people would also dig this! This year has proven to be a crazy busy one and our friends at Riot recently hosted the Woodstock Autumn Festival, so we will bring back the winter one again in 2017! In the meantime, we are focusing on smaller events at the brewery. We just did a Mussel and Beer Banquet and we’re looking at another similar event in June. And we will be doing our annual Santa Brewery Crawl in December.

You guys clearly aren’t scared to experiment a little (peanut butter, margarita ​ topped beer). Any new surprises on the cards?

We are taking a trip to Oregon and Alaska in June and we’ll be doing a lot of small batch experiment brewing with friends there, so we should have some more fun stuff coming up! We also want to bring back an old recipe for a ginger infused weiss beer as well as a Berliner weiss. The peanut butter porter will make a come back again for the Woodstock Winter Beer Festival, as well as our smoked porter. Stay tuned!

Last, what would you like the people to get from your beers in the Monthly Mixed Case?

We want people to see the two examples of our beers that I was talking about earlier. The Legend Lager is the easy drinking beer that appeals to the masses and the Stranded Coconut is the one that may stretch some people’s comfort zones. Both are delicious so we mainly just want people to enjoy them!

We have also just launched our own mixed four-pack which is called our Explorer Pack, for people to explore our range of beers. This includes The Cape Town Blonde, Legend Lager, Scallywag IPA and Stranded Coconut. More to come on this!

Thanks for the chat.

To get a taste of Drifter craft beer, get your hand’s on our Mixed Case this month or get a case of Drifter to stock up the bar fridge.

Be-beer-smart

5 scenarios where being craft smart pays off

Off the bat it sounds pretty logical, that craft knowledge can save your bacon on many an occasion, but because we like to be blunt about stuff, we’ve got 5 scenarios for you that clearly benefit from a craft clever oke.

Be-beer-smart

1. Be a bottle store super hero

You’re at the craft beer fridge in your favourite bottle store. To your right is a young man looking hopelessly lost. Eventually he asks you what he should try – time to shine. Rather than shock his palate with a massive IPA, you tell him to get a lager, a pilsner, a pale ale and a weiss. The first two are great because they’re close to his regular commercial lager. The second two are awesome because they’re the start of his journey into the tasty world of ales. He leaves with four awesome beers and a little more confidence. You leave wondering whether or not you’d look good in a cape.

2. Be a beer defender

You’re at a dinner party and there’s a guy waxing lyrical about how wine is more complex than beer. He asks for your opinion and after a slow sip of your IPA you oblige. You explain that beer is made of barley, hops, yeast and water – that’s two more ingredients than wine. Each has its own terroir (that’s wine speak for the environmental conditions). You explain that with these four ingredients you can make two styles of beer: lagers and ales – much like red and white.  And within these styles you get over a hundred types of beers. In conclusion you tell him that in your opinion, beer is as complex if not more than wine – class dismissed.

3. Ace that blind date

You’re on a blind date and she’s asks you to surprise her with a drink from the bar. You ask if there’s anything she doesn’t drink and she tells you beer – challenge accepted. You return to the table with a red looking beverage in a short glass with ice. She takes one sip and she’s completely intoxicated by the cherry and berry aromas coming off the drink. She swears it’s one of the best things she’s ever tasted and asks you what it is. You come clean and tell her it’s actually a beer. A Belgian fruit ale. She’s impressed. You’re chuffed. Chalk one up for beer.

4. Earn beery points

You’re at the annual work lunch and you’re seated right next to the big boss. You’re chatting about beer and he tells you he’d love to get into this whole craft beer thing, but he doesn’t know where to start. You tell him that you know a thing or two and suggest an impromptu beer tasting for the employees. Fast forward two hours later and you’re the craft beer rockstar of the table. You’ve taken tastebuds from South Africa to Europe and America. You’ve converted more than half the table to craft, and you could swear that the cute girl from accounting just winked at you. Job done.

5. Be a craft beer myth buster

You’re standing around at a braai with a couple of new acquaintances. The beers are flowing and it’s a mix between craft and commercial. The conversation soon turns to beer and one fellow pipes up that he doesn’t drink craft. You ask why and he says that craft beer gives you a bigger hangover. You tell him you don’t entirely agree, because craft beer has the exact same ingredients as commercial beer. You ask him what he was drinking and he tells you IPA. It’s then that the penny drops. You explain that IPAs are way higher in alcohol than your average lager. He laughs, you laugh and then you offer him an IPA.
That’s just 5 scenarios. With a monthly subscription to craft beer, that just happens to come with a free Introduction to Craft course that will change your life, you’ll be able to use craft your way out of pretty much any challenge in life.

We’d put our best beer on that.

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Two Okes walk into a bar and tell Beer Country their story

The month of April sees the legend brewing team Two Okes Brewery taking centre stage in our Monthly Mixed Case. We tracked them down to a local bar and got to know them a bit better.

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The Bokke have just beaten the All Blacks and Schalk Burger walks into the brewery, what beer do you give him?

Our Stout, definitely. Nothing like downing something all black, after downing the All Blacks!

Beer and braai is the best pairing out there. What’s on your fire this weekend and what are you drinking?

A kudu potjie with our Irish Ale is awesome, but sometimes we keep things simple and delicious. A great quality T-Bone with our Pale Ale. The hops lift the braai spices to a whole new level.

Tell us where this all began. Was it a case of… Two okes walk into a bar, and leave with a brewery?

On Heritage Day 2013, over a braai and a home-brewed beer, the idea was hatched for a Real Beer Brewery: No compromise on Quality or Taste!  That is how a man with a love for brewing, and a man with the love of beer came together and said “yes” to produce real beer.

Do you remember your very first beer, and was there one beer that changed your life?

My first beer was on the family farm, standing next to the braai with the men. That was a rite of passage for sure. Then much later, on our honeymoon in Knysna, we bumped into Lex Mitchell and his “Milk & Honey” ale changed it all for me. It was like nothing I had ever tasted and it didn’t give me gout, huge bonus!

I guess the best beer I’ve ever had would have to be Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale. It convinced me to come back and really look into making our own real beers – it’s the inspiration for our Two Okes Irish Ale.

What makes your pale ale truly South African?

From the malt, to the yeast, to all the hops… It’s all local, and local is lekker!

What is the Two Okes beer philosophy?

To make real beers with natural ingredients, the natural way.

At League of Beers, we are all about being craft smart. Give us three quick things that every new craft drinker should know?

  • Drink what you like, not what the market tells you.
  • Always support local first.
  • Try a new beer at every opportunity.

Any wild stories from setting up the brewery that you can share?

Beside receiving all the installation instructions in Mandarin, I would say it was while I was cutting into the floor to put in our drains. I hit the office main power supply to our entire industrial complex. Well, sparks and flames, and thank God I was wearing rubberised Wellingtons!

What is your top tip for the guys and gals that are starting out?

Make beer you are passionate about first and foremost. There are enough “macro” styled craft beers out there already.

What tunes are playing while you’re brewing?

Rock music all the way! Pretty sure a Stout taste better with a bit of Def Leppard or Aerosmith behind it…

What would you like the guys and gals to get from your beers?

A taste experience, followed by the satisfaction that you’re drinking a beer that’s been made by this Oke just for you, the other Oke, or Gal!

You are in the Mixed Case with a few international heavy hitters. How do you reckon local craft is standing up on the international stage?

I reckon we are starting to square up nicely, even though we are still very young, and the USA still occupies much of the lime-light. It would be great to see our own “ZAR” craft beer identity out there, but I don’t think we are there just yet. Watch this space…

Got an crazy plans up your sleeve that you can share with us?

Hmmm, there is always something brewing in the back of my mind but let’s keep those just there for now…

Thanks Okes! To get a taste of this delicious local craft, head on over to get this month’s mixed case or explore a case from Two Okes. While you’re at it, sign up to our newsletter so you never miss out on the latest brewers on the block.

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Tasting League crib notes: Vedett Extra Blond

This full yet refreshing, premium pilsner has been lagered for one month, resulting in a perfect balance between fruity hoppiness and a smooth malt backbone.

vedett-blond-tasting-notes

The tasting experience

Appearance: Straw gold with fine bubbles and a pearly white head.
Aroma:  Pleasant hoppiness with slight malt in the background.
Flavour & finish: Subtle fruitiness and vanilla from the hops give way to a well-balanced malt finish. It’s crisp, dry, effervescent and smooth.

Quick fire facts

  • It has 5.2% ABV.
  • Hops used are Saaz, Styrian Golding and Hallertau Magnum.
  • It has a penguin as a mascot.

Overall thoughts

This may well be proof that blondes really do have more fun. A great summertime session beer that doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers on it’s promise.

#TastingLeague handle

@belgianbeercom

@vedett

Food pairing suggestion

A big pot of fresh black mussels, cooked in beer, with beer on the side. Some lemongrass, fresh lime and coconut milk would put this over the top. Don’t forget the chilli.

Where to drink

After a day at the beach, picking mussels off the rocks.

Get your hands on some Vedett Extra Blond premium pilsner right here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

vedett-extra-white

Tasting League crib notes: Vedett Extra White

Brewed only with natural ingredients including coriander and orange peel, this traditional Belgian white beer comes with its own ritual. Pour ⅔ of the beer into your glass, swirl the rest in the bottle to stir up all the natural yeast, then pour the rest in one movement.

Always remember, swirl before you pour!

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The tasting experience

Appearance: Cloudy, light-blond with a creamy white head.
Aroma: Herbal notes to start followed by dominant citrus, and a slightly sweet finish.
Flavour & finish: This beer is creamy and refreshing with a fine bubble. Citrus and grainy flavours upfront, give way to a slightly sweet, honey-like finish.

Quick fire facts

  • This beer is refermented in barrel and bottle.
  • Hops are Saaz-Saaz, Hallertau Magnum, and Hallertau Perle
  • It has 4.7% ABV.
  • A polar bear is it’s mascot.

Overall thoughts

A highly drinkable, refreshing Belgian wit beer with a sweet, slightly perfumed finish. It may be hard to see through, but it makes up for it by sending all your other senses into overdrive.

#TastingLeague handle

@belgianbeercom

@vedett

Food pairing suggestion

Grilled salmon is a treat with this beer, and for the more adventurous, grab a slice of lemon cheesecake.

Where to drink

Anywhere the sun is shining, the people are smiling and the dance floor is grooving.

Get your hands on some Vedett Extra White craft right here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

fullers-honey-dew-tasting-notes

Tasting League crib notes: Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale

These days we like knowing exactly what is going into our beer, and with this one, everything down to the last drop is 100% organic. With its sunshine colour and sweet, zesty profile, this is an organic full of love beer, even for those who don’t like beer.

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The tasting experience

Appearance: Honey and straw, crystal clear, with a warm-white head.
Aroma: Lager-like with honey, melon and slight citrus from the First Gold hops.
Flavour & finish: Honey, followed by medium malts and some zesty orange from the yeast. Sweet and clean, with low bitterness, medium carbonation and a dry finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 5% ABV
  • The organic honey used comes from Brazil.
  • Winner of the World’s Best Honey Beer 2008 (Beers of the World).

Overall thoughts

Best served chilled, this refreshing beer with a zesty edge is a great way to start the afternoon. It really is sunshine in a bottle. Simple as that.

#TastingLeague handle

@LondonPrideZA

Food pairing suggestion

Summertime meals for a summertime beer. Fresh, zesty salads with a little Thai inspiration are fantastic. Just make sure you are dining somewhere chilled and sunny.

Where to drink

Barefoot, on the grass at Kirstenbosch Gardens waiting for the gates to open at the Jeremy Loops concert, sponsored by Greenpop.

Get your hands on a case of Fuller’s Honey Dew Organic Ale here, delivered free to your door.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

Vedett-IPA-tasting-notes

Tasting League crib notes: Vedett IPA

It’s IPA, but not really from India, and not really a pale ale. This extraordinary beer perfectly combines a solid Belgian ale with four varieties of American hops. Welcome to the best of both worlds.

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The tasting experience

Appearance: Slightly cloudy with a copper-amber hue.
Aroma: All tropical fruit and citrus upfront, that harmoniously combine with fresh floral and green aromas.
Flavour & finish: Punchy grapefruit and tropical fruits make way for a soft yet outspoken bitterness that builds and builds, but just leaves space for the malty caramel backbone, and a long, effervescent finish.

Quick fire facts

  • 2 of the American hops used are only for dry-hopping.
  • Only speciality malts are used.
  • It has 5.5% ABV (and is sitting at 40 IBU’s).
  • The Walrus is this beer’s mascot.

Overall thoughts

This is an IPA unlike any you have tasted before, and once you get your head around it, it’s just an incredible, modern ale inspired by one of the oldest styles on the planet. Awesome beer.

#TastingLeague

@belgianbeercom

@vedett

Food pairing suggestion

Spicy oriental dishes are great with IPA, but to really amp things up, light the fire and get some quality thick-cut Karoo lamb chops, some fresh herbs, and a sweet-spicy basting sauce.

Where to drink

Any place, any time, when you are winning and feel like something different yet familiar. Like getting the girl at your high-school reunion.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.

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Tasting League Crib Notes: Innis & Gunn Original

These Scottish brewers will oak-age pretty much anything. With a phenomenal range of beers to choose from, we asked the master brewer, Dougal (yes, seriously) what his favourite was and without skipping a beat, he reckons it’s the Original Golden Ale that started it all as a happy mistake back in 2002.

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The tasting experience

Appearance: Deep amber-gold and crystal clear, with an off-white head.
Aroma: Rich, roast malts with prominent oak, light vanilla and toffee, and a few bready notes from the yeast.
Flavour & finish: Malty oak, vanilla and toffee, a little butterscotch, and very light hop fruitiness. A medium-bodied ale with light carbonation, and a smooth, warm finish.

Quick fire facts

  • A hefty 6.6% ABV
  • Won Grand Gold at the Monde Selection Awards 2015 (a pretty big deal).
  • It has 5.5% ABV.

Overall thoughts

A beer unlike anything you have ever tasted before. Malty, delicious and beautifully brewed. This ale has been treated with respect, and delivers on its promise 100%.

#TastingLeague handle

@innisandgunnSA

Food pairing

Coming from the UK, Indian curries work a treat with this beer. For us though, a big, quality burger with mature cheddar and chilli-dusted onions rings is the winner!

Where to drink

In an old sawmill, if you can find one. But if not, this beer is delicious anywhere, just remember that anything oak-aged deserves to be enjoyed in a big leather wingback.

Join our TastingLeague on Twitter or Instagram by sharing your tasting notes with us and you can win R1000 in beer. Check out the TastingLeague rules and get tasting.