August is the month of International Beer Day, an event that should not go unnoticed in anyone’s calendar.
Here, was ask Meantime’s Jack Stones – Britain’s youngest official beer sommelier – for his pick of the world's ten best brews, so you can raise a toast in celebration of a made up day.
Not that you need that excuse, of course.
Negro Modelo, Mexico (far left)
WHERE: Taking inspiration from the dark lagers that were first brewed in Mexico by Austrian immigrants in the 1860s; this is a Munich Dunkel-style lager that is much lighter in body than its German and Austrian counterparts.
TASTE: Medium-bodied and smooth, with roast malt aromas, this is a distinctly sweet brew that is flavoured with caramel, Demerara sugar, chocolate and dried fruit flavours. Just enough hop flavour comes to the fore to take the edge off the sweet taste.
4 Pines Kolsch, Australia (2nd from left)
WHERE: 4 Pines brewery bases it’s methodology on "handcrafted beer brewed naturally" which results in drinks that provide the best of nature’s goodness. Each brew is crafted through traditional time honoured techniques with natural, locally sourced ingredients, to create great taste sensations.
TASTE: 4 Pines Kolsch is light straw in colour with aromas of lemon and lime which preclude a light malty palate that finishes on a clean and crisp taste showing hints of spice and citrus. It is a light and refreshing brew that is predominantly citrus in taste which, when combined with its sweet undertone, becomes a well-balanced and enjoyable session beer.
Meantime London Pale Ale, London, England (3rd from left)
WHERE: Crafted at London’s Meantime Brewery, all brews combine London heritage with the preservation of craft beer-making traditions to create unique blends.
TASTE: Continuing an age-old tradition, London Pale Ale combines American Cascade and Centennial hops to give a complex citrus aroma whilst Kentish Goldings provide a bitterness that makes the style refreshing. The combination creates an aroma of spearmint and grass whilst fruity citrus flavours and a bitter finish make the ale a truly rewarding experience.
Hofbrau Original, Munich, Germany (3rd from right)
WHERE: From the trappings of Bavarian brewing history, Hofbrau Original takes its name from a beer hall founded in 1589. All Hofbrau Munchen beer is brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law, meaning all raw materials are of the highest quality and purchased from regional suppliers.
TASTES: A refreshing yet bitter brew that embodies the special atmosphere of Munich. This beer is bottom fermented and light with an aroma of clean cereal barley and noble hops that alternates between floral and herbal, and very slightly metallic. The beer progresses on the palate, starting with a barley malt character that proceeds through to a bitter sting creating a well-balanced taste.
Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale, San Francisco, US (2nd from right)
WHERE: Produced in San Francisco, Liberty Ale comes from America’s first craft brewery, Anchor Brewing, with roots dating back to the California gold rush. Brews are made with a combination of classical brewing and carefully applied, state-of-the-art modern methods.
TASTE: Brewed strictly according to traditional brewing methods, Liberty Ale uses only natural ingredients including pale malted barley, fresh whole-cone Cascade hops and a special top-fermenting yeast. The yeast used during fermentation produces subtle flavours and characteristics whilst dry hopping creates a unique aroma. First brewed in 1975, this was the first modern American single-hop ale.
Black Isle Yellowhammer, Scotland (far right)
WHERE: Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, Black Isle Brewing Co. only uses the best, freshest, organic ingredients. Yellowhammer was created with a progressive and environmentally responsible mentality which makes it one of a kind.
TASTE: A refreshing straw-coloured beer with a flinty, grapefruit aroma, this is a great session drink to quench the thirst. With juicy hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits combining with sweet malts and candy sugar this is a fruity drink with a hint of bitterness hidden at the back. The Winner of SIBA Champion Beer of Scotland 2009, this brew is packed full of hops for a big hit.