Despite costing a fortune, the rise in craft – or micro – breweries has seen the selection of different styled beers available to the beer-drinker increase substantially. The production of beer is a reasonably standardised process across the board with each style of beer, traditionally having been a direct reflection of the geographical location of the brewery due to the ingredients used. Sure the various home-brew kits available today, nullify this statement but the fact remains that we are no longer bound to the mundane run-of-the-mill lager’s we were a few years ago. If you enjoy your beer, you should have an idea of the various styles available to you.
By and large, the most popular beer in the world, lager is a cool fermenting beer which gets its name from the German term “lagern” – meaning “to store” – due to the Bavarian breweries of old having to store their lager’s in caves to keep them cool during the warm summer months. Lager is allowed a second fermentation – or “lagering phase” – which is one of the reasons for it containing less sediments, seeming clearer and tasting cleaner than other beer-styles.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Jack Black Lager – R240 for 12 here
2. PALE ALE
Currently one of the more popular styles of beer, Pale ale is fermented with a top fermenting yeast and not the bottom fermenting yeast used in lager, which sees them tend to have a darker amber colour, a malty character and a distinct fruity/floral aroma. Different brewing practices and hop levels can result in a vast range of tastes and strengths within the Pale ale family.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Lakeside IPA – R432 for 12 here
3. MILD ALE
Mild ale is a malty darker beer. Some variations can be lighter, but in general the Mild ale is a darker hue than most other beers. The term ‘mild’ originally referred to a young beer yet in recent times it has been interpreted as denoting a beer which is “mildly hopped” and therefore has very little flavour or aroma.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Lakeside London Ale – R420 for 12 here
Stout beer can be broken up into three sub categories: Baltic porter; Dry stout; and Imperial stout. It is a dark, heavy beer made from roasted malts or barley and brewed using a slow fermenting yeast. It is most certainly an acquired taste and one of the few beers which most people will either love or hate.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Darling Brew Silver Back – R396 for 12 here
5. WHEAT BEER
A Wheat beer is exactly what you think: a beer brewed using a significant amount of wheat, yet still containing a portion of barley. More commonly known as a Weiss beer, it is characterized by its cloudy appearance and it’s banana – and often vanilla – aftertaste.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Brewers & Union Steph Weiss – R426 for 12 here
Lambic beer is one of the most complex and ancient produced styles of beer in the world, which is naturally fermented using wild yeasts instead of the traditional ones and often times aged in barrels. By using wild yeast, the brewer has a greater range of aroma and sourness available to be used, which can result in Lambic beer being considered an acquired taste.
The Noblest Rogue drinks: Lindemans Kriek Cherry Beer – R420 for 12 here
The crop of micro breweries in South Africa are doing their best to change the commonly held perception that beer is a low-end alcoholic beverage to be guzzled by alcohol-pigs at a rate of knots. They’re trying to get us to savour their offerings like the discerning gentleman we are. How you consume it, is your preference.
You stay classy,