Beer drinkers are creatures of habit; find a brew you like, and chances are, you’ll go back to it regularly. While there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, the beer world is a large and diverse one; you could be missing out on a new favorite.
In the same vein, much has been made in recent years of the current boom in domestic or local craft breweries. As beer drinkers ourselves, we love what the craft industry has done for the American beer drinker. The rise and local accessibility of different varieties beyond the standard has led more and more people to step outside their beer comfort zone. As a result, however, many beer drinkers are forgetting about the very import staples that inspired all these new domestic brews.
Make This Your Month to Try An Imported Beer
Imported beers often hail from countries and breweries that invented the concept of beer brewing to begin with. As a result, you’ll likely recognize most of the beer types on this list – some are even precursors to the new brews you can get at the local brewery. Widen your beer influences this month with one (or more) of these imports:
- Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Germany). Germany has been brewing beer since at least 800 BC. Nowadays, you’ll find a Hofbrauhaus in nearly every town. Weihenstephaner hails from Weihenstephan, Bavaria and is a classic example of a German wheat beer. Fruity, malty, and creamy, this is America’s top hefe import and a great introduction to German beer.
- Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic). Named after the Czech region of Plzen, a pilsner is simply a type of pale lager. Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner, brewed since the mid-19th century in Plzensky Prazdroj, Plzen, Czech Republic and is the single best-known example of the style. Pilsners are clear and golden, and Pilsner Urquell brings hints of corn and biscuit to this supremely drinkable beer.
- Guinness Draught (Ireland). One of the most well-known imports in the country, Guinness was first brewed in Dublin, Ireland in 1759, along with a selection of popular ales. Since then, Guinness has crossed continents and oceans to become the world’s most sought-after stout. Stouts are typically richer and creamier than other styles of beer, and Guinness provides an exceptionally smooth drink with a slightly bitter finish.
- Red Stripe (Jamaica). If you’re looking for an alternative to the tried and true island beer for your next get together, Red Stripe Jamaican lager could be just the ticket. With more hoppy flavor than Corona and its counterparts, and just the right hint of caramel and bitterness to finish, this lager has more to offer than your average American lager.
- Sapporo (Japan). If you’re used to drinking one of the megabrand American domestics, consider giving Sapporo a try. This Japanese lager is a bit more bitter and full-bodied than Budweiser, Miller, Coors, and company, but American beer drinkers describe it as a crisp alternative to the usual.
While we’d never suggest giving up your favorite beer or forgoing a trip to the local brewery, trying a new-to-you imported beer is a great way to extend your palate. Better yet, you could find the beer that will become your next favorite. Try one of the above or ask an associate for an import recommendation unique to your preferences.