Which Brew is Really You?
With over 20 distinct styles of beers from which to choose, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the perfect brew for you. After all, tastes vary based on things like the weather or activity. And if you’re new todrinking good beer, it’s difficult to know the next step.
Taste is individual, and choosing the right beer is like finding the flavor of ice-cream you love best. Yes, there are several that you indulge in, but if the situation ever came to deserted island status, you know which frozen pint you’ll reach for.
It’s the same with beer. Yes, you experiment, try the different saisons and small-batches every few months, but do you know which kind of beer you would drink for the rest of your life if you had to?
Now is the time to decide. It’s the perfect time of year to both eat lots of ice-cream and drink copious amounts of beer. This way, when football season rolls around, you’ll know exactly what to order from your favorite bartender.
American Pale Ale
American Pale Ales are defined by their pleasant hoppiness right up front. The body of the beer tends to be dry to medium, with faint notes of sweet malt that leads to a crisp finish. Lovers of fruit-based ice-creams tend to enjoy American Pale Ales, as the floral notes and mouth feel are similar. So, if you prefer Lemon Sorbet, Strawberry, or Peach Ice-Cream, think Pale Ale the next time you belly up to the bar and don’t know what to order.
English Brown Ale
Nutty malts and medium hops are the major contributors in Brown Ales. Their flavor and aroma tend to resemble that of caramel – smooth, complex, and just this side of syrupy owing to the natural bitterness of the hops. If your ice-cream flavor of choice is Butter Pecan, Dulce de Leche, or even something as exotic as Salty Caramel, Brown Ales should appeal to your taste.
An unfiltered wheat beer especially popular in the summertime, Hefeweizens are usually brewed with spices, like cloves and nutmeg, and tropical fruit flavorings, like banana and papaya. Naturally, then, if you find you reach for Coconut or Mint Ice-Cream, or something lighter, like Rainbow Sherbert, more often than any other flavors, Hefeweizens are the beers after your own hearts.
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Those who enjoy IPAs are those who seek out the bittersweet, and who dig the sometimes extreme acerbity of hops. IPAs are the beers that bite back, characterized by citrus, pine, grass, and floral notes and undertones. If you’re one of the many who prefers Coffee, or Pistachio Ice-Cream, or really well-made Butterscotch Ice-Cream, chances are, you’ll enjoy IPAs, as they marry bitter and satisfying with conviction.
Irish Dry Stout
Not to be confused with its sweeter cousin, Milk Stout, Irish Dry Stouts are medium light to medium full in body, depending on the hop content. They have a roasted malt flavor, pour with a thick, creamy head, and finish dry on the palate. Lovers of sinfully Dark Chocolate or Espresso Ice-Cream will enjoy Dry Stouts, as will those who prefer Champagne Sorbet. The crispness of the finish perfectly mimics that of a Dry Stout, as does the slight bitterness tempered with the sweet lightness that defines such a sorbet.
The Pilsner comes closest to being the every-beer. It’s light, well-carbonated, both bitter and sweet, thirst-quenching, and generally inoffensive in its hoppiness and maltiness. Its clean, pure flavor appeals to those who seek the same in their frozen treats, so lovers of Vanilla Ice Cream, or something just as simple in its approach, like Cookies ‘n’ Cream or Banana Ice Cream, should count this brew among their favorites.
Porters are dark, yet sweet. The roasted malts lend an almost biscuit-like quality to the finish of the brew, whose flavor should hover somewhere between strong coffee and tart caramel. It’s almost like a stout, but without the big bitterness on the end. If you’re a fan of Rum & Raisin, Mint Chocolate Chip, or Strawberry Fudge Ice Cream, then a porter should be your choice the next time you find yourself ready for a brew.
This list isn’t exhaustive, and, of course, as people, we’re allowed to have a multiple of tastes. But if you do find yourself at a crossroads in your drinking life, this may be useful as you begin the next chapter.
Just remember to drink responsibly, be wary of brain freezes when you’re hitting the cone, and always, always, eat and drink local. Cheers!
Columbus Underground is showcasing the local beer scene with Beer Week! From July 7th to July 13th, we’ll be sharing stories on homebrewing, guides to beer-centric bars, tasting beer how-to, cooking with beer, and more, sponsored by our friends at The Short North Pint House & Beer Garden. Every Wednesday, The Pint House brings in a different brewery to take over their taps featuring a diverse lineup of the best brews for you to try. Oftentimes, these brews are very rare or limited edition so come enjoy them while they have them! Every draft purchase is served in the brewery’s custom beer glass which is yours to keep while supplies last! For more information visit ShortNorthPintHouse.com.