Stuck at the bar, quizzically scratching your forehead? So many decisions….pint or half, pale or dark, what ABV, malty or hoppy? Here’s my advice.
Go local. Good pubs should stock a wide range of beer and the bar staff should be well informed about what the stock is and where it has journeyed from. Local beers have the advantage that they are most likely
1. Fresh – nobody wants stale beer
2. Undamaged goods – not emotionally but physically. The characteristics of some beer can change during poor transit
3. Less likely to have been ‘lightstruck’ – sunlight can penetrate even brown bottles and make the beer go bad (skunky)
It is also great to sample a few indigenous brews from the vicinity because certain styles originate from particular areas due to things like water quality (Historically English IPA’s originate from Burton on Trent due to the suitability of the water for making this style of beer). You might just find your drinking the worlds best beer style or historic recipe unrepeatable elsewhere and unchanged for hundreds of years. That’s badass.
There are thousands of micro breweries and small artisanal breweries around the world producing an unbelievable variety of beer beverage, often using interesting local ingredients. The scale of production is often limited to the brewpub or just a few carefully selected local establishments to peddle their wares. It is likely that the tap pump you see infront of you is not available where you live (yes, some beers don’t even make it to London). Big bragging rights for you for unearthing a great new tipple from [insert name of previously unheard of brewery].
The rise in popularity of real ale and craft beer and the growth in number of good breweries means that you are more and more likely to have a brewery on your doorstep. A good place to sniff out locally brewed beer is your local public house. Funnily enough.
So next time, dont ooh-ahh at the bar and revert to homogenous lager. Please ask for the local!