Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Five Exceptional Beers You Can Get (Almost) Anywhere

A post by Scott F.

Regardless of where you live, finding retailers that carry some of the world’s finer beers can be a struggle. There’s nothing worse than hearing a friend wax poetic about a favourite brew they romantically discovered while finding themselves in Europe - or to read a salivating review written by some vivaciously verbose beer blogger - only to find that your local purveyor of potent potables does not carry it.

This can be particularly difficult in jurisdictions with stricter liquor control laws. Sure, you can track down those fancy brew pubs with stellar revolving beer lists. But for those who like pulling out a great bottle at a party, enjoying a quality drink in the backyard or at the cottage, or drinking alone in their underwear, the need to make such a trip (or perhaps to go outside at all), can be displeasing.    

For that reason we’ve pulled five of our favourite beers that are available more widely than many of the other top-rated selections. These bottles are sure to impress friends and pallets everywhere.

Criteria: Available at more than 75 LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) locations:

1. St Bernardus ABT 12 – Belgium – Abbey Ale, Quadrupel – 10% ABV

Highlighted by its balance, sweet, bitter and hoppy. Fruity nose with cherries and caramel on the tongue. Long considered one of the best beers in the world.

2. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier – Germany – Hegewizen Ale – 5.6% ABV

Hard to say, great to drink. Smells and tastes of banana and nuts. If that description turns you off, fear not, both sensations are short lived and replaced by a balanced malty flavour.

3. Chimay Grande R̩serve (Blue) РBelgium РBelgian Strong Ale Р9% ABV

A traditional strong ale. Fruit and spice all through the nose with flavours of plum and raisin. Smell a hint of clove.

4. Schneider Hopfen Weisse – Germany – Weizenbock – 8.2% ABV

A hoppy wheat beer. Flowers and hops on the nose. Classic citrus flavour with a touch of earthy, grassy taste. Very approachable.

5. Innis & Gunn Original – Scotland – Scottish Ale – 6.6% ABV

A bold selection better suited for after dinner. Rich caramel, vanilla nose with alcohol prominent. Taste is sweet, liqueur-like, with plenty of tasty vanilla and toffee. An absolute treat.

What are some of your favourite, widely available beers? Post in the comments or tweet them to @SFRealManTravel.


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