the featured four: don’t tell the germans…

The Reinheitsgebot, also known as the German Beer Purity Law, states that water, barley, and hops are the only ingredients allowed in the production of beer.  Written in 1516, the law was updated in the 1800’s upon the discovery of the microorganisms involved in the brewing process, yeast.  It was not until 1988 that the law was fully lifted, allowing all German and Bavarian brewers to brew their beers with any ingredients they pleased as we see with many microbrews in the U.S. and rest of Europe.

Now, being the old-school guy I am, I can appreciate tradition and don’t want to change a good thing, especially beer.  But I sure am glad there weren’t any laws as strict as this in Belgium or the U.S. at any time.  Letting brewers get creative with their beer is what makes microbrews and other nontraditional beers so great.  There is something to be said about using the ingredients at hand to brew your beer, including your traditional water, barley, hops, and yeast.  And that is what this month’s featured beers are all about – creative ingredients… just don’t tell the Germans.

Williams Brothers Fraoch Heather Ale – Based on an ancient Gaelic recipe, this Scottish beer is brewed with flowered heather instead of hops, giving it a unique, smooth flavor.  To me the it is the perfect balance of malts in a beer.  Regular Price:  $5.99 Sale Price:  $4.99

Williams Brothers Kelpie Seaweed Ale – Another Scottish Ale based on an ancient recipe, this beer is brewed with coastal seaweed instead of hops, resulting in a dark and distinct beer.  It was not what I expected as far as flavor or body, but it, like the Fraoch, is becoming a favorite of mine.  Regular Price:  $5.49 Sale Price:  $4.49

Dupont Biere de Miel – Originally brewed by Rimaux-Deridder, this Belgian brew was a best seller in the late 1800’s.  Its production ended when Dupont bought the brewery, but 75 years later, it is back.  Brewed with honey, it has a smooth flavor that is not too sweet or overdone.  Regular Price:  $11.99 Sale Price:  $9.99

Crispin Lansdowne Cider – Like it or not, the cool weather is coming.  I developed quite a taste for ciders this summer and this is one that you can drink, even in the colder weather.  Irish stout yeast gives this cider a fuller body and almost a malty flavor.  This is one of my favorites for a fall evening.  Regular Price:  $5.99 Sale Price:  $4.99

As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

the featured four: I am going to feature four beers every month from the beer cooler that I think are great finds.  They could be new, hard to find, or special-release beers.  And the best part is they will all be on sale until I run out or pick four more.
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2 Comments

  1. Welcome; I especially appreciated your highlight of the German Purity Law eventually changing; but a good reason why Belgiums, w their Ales became serious challenge to Germans and their Lagers.

  2. Absolutely fantastic to see the Fraoch Ale on sale. It’s always been an absolute favorite of mine and has never failed to impress anyone I’ve introduced to it. The addition of the heather maintains the rich and full body of a typical Scottish Ale while adding a wonderfully light and balanced floral quality for a slightly Belgian Ale slant on the subject. The 500ml size is perfect, as well. I’ve had this in 12oz bottles and it’s just simply not as satisfying as the bigger bottle. Grab a fist full of this unique brew and enjoy!

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