Regional Craft Beer Powerhouses

Posted on December 1, 2012

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  • Who Brews the Best Beer in the World ? 
  • Whats your Favorite Beer ? 
  • I Dont Drink Beer, but I dont mind Corona what would you Recommend? 

Sure these questions come up all the time and I can’t stand them, but I unfortunately know the answers. Maybe #2 is a bit hard to decipher down but sure we can break down the beer countries pretty easily. Same as we can with Wine, though Wine is getting harder these days with better grapes from random countries or regions.

Beer Regions can be deciphered down to

*Belgium

* Germany

* Czech

* United Kingdom

* United States

* Canada

With Countries like New Zealand, Italy and some Baltic States brewing better beer.

But let us not get too ahead of ourselves in terms of Beer Taking over the world. Beer on the whole is going to be this bland macro lager produced by the major brewers, where as Craft Beer is only drunk by 5% of the major brewing countries. The majority of our mates and friends drink the stuff we dont.

We can start breaking down the beer styles for the country or region based on the beers produced.

Belgium

This is by far my favorite region in the world. Yeah I know a bit biased but in terms of beers they have only 2000 different styles of beer. You’re not going to find two beers that taste exactly the same, unless you’re going through a style guide. Belgium is introduced to most people via the Abbey Beers, whether its Chimay, Orval or Duvel. Once you start digging deeper into Belgium you realise there are so many beers you have never heard of. For the majority of non-craft beer drinkers they hear Belgium and they think ‘WOW COOL FACTOR’ where as in actuality Belgiums do not drink because of ‘COOL FACTOR’ they drink as they love their favored drink.

The best part of Belgium beer is so much is bottle conditioned.

The World part of Belgium beer is so much is bottle conditioned. So you never see much on tap anywhere.

Germany

I am one of the first to bag out German Beer, but also one of the first to remark on the amazing quality it holds. Berliner Pils in Berlin was one of the first beers ever in my life where it didn’t take like Beer is tasted ‘Fucking Amazing’. The German Purity act of 1516 “The Reinheitsgebot” was enacted to ensure purity in beer. It was first suggested in 1487, 29 years before it was passed into legislation. Oh those Germans!!

Germany has no major brewers that own more than 15% of the market share and thus forms the favorite beers of each region. In the North you will not find Southern Beers, and vice versa. The Germans love their Pilsners which are Lagers. You will find beers such as Kolsh, and Alt Bier in Germany that have this persistence on Freshness of the beer. I have not been to another country so serious about the quality of their beer. They are definitely in the top tier of world beer countries.

Czech Repulica

Most are wondering why is Czech considered a Beer Power house?  yeah you have had Czechvar and Pilsner Arquel but you may not be fans. Though you may have thought, that Arquel must be French. You are wrong Mon Frier. The Czech actually started Brewing years ago and the term Pilsner comes from Pilzen a town in Czech. Its a lovely country that I have enjoyed on many occasions. Yes its also the home of Absinthe. So they know their booze.

Czech is a country that is next to Germany and its where Dark Beer originated in the sense of Dark Lagers, as they brewed them to sell to Germany. Germans love their Dark lagers. I don’t particularly and nor most other parts of the world. Czech is definitely a beer powerhouse and in the top Tier of Beer countries.

United Kingdom (UK) – England/Ireland/Scotland

I am going to term the UK as England at times in this drunken rant, so do not be offended. I am an Aussie and 6 Generations ago I had ancestors from England and Ireland Germany that came to Aus. Maybe for stealing bread or something I’m not sure. I believe in the monarchy and I’m quite conservative like most of Britain. I have a lot of respect for the country. So in terms of beer they definitely helped re-educated the masses on beer quality with ‘Cask’ beer that was CAMRA that setup in the 80’s to regain control of fresh beer in bars again.

The UK is definitely changing the idea that English Beer is Boring, and they have a great Cask Beer program there and bringing in beers from the US, Europe and even Australia to change the profile flavors for the locals. I’m not a big fan of 4.5% sessional beers, but I do now understand how hard it is to brew beer that tastes great and low alcohol. The UK suffer from very strict taxation on alcohol % in beer.

United States

Lets not bullshit around, these boys are brewing the best ‘New Style’ beers in the world at the moment. The Belgium brewers and bars were definitely of a different mindset about US beer than they were 3 years ago. The US is brewing the strangest and most unique beer styles on the planet currently. They have re-invented the IPA style to being American Pale Ale that is really a HOPPY beer that is Extreme in many senses. They have re-ignited the passion for many for dark beers, with Imperial Porters, Imperial Stouts and now the American brewers are doing Imperial Brown Ales, Imperial Pilsners and Imperial Red Ales. There is not much in the US that is under 6%.

The Americans are definitely leading the charge on new brash brewers globally and without doubt the country that if you want to beer tour you would head to Portland Oregon, (YUP) I said that correctly as they have 60 brewers in their state. The beer scene in California is staggering and even in Seattle there are some of the greatest beer bars in the world. I do not have to sell the US to my US readers, but those in Asia or Europe, it’s definitely worth the hype.

Even the President of the US has a brewery at the White HouseObama Drinking Beer

Oh Canada

I was going to include the country with the US, but I think now they deserve their own ranking as ‘Up and Coming’. Canada has gone through a beer resurgence in both East and West Coast, and I can without doubt say that its helped the country as a whole. One of my favorite beers in Canada came from Saskatchewan, but most didn’t like it but I found it unique and damn Canadian. Canada has Quebec that is french and they brew a lot of Belgium style beers, where as in Ontario it was more traditional English styles. Though its changing with more IPA’s and unique styles coming through. It’s BC that has the IPA down pat as a bar owner once told me. BC is home of Central City IPA and Phillips from Vancouver Island and Howe Sound up in Whistler.

 

What about other regions you have forgot?

Yeah I’m a dickhead for forgetting your country that brews beer aren’t I ? well not so much so dont go troppo on me. I will post any comment on my blog i’m not sensitive to criticism. I have spoken about the top tiers in Beer, if there are some I have left out shoot me an email, but if you think its accurate but my comments are wrong comment. I have traveled all my life and know when I talk beer its accurate. Though I’m the first to admit I dont know to brew or start a business successfully.

The wines in France have a Wine Classification system. Wonder if beer will get to the same way in each country?

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