Best beers for a barbecue: Drink of Fulham selects its 12 favourite bottles
The independent beer shop shares its picks from wheat pale to darker ales...
Sunday 06 July 2014
Wheat pale/wheat/wit beers
Einstök Icelandic White Ale (ABV 5.2%)
A refreshing white beer spiced with orange peel and coriander, brewed with pure rain and water flowing from prehistoric glaciers only 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Smooth and well-balanced, offering a soft creamy texture, its light clean finish pairs well with salad lunches or is great on its own on long summer evenings.
£2.50, 330ml bottle, einstokbeer.com
Weird Beard K*ntish Town Beard (ABV 5.6%)
A bottle-conditioned (unfiltered) American wheat pale ale micro-brewed in Hanwell, west London. Using large quantities of US cascade and centennial hops, its fruity aromas lead on to a dry, slightly bitter finish, giving more body and depth than a regular wheat beer. This style crosses the European classic with American influence to create a smooth, easy-drinking beer.
£3.80, 500ml bottle, weirdbeerbrewco.com
St Bernardus Wit (ABV 5.5%)
A classic Belgian wheat beer, spicy with an apple-like tartness creating a slightly dry finish. Hazy and pale in appearance, it works well with salads, grilled and lighter seafood dishes. Be adventurous and sip a glass with fruit salad – melon, mango, banana and more – that balance well with the Curaçao orange-peel flavours of the chilled beer.
£2.45, 330ml bottle, sintbernardus.be
Tusker Kenyan Lager (ABV 4.2%)
From a brewery founded in Kenya in the 1920s by two British brothers, this is one of Africa's best-known beers, reputed to be Ernest Hemingway's favourite when he hunted in east Africa. A very drinkable, refreshing lager; medium carbonation, crisp and light in finish. Will go well with salad or pasta out in the garden on a hot summer's day.
£2.50, 500ml bottle, tuskerlager.com
Kona Big Wave (ABV 4.4%)
A light-bodied Hawaiian golden/blonde beer brewed with pale caramel malts and galaxy and citra hops in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. Simple to drink on its own, although its bright tropical hop aroma is a natural match for fish, chicken, salads and light pasta dishes. Increasingly popular beer in the UK – exporting its surf vibe beyond the beach.
£2.65, 330ml bottle, konabrewingco.com
Fyne Ales Hurricane Jack (ABV 4.4%)
A Scottish blonde pale ale from Argyllshire, at the head of Loch Fyne. Brewed with amarillo and cascade hops, producing prominent tangerine and peachy-lemony flavours, creating a dry citrus bitter finish. A great thirst-quencher. Easy to enjoy more than one on a warm (or even not so warm) summer's afternoon.
£3.60, 500ml bottle, fyneales.com
Moncada Notting Hill Amber (ABV 4.7%)
A full-bodied, bottle-conditioned, citrus-flavoured amber ale micro-brewed by the Argentinian Julio Moncada in west London. Well balanced with sweet malt tastes leading to a light bitter finish. Can be paired with a wide variety of foods, including spicy and smoked meats – barbecue ribs, grilled chicken and beef.
£3.30, 500ml bottle, moncadabrewery.co.uk
Odells Levity Amber Ale (ABV 5.1%)
Brewed in Colorado with Munich and honey malts. Has sweet and subtle caramel flavours with a spicy bitter finish. Named by its brewers for its light colour and "for the way it refuses to take itself too seriously". Try with flamed barbecued burgers for an authentic American BBQ experience.
£3.65, 330ml bottle, odellbrewing.com
PressureDrop Bosko IPA (ABV 6.5%)
From an east London brewery formed in 2012, dry-hopped (adding hops to the fermenting beer), and with generous amounts of American hops. Sweet, malty, well-balanced flavours add up to a great example of hoppy IPA on the new UK brewing scene. IPAs traditionally pair well with spicy foods but can also work wonderfully with grilled meats.
£3.55, 330ml bottle, pressuredropbrewing.co.uk
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (ABV 5.1%)
Smoked beers can be an acquired taste on their own, but can be incredibly versatile when paired with food directly cooked on the flame. The smoky flavours of barbecued meats and vegetables can mirror the intense quality of smoked bacon-like complexities of this Bamberg-brewed Märzen from Bavaria. Try it with barbecued steaks and sausages to give deeper taste to the meat – an unusual but satisfying combination.
£3.65, 500ml bottle, schlenkerla.de
Belleville Battersea Brownstone (ABV 4.8%)
Described as "solid, sturdy and reliable", this London micro-brewed US-style brown ale is well balanced to match perfectly with barbecued pork and smoked sausages. A lightly sweet taste with nutty, caramel and toffee flavours and a hoppy and bitter finish. The brewery was started by 10 dads of children at Belleville Primary School in Wandsworth, south London – hence the name.
£2.98, 500ml bottle, bellevillebrewing.co.uk
RCH Old Slug Porter (ABV 4.5%)
This Somerset porter has nutty and woody flavours and a chocolate/coffee finish that pair particularly well with barbecued meats – especially beef. Crystal and black malt give colour, and fuggle and golding hops balance bitterness to the sweeter pale malt. Complex taste, but not too heavy.
£2.98, 500ml bottle, rchbrewery.com
All beers provided by Drink of Fulham, 349 Fulham Palace Road, London SW6, tel: 020 7610 6795, drinkoffulham.com
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