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Seasonal craft beer: what to drink when

Beer drinking has as much to do with what you drink, as it does with when and where you drink it.

13 Feb 2015

The inspiration for some of the greatest craft beers can be anything from dusty Karoo roads and rusty tractors, to the geometric tortoise, old engine oil or things that go bump in the night. 

Around the world, you can order a pint of Zombie Brains, take a sip of Santa’s Butt or try and get your hands on a Seriously Bad Elf. Ordering a Yellow Snow IPA may sound dodgy, but trust me it’s delicious. If you’re feeling very adventurous, you might come across an Arrogant Bastard while searching for the Oak-Aged Yeti, but be careful not to slip on a pint of Moose Drool.

So yeah, there are some seriously out-there beers, and with the silly season just passed, inspiration for some seasonal brews is riding high on Santa’s sleigh, chasing the Easter Bunny. These limited-release craft beers have a specific intent and flavour profile with the ability to take you to a certain place and time with a target-brewed tasty combination of malt, hops, water and yeast… and a few extra ingredients thrown in for good measure.

When? What? Where?

The origin of these brews comes from the old idea hat if it tastes good, drink it! This has as much to do with what you drink, as it does with when and where you drink it. The perfect beer, at the right place, at the right time is what all good seasonal beers strive for. Dark, rich beers for Winter, light, crisp beers for Summer, and plenty of ales for everything in between. So around Christmas, look out for beers bursting with flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg, burnt sugar and pumpkin.

If you happen to find yourself anywhere near a German brewmaster, be sure to ask for a special Oktoberfest beer. Take a sip, close your eyes and imagine a hall full of Bavarian waitresses, an Oompah band, and a bottomless pint or seven of the crisp, malty, golden-copper brew. But be careful, these beers are usually around six percent!

We still have a few rays of sunshine left before Winter sets in and some of the Summer beers disappear for the year, so be on the lookout for Darling Slow-Brewed Christmas Beer, Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale, and CBC Oktoberfest and Harvest lagers. Then as temperatures start heading south, stouts and porters will start filling the shelves. Get ready to grab a Birkenhead Choc-Stout, or try and get your hands on the elusive Mitchell’s Raven Stout.

For now, Easter is around the bend. I am sure a few quirky brews are on the cards, and the craft beer pun-gun is locked and loaded. So here’s wishing you a Hoppy Easter, hope you enjoy some Fluffy Tail Ale while listening to ZZ Hop, nursing a craft beer Hopsession, hoping that soon Hopportunity will knock, and that if you do in fact see a stout Chocolate Bunny, it is just a Hoptical Illusion.

Don’t worry, be Hoppy!

Written by: Beer Country, two of the thirstiest guys on the planet - Greg and Karl. Follow their fire-side journey as they crack open the brew culture of South Africa, discovering awesome beers and cooking great food along the way. This hoppy adventure is coming soon to a TV near you!

- Beer Country

Read more on: beer  |  seasonal  |  craft beer  |  drinks

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