An annual celebration held on the first Friday in August since 2008, International Beer Day is the perfect time to sip a refreshing lager or fine ale. Celebrated in over 200 cities around the world, what better time is there to pick up a bottle (or six) on your way through duty free – which is often a great showcase for the best local and international ranges.
Did you know…
The main differences between lager and ale are the times and temperatures taken to produce them and whether or not hops are used. Lagers are fermented for longer, at cooler temperatures, resulting in milder, refreshing flavours. Ales, on the other hand, are fermented for a shorter time but at a warmer temperature, resulting in richer, malty tones. Hops are also used to give ales that distinct bitter flavour.
The country that drinks the most beer is the Czech Republic, where the average citizen consumes 182 litres (40 gallons) a year.
So if that’s left you with cenosillicaphobia (the fear of an empty beer glass) why not try some of these from duty free….
First brewed in Westmalle abbey in 1934, Tripel is a clear, golden beer with a complex fruity aroma and hoppy nuances. The ale undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, causing the increased alcohol content (9.5% ABV). This helps achieve the soft and creamy mouthfeel and complex aftertaste. Available from World Duty Free.
Maredsous beers carry the coat of arms and trefoil of the Maredsous Abbey, where it is brewed by St. Benedictine monks. The Blonde is light and fruity, with gentle hop-notes providing refreshing bitterness and is still enjoyed by the monks during lunchtimes. The Brune is foamy and creamy, with caramel aromas and deep flavour. The Triple is creamy and golden and reserved for special occasions at the monastery. Also available from World Duty Free.
Balik Beer is brewed according to an old Russian porter recipe, using malt, Russian kwas and hops. It is then matured in oak to allow sherry-like flavours to develop. It is best enjoyed at 12°C and the quality will improve with age.
True to its motto “Beer needs Roots”, Erdinger has been brewed in Erding for 130 years– in strict compliance with the Bavarian Purity Law. This variety pack includes: Erdinger Weizen, a classic wheat beer, with gentle spice and yeast aromas and mild bitterness from hops. The Dunkel is made from dark malts which provide a full-body, with flavours of caramel, nuts and fresh bread and dark brown appearance. Erdinger Kristal as suggested by the name, is crystal clear. It is light and sparkling with refreshing fruit flavours and a rounded, bitter finish. Erdinger Pikantus has a dark colour, creamy head and complex flavour profile, malty tasting with nuances of nutmeg and hints of nougat. The Urweisse has a strong yeasty flavour, with notes of clove, caramel and fruit. The lingering hoppy finish and extra carbonation make for refreshing sipping. There is also a hand-blown glass to enjoy your beer from. The pack is available from European duty free stores.
Kwak is a typical Belgian beer, with deep amber colour and a dense, creamy head. Typical fruit and malt aromas are enhanced by notes of earthy spice. The taste is a balance between spicy liquorice, caramelised fruits and hop bitterness. Available from World Duty Free.
Chimay Red is the oldest of the Chimay ales, brewed at Scourmont Abbey. It has a deep, copper appearance and rich fruity flavour. The newest product, Chimay White is the opposite with a pale hue, floral aromas and a mellow, refreshing flavour. Chimay Blue is the richest of the three, with a dark brown colour and deep caramel flavours with nuances of chocolate and spice. Also available from World Duty Free.