- If you're familiar with other alcoholic drinks, your existing preferences can help you select appealing beer styles. For example, port enthusiasts often favor stout. Old ale usually appeals to brandy drinkers, and Champagne aficionados often enjoy wheat beers. Try to choose a variety with similar levels of carbonation and fruitiness.
- Always check how much alcohol a craft beer contains. If you usually consume mass-produced beverages, you might expect all varieties to consist of less than 5 percent alcohol. However, many local breweries produce much stronger beers. Remember to select a drink with an alcohol level appropriate for the activities you have planned.
- Choose a variety that complements your meal or snack. For instance, perhaps you have ordered a pungent Mexican dish. You can moderate the spiciness with a brown ale, porter or stout. Autumn seasonal beers often go well with zesty foods. In general, try to select a flavor that matches the meal's sophistication and intensity. Enjoy dark ale while you savor a complex entree, and pair light beers with simple foods.
- Try a seasonal craft beverage. These drinks feature ingredients suited to the current season's weather and festivities; for example, a winter beer normally contains more spices and alcohol. Pale ales, wheat beers and pilsners provide greater refreshment and also go well with fruit. These attributes make them particularly appealing during the summer. You can find spring, autumn and holiday varieties as well.
- Look for recently brewed beers. Most craft beverages taste better when you drink them less than four months after production. Some bottles feature helpful "enjoy by" or "born on" dates. Brown ales and stouts tend to retain their flavors longer than other beer styles. You can benefit from fresher beers by supporting local breweries; their products don't need to travel long distances or repeatedly change hands.
If you visit or live in coastal Maine, be sure to check out the top-notch craft beverages at Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery. This Rockland establishment offers exclusive drinks that will satisfy any beer lover. It serves pints, beer flights and delectable meals. You can also tour the brewery or take part in a trivia competition. For more information, please call 207-593-7488.