With beer flavour on course to change direction, is there more?

Change can take many forms. Sometimes it is a subtle almost imperceptible movement in direction, whilst at other times a more evolutionary pattern seems to emerge.

Rarely is it an immediate transition, but escalation of change is subject to one overriding factor, demand, and beer flavour has seen seismic shifts in direction in recent years. 

The primary change has taken place in the world of hops, and the influence they have exerted on beer flavour. 

The exotic varieties from the New World are charming drinkers (many who are new to beer for the first time. including women)  with their seductive overtones of tropical, passion or kiwi fruits, offering something akin to New world wines. This in itself of course is no bad thing, but what of the broader picture...

Whilst ever more assertive hops are being developed and introduced (with increasingly high alpha acid contents) you begin to realise that some of the more subtle nuances of beer composition are being lost to the immediacy of hop appeal. 

This can introduce a one dimensional element, stifling the more complex interwoven flavour characteristics that is said to be the defining factor in elevating the worlds greatest brews above others. 

I was reminded of this recently when I came across a beer (admittedly a lager, and not an ale, and an industry dominated by national giants more accustomed to neutrality of flavour in this case) which encompassed the qualities which sets great beers apart from others by the sheer quality it offers. 

The beer was Ayinger Jahrhundert Bier at 5.5% alc/vol from Germany and the lager was originally produced to celebrate the companies 100th anniversary.

The brew was an excellent example of how a beers 'house style' can produce such complexity of flavour that you feel you are in the presence of something special. From the aroma, through to the delicate subtlety of flavour, there is an element of sophistication which sets this brew apart from others. 



The beer showed how the components, hops, malt, water and yeast can come together and produce a beer which harmonises flavour, holding it in an intriguing delicate balance. No one aspect dominates, but you discover different facets of its character as subtle notes begin to reveal themselves on tasting.

It is the complexity of the brew which is beguiling, throwing up new directions, shape shifting, and challenging your senses.

As with all great beers there is an elusive quality, which makes it all the more fascinating.

Although the beer would no doubt accompany light foods ( chicken, fish etc. )  to appreciate it fully, and gain the most from the beers complexity, it does not need such distractions.

It is a beer that asks your senses to delve deeper to unlock the nuances that make it so special, and discover the brewers art at its most giving, articulate, and ultimately, rewarding.


For details on retail stockists for Ayinger go to:   http://elitebeer.co.uk/#

                                                                                                   TO RETURN TO ARCHIVE CLICK ON ARROW TOP OF PAGE


Make a Free Website with Yola.