Flavoured beer a summer treat

Beer season is officially here. Nothing goes down better than a frosty cool one when the weather heats up. Although many die-hard beer fans balk at the concept of flavoured brews, there are just as many who adore them. Fascinating additions to the brewing process add interesting aromatics and flavours to the finished products making for some beautifully scented, tasty selections. There are literally hundreds out there, many award-winning. Check out some of these good ones.

Samuel Adams Merry Maker – This US-produced, 9 per cent alcohol by volume beer is chock-full of herb and spice. Dark brown in colour, it is very rich and warm with essences of pumpkin pie spice, pepper, clove and chili.

BrewDog Cocoa Psycho – From the UK comes this lush, dark, coffee and chocolate delight. At 10 per cent ABV, it’s sweet and viscous. Like sipping an espresso infused with chocolate truffles and a hint of chili heat!

Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout – Crème Brûlée lovers will adore this 10 per cent ABV US-made creamy, heavy brew overabundant in vanilla, toffee, butterscotch and roasted/toasted notes.

Bière Du Vexin Ambrée Au Miel – France produces this tasty, sweetish, 7 per cent medium-bodied nut brown brew that smacks of honey, hops and chestnut.

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel Rosée d’Hibiscus – This Quebecois 5.9 per cent wheat beer offering is very pretty in the glass, like pink grapefruit. Delicate tropical floral, grapefruit and orange notes with a slight spicy nuance on the nose and palate make this different, but enjoyable.

Samuel Adams Fat Jack – Another goodie from US brewer Sam Adams! A copper-coloured, 8.5 per cent brew that oozes with allspice, spicy cinnamon and fruitcake. Yummy!

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – A smooth and silky, dark chocolate/mocha British brew with firm cocoa notes, 5.2 per cent ABV. Reminiscent of chocolate cupcakes.

Fujizakura Heights Beer Rauch – This 5.5 per cent Japanese dark brown beer is all about smokey flavours. Hickory bacon, sweet malt and a touch of prune in a bottle.

Red Truck Christmas Cake Ale – From BC comes a delightful, 5.2 per cent ale with all the flavours of Christmas cake: dried fruit, allspice and even ginger.

R&B Spirit Chaser Sumatra Coffee Porter – Again from BC comes this 4.8 per cent lighter porter with delicate chocolate tones and roasted coffee notes that increase as the beer lingers on the palate.

Fraoch Heather Ale – An easy-drinking, crisp, clean, 5 per cent Scottish tipple that is pleasantly floral, reminding one of a bouquet of flowers.

Samuel Adams Blackberry Wit – Sam Adams does it again with this golden 5.5 per cent beer with gobs of raspberry, strawberry, apricot, peach and sorbet aromas and flavours. Fruit salad in a bottle!

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale – A seasonal, lighter, 5.9 per cent US brew with delicate pumpkin and spices like cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon. A good one to try if you’re not really into flavoured brews!

Redoak Special Reserve – Australia delivers with this lovely vanilla, sweet malty 12 per cent brew that offers up flavours of dark fruit, rum and treacle.

Hitachino Espresso Stout – A delicious, deep brown Japanese 7.5 per cent beer that’s perfect for espresso lovers. Rich aromas and flavours of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt come together in this heavier stout.

Cantillon Lou Pepe – Kriek Lambic – A phenomenal 5 per cent cherry red Belgian classic brew with truckloads of vibrant sour cherry complexity and acidity. One of the best!

If you’ve never tried flavoured beer, give it a go. It could open up a whole new world of liquid enjoyment for you.


Edward Finstein is a wine writer, award-winning author, TV and radio host, educator, judge

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