With so many different types of beer available it can be easy to reach for the ‘safe option’, but this could mean that you are missing out on a whole world of delicious beer styles!

So next time you’re deliberating at the beer fridge, be a little adventurous and let your tastebuds travel the globe with some iconic beers from around the world.

Japan – Asahi

When you think Japan you probably think sake, right? In fact, since it was first introduced by Dutch traders in the 17th century, beer has quickly become Japan’s favoured alcoholic beverage. Despite not having a very long tradition of brewing, Japan has made up for lost time with innovative advancements including the development of the ‘super dry’ brewing process.

Pale-coloured light lagers such as Pilsner are the prevailing style in Japan, often brewed with the addition of rice for a refreshing clean, crisp taste that pairs perfectly with sushi and tempura.  When enjoying a Japanese beer observe their cultural etiquette and don’t leave any beer in your glass!

Cheers = Kanpai!

Germany – Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier

Anyone who has had the pleasure of attending Oktoberfest knows that Germany is very serious about its beer. So serious in fact that German brewers are bound to a 500-year-old German Purity Law which decrees that beer can only be brewed using malt, hops, water and yeast. Germany is generally known as the home of wheat beer, or hefeweizen which is made with a ratio of 50:50 wheat to malted barley, and characterised by a little hop bitterness and notes of banana, cloves and vanilla. It is best served in a tall Weizen glass to show of a generous fluffy head of foam.

Cheers = Prost!

Belgium – Chimay

Aside from chocolate, Belgium is best known for it’s beer and for a country smaller than Tasmania it impressively boasts the greatest number of individual beer brands.

Belgium is home to a very wide variety of beer styles, but it is perhaps best known for Trappist beer which was originally brewed by monks. Trappist beer tends to be quite strong (7% -11% ABV) brown ales with a fairly heavy body, understated bitterness, notes of caramel and honey, and sweet fruity aromas.

Cheers = Santé!

Ireland – Guinness

While there is some debate around where stouts originated, they have undeniably found their home in Ireland and it’s iconic Guiness beer. This dark beer is brewed with roasted malt which is what gives it a deep roasty flavour and full mouth feel. Stouts made in the UK and USA tend to feature the addition of lactose for a sweeter flavour, and as a result Irish stouts such as Guiness became known as a ‘dry stout’, which simply means that it is straight up traditional stout with nothing added.

Cheers = Sláinte (slawn-cha)!

USA – Sierra Nevada IPA

Despite being originally brewed to quench the thirst of British troops in India, it is the west coast of the USA that has really mastered the Indian Pale Ale.

American brewers are particularly famous for their loud and complex hops, which is perfectly suited for modern day IPA’s which are very hop-forward with notes of pine and bitter citrus that make it ideal for hot summer nights. Enjoy this heavier ale with salty fried foods such as a burger and chips or tacos.

Cheers = Bottoms up!