We kinda missed Oktoberfest, but wine club wanted to try our hands at expanding our beer palates beyond Bud Light and Yuengling.
With that aim, we went to the Biergarden in Portsmouth, which has the hands-down best beer selection of foreign beers I've seen in the area. The beer was great...the service? Not so much.
We ordered three samplers of beers from the U.K., Belgium and Germany. Shocker: the German beers were my faves.
United Kingdom Beers:
- Young's Double Chocolate Stout: This is a beer I already knew I liked, but it can be difficult to take in a big glass. The chocolate flavor is subtle, not too syrupy, which I think sets it apart.
- Tetley's English Ale: I like this beer, too, but no one else in the group really liked it. They said it was slightly bitter, but I like it's fruity aftertaste.
- Smithwick's Irish Red: The table favorite out of the U.K. beers. Light, fruity with a great finish. I could imagine it would be a great beer to have with almost any meal.
- Murphy's Stout: The wikipedia entry compares this beer to chocolate milk, but I'm not buying it. If anything, the beer reminded me slightly of anise. Not my fave.
- St. Bernardus ABT 12: Very sweet, very strong. It was too sweet for me, frankly.
- Lindeman's Framboise Lambic: Beautiful raspberry color, but the flavor was almost too raspberry. It was tart, but delicious.
- Delirium Tremens Beer: This beer has been named the "Best Beer in the World" in recent years. It was very good, but not my fave of the night. It was sweet and light, with hints of honey.
- Wittekerke Belgian White Ale: Jen's favorite; a citrusy, light ale that Erica said reminded her of a Reisling. Very nice.
German Beers: (Shockingly, I couldn't find a picture of my favorite, but let it be known I loooooooved the German beers)
- Spaten Franziskaner Hefeweizen: Very sweet, fruity beer that almost reminded me of lavender and honey.
- Schneider Aventinus: A thick beer with a strong taste of honey, but not overly sweet.
- Hacker Pschorr Golden Lager: My FAVORITE. I wrote in my notes: "Bubbly, fruity, like champagne of beers." Forget you, Miller High Life.
- Ayinger Celebrator: Rich, delicious thick beer. Ashleigh said it reminded her of toffee, which was right on the money.
Needless to say, I still have a lot to learn about beers in general, but I learned I love German ales (which are probably the equivalent of reislings). Hoping to have some of these again soon!