EDITOR’S NOTE: Having trouble sorting through the seemingly endless variety of new beers rolling out of breweries? Relax, a new book is here to help. In The World Atlas of Beer: The Essential Guide to Beers of the World, experts Tim Webb and Stephen Beaumont reveal everything you need to know about suds, including reviews of more than 500 of the world’s best brews. Beaumont breaks down five to start with on the following pages.
La Trappe Quadrupel (10%) Brouwerij de Koningshoeven, Berkel-enschot (north Brabant) The only trappist brewery outside Belgium, which invented the term quadrupel in 1991 to describe a new, strong, sweet winter brew. The beer has gained greater respect in recent years, since aging in a mix of old port barrels and new oak has brought greater complexity.
Tripel Karmeliet (8%) Brouwerij Bosteels, Buggenhout (east Flanders) The most overtly sumptuous and spicy variation on blond tripel is brewed from a three-grain mash including oats, making it sweeter, softer and grainier. A great comfort beer.
Cascade Kriek Ale (7.3%) Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Portland (Oregon) As its name suggests, Cascade ages many of its beers in oak barrels, including this sweet and tart ale that spends eight months in the company of cherries to develop a deeply fruity, cherry stone accented flavor.
Black Butte Porter (5.2%) Deschutes Brewery, Bend (Oregon) Well on its way to becoming a craft beer legend, this is American porter’s proper evolution, creamy and a bit sweet, with chocolate malts balancing on the edge of hop bitterness.
Dieu du Ciel Route des Epices, (5%) Dieu du Ciel!, Montréal & St Jérôme (Québec) Dieu du Ciel! partner and lead brewer Jean-Francois Gravel has a deft hand with unusual ingredients, like the peppercorns flavoring this rye ale with a spiciness that never overwhelms the appeal of the bready, vaguely cocoa-like malt.
Reprinted with permission from The World Atlas of Beer © 2012 by Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, and Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photos sourced from feelscript.blogspot.com, reittausblogi.info, brusselspictures.com, grub.gunaxin.com, dentonbeertap.com and bythepint.com.