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Craft beer cheat sheet

Craft beer has never been cooler than it is right now in London – but what if you don’t know your porter from your IPA? TNT enlisted beer sommelier Steve Livens, a supporter of the Let There Be Beer movement, to make us a cheat sheet…

Pale Ale

The colour: Light copper to golden.

The taste: Enormously refreshing, easy drinking beers with an approachable balance of dry, biscuit malt and fragrant, floral, fruity hops.

Pair with: Light summery salads and beer tapas – aka pork pies and Scotch eggs! TRY: Redemption Pale Ale (Redemption Brewery, Tottenham); London Pale Ale (Meantime Brewery, Greenwich); and London Fields Pale (Brodie’s Brewery, Leyton).  

IPA (India Pale Ale)

The colour: A similar, burnished copper colour to pale ale, but a much stronger taste.

The taste: Toffee, marzipan, marmalade, grapefruit, pepper and spice flavours jostle for prominence and marry up with even more fruity, citrus and grapefruit aromas.

Pair with: Strong cheeses or darker, strong meats.

Try: Shoreditch Triangle IPA (London Fields Brewery, Hackney); IPA Citra (Kernel Brewery, Bermondsey); Five O’Clock Shadow American IPA (Weird Beard Brewery, Hanwell).


Dark beers, porter and stout

The colour: Deep, ruby red to oily black.

The taste: Toffee, caramel and plum fruit and the dark, bitter, smoky character of chocolate and coffee.


Pair with: Try porter or black IPAs with dark, roasted meats. Enjoy a stronger, richer shot of stout to finish a meal with a dessert or cheese.

Tty: Get down and dirty with Kernel’s darker beers – Export Stout, Baltic Porter or London Porter. 


Wheat, wit and weizen

The colour: Cloudy

The taste: Coriander, orange peel and even raspberries or cherries can be thrown into wheat beers, while the use of different yeast strains introduces flavours and aromas of banana and cloves. Light, refreshing, creamy.

Pair with: Lighter, summery dishes, but also a perfect match for spicy food – especially when shellfish is involved.

Try: Camden Wheat (Camden Town Brewery); Meantime Raspberry Wheat (Meantime Brewery).

Let There Be Beer celebrates the British beer industry. Follow @lettherebebeer on Twitter or see.



Photos: Getty; Thinkstock; Facebook  


A battle brewing: Great British Beer Festival vs London Craft Beer Festival, which will you choose?
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