Knowing that the distilleries basically produce a form of beer prior to the wash being charged into the low wines still for the first distillation, it follows that those of us who enjoy malt whisky probably enjoy beer also.
Have people experimented to find out which beers go well with which malts?
I'm obviously biased, but I truly believe some of the finest beers come from here in Australia. (Don't ever, ever, pay any attention to Fosters. It may be the biggest beer to get exported from Australia to the world, but ironically it's the one beer that the majority of Aussies refuse to drink! It's awful!!)
Hahn Premium Lager from New South Wales is very malty, and goes very well with Cragganmore or Cardhu.
Tooheys Old, also from NSW, is a darker ale which sits well with a Bowmore.
Some of the fruitier beers from Tasmania (i.e. Coopers or Cascade) are excellent with a Glenmorangie or even a Macallan.
I've tried a few American beers (i.e. Budweiser and Millers Draft) but I find they're too soft and weak to compete with a good malt.
The dutch/german beers like Heineken, Grolsch, Bavaria, etc, are more robust, and they sit well with some of the Islay malts, but particularly (and strangely enough) Bunnahabhain. Also, I found Heineken and Glenfarclas an enjoyable combination!
There's some food for thought. Or drink?
it seems I'm the exception to your assumption: I do not like beer that much, I strongly prefer malts and (ahem) cognac.
I had some beers during my study and here's what I found:
most people serious about beer here in the Netherlands feel the same about Heineken as you do about Fosters. It is a good example of great marketing though.
(BTW: Heineken, Grolsch, Bavaria you mentioned are all dutch beers, no german ones.)
I think Belgian beers can suit well to malts. Not pilsner from Belgium, but traditionally brewed beers from small(er) breweries or abbeys like e.g. De Koninck, Duvel, Westmalle or West Vleteren. In Belgium they brew white, double, triple or even quadruple beers, fruity ones ('kriek') with a cherry note, beers with ABV's up to 14% and lots of other gems.
You might say that the variety of malts in Scotland can be equalled by the variety of beers in Belgium.
I don't know much about them, but if you're interested, you definitely should try them. But that I guess, is another quest.
[This message has been edited by Rudy (edited 02 June 2003).]
My favourite beers are Belgian (Cantillon, Saint-Feuillien, Chimay, Brigand, Kasteel). French breweries also produce very good beers: Grain d'Orge and Goudale, for example. I'm not sure Trois Monts is French or Belgian.
As for Foster's, yes, it is awful!!!
[This message has been edited by Jeje (edited 10 June 2003).]
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