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Beers of the World section International Focus

The Czech Republic gave the world its most popular beer style. Alastair Gilmour sends his thanks

The house lights dim; a ripple of applause sweeps the auditorium; a familiar tune begins as Tony Bennett raises the microphone. Spotlight, anticipation, the moment. “I left my scarf... in Cesky Krumlov...” The celebrated crooner may not have mislaid his muffler, but I certainly did earlier this yea...

By Alastair Gilmour from Issue 19 published on 30/07/2008

Des de Moor shows that the Dutch have more to offer than just Grolsch and Heineken

Think of a once-proud brewing nation that not so long ago had become a virtual desert for discerning beer drinkers, where a handful of huge commercial brewers dominated the market, offering little choice but gassy, characterless international brand lager. Then think of a nation that within a couple ...

By Des de Moor from Issue 18 published on 19/06/2008

Charles D cook explores Belgium, the ultimate destination for any beer fan.

Belgium is often known as The Beer Country, and not without good reason. This small country produces what might seem a bewildering array of different beers and beer styles to the casual visitor. However, exploring Belgium’s great beers and beer culture is a worthy endeavour, one which you’d likely ...

By from Issue 16 published on 25/01/2008

Julie Ihle visits White Cliffs, an organic brewer whipping up a storm Down Under.

In a land best known for sheep and strangulated vowels, when you see a sign for ‘Real Ale – 1000 litres Ahead,’ you know you are in for a treat. White Cliffs Brewery in New Zealand’s bucolic North Island is on the west coast, squeezed between a snow-capped volcano, Mount Taranaki, and the Tasman Se...

By from Issue 16 published on 25/01/2008

Although better associated with grape than grain, the nations of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal still have much to offer the beer lover. Richard Jones reports

It is a much maligned experience in some of the more hardcore beer circles bringing with it overtones of characterless, mass produced ‘Euro fizz’. Yet while the wine industries of France, Spain and Italy might be the envy of the world, a glass of Sancerre or Pinot Grigio doesn’t quite hit the spot a...

By Richard Jones from Issue 15 published on 01/12/2007

For years we've been told that Australians wouldn't give a XXX

They say Australian men love a cold beer on a warm day – and if the day’s not warm enough they’ll put on a heavy coat. In fact, Aussies down about 110 litres of beer each a year, according to figures released by Japan’s Kirin beer company, which means they just miss a podium finish in the world bee...

By from Issue 14 published on 04/10/2007

Roger Protz goes behind the scenes at the gigantic Heineken brewery in Amsterdam

Small country, big beer. Heineken is a beer colossus, the world’s fourth biggest producer and, the company claims, the most profitable. This success has been built by breaking out of the straight jacket of the Dutch market, with a population of just 14 million, and going global. The figures spelt o...

By Roger Protz from Issue 14 published on 04/10/2007

The Eastern European countries of Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Latvia are still producing some exciting beers. Adrian Tierney-Jones reports

Late at night in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius and I am hunting for an elusive Baltic porter. As I amble along the quiet streets, a chap crosses the road from a group of idling taxi drivers and asks if I am looking for anything. A pause “Like girls?” he says. Not at the moment thanks, I quickly...

By Adrian Tierney-Jones from Issue 13 published on 03/08/2007

During the last few decades the USA has experienced a beer revolution. Gary Monterosso reports

"You’ve come a long way, baby,” was the signature phrase for a popular advertisement a generation ago. It was meant to symbolise the peculiar relationship between smoking a certain brand of cigarette and the liberation of women. Perhaps that passage could be more relevant in describing the state of ...

By from Issue 12 published on 25/05/2007

Alright , so it might not be a German beer but we just love puns. Sally Toms gets to grips with some of the true beer styles of Germany

It is widely agreed that there are certain things the Germans can do very well: cars, for example; household appliances; being efficient; and most definitely beer. Sweeping cultural statements aside, the Germans are certainly proud of their beer. They would like to tell you this is down to the Rein...

By Sally Toms from Issue 11 published on 23/03/2007

Belgium produces the most varied collection of beers in the world; Roger Protz reveals what the beer lover will find there

Belgium is the cornucopia of the beer world. It froths and foams with a vast and diverse offering of the fruits of barley and wheat. A small country rent by political and linguistic antagonisms, united by its passion for beer. This passion is not confined to connoisseurs and brewers. It spills over...

By Roger Protz from Issue 10 published on 26/01/2007

Andrew Catchpole visits the Boon Rawd brewery in Bangkok, birthplace of the successful Thai lager – Singha

Bangkok takes pride in the soubriquet of consistently hottest city in the world. Walking the traffic-choked streets, as the mercury nudges 35ºC, with the afternoon humidity rising like a runaway sauna, it’s difficult to disagree. This is one very steamy town indeed. It’s the kind of place where e...

By Andrew Catchpole from Issue 9 published on 22/11/2006

Altbiers are the dark, top-fermented ales popular in Düsseldorf and the Rhineland, as Adrian Tierney-Jones
reports

Several brewers will tell you that yeast is the unsung hero of the brew-house. Malt is the soul of beer, hops the grapes, while even the liquor, especially in the old Burton breweries, has its halo. Poor old yeast is the workhorse, though without it what would tease out alcohol and carbon dioxide du...

By Adrian Tierney-Jones from Issue 9 published on 22/11/2006

The Aztecs claim to have invented beer, and Mexico’s modern brewing scene is thriving. Gary Monterosso reports

Think of some of the world’s cradles for brewing history and there’s little doubt that Germany, Belgium and England would be among the first to come to mind. Yet, evidence exists that the Aztecs, long before the influence of the Spanish and Germans, made a beverage from corn in Mexico. The drink, m...

By from Issue 9 published on 22/11/2006

The Netherlands has had a rough ride from beer aficionados but is it really that bad? Dominic Roskrow reports

Have you ever wondered whether Dutch beer is better than sex? Thought not. But some 15 years ago I did. Not any old sex, either – filthy, depraved, stoned backstreet sex with prostitutes. Perhaps I should explain. In 1991 I returned from New Zealand to live in London. In my late 20s, with few fri...

By Dominic Roskrow from Issue 8 published on 27/09/2006

Although the big brewers still dominate, new regional brewers are springing up all the time, reports Andrew Burnyeat

The growing popularity of beer and football is spreading peace and harmony across the world. Not since fish and chips have two cultural pillars so perfectly complemented one another. At the recent World Cup in Germany, Japan supporters could be seen in the streets of Munich highfiving with Ivory C...

By from Issue 7 published on 28/07/2006

South African beer is on the up. Rob Allanson looks at what is on offer

Let’s get it out of the way first. South Africa in previous decades or so has had a bad reputation when it comes to tourism. Which when you see this fantastic red earth country really is a shame. This beautiful land has seen some of the worst man can do to man, from no go areas to harsh governmen...

By from Issue 6 published on 18/05/2006

Planning a trip to the World Cup? Richard Jones provides a guide as to what to drink and eat

Whether you’re fan or foe of the beautiful game, it’s impossible to ignore the 2006 World Cup in Germany this summer. Thirty two teams from fanatical (and ambivalent) football nations will descend on 12 venue cities to play 64 matches in June and July. The World Cup Final in the Olympic Stadium in ...

By Richard Jones from Issue 5 published on 24/03/2006

More and more people are taking the Eurostar train to Belgium to sample its beers at first hand. So how do you make sense of its many styles? Lewis Eckett reports

How did it happen? When did it all go right for Belgium’s beer makers? When did the beer world Cinderella get to go to the ball, dressed to the nines, leaving the sneers of ugly sister France in its wake? And no longer care about the jibes about being boring and the fact that they serve frites with ...

By from Issue 3 published on 12/01/2006

Ireland’s beer consumption has been dominated by stout in general and Guinness in particular. But as the country changes through new wealth, are its drinking patterns changing too?

If it didn’t have such negative connotations, you’d say that Guinness hangs over Ireland’s food and drink industry like a great black cloud. Guinness has so dominated its market that not only has the beer it produces become synonymous with all things Irish but the company name has almost become the...

By from Issue 2 published on 16/11/2005

The beers of the Czech Republic have long been revered but in recent years they have become widely available, too. Are they still as good? Ben McFarland reports

The Czech word for beer is pivo. If you’ve been to Prague it’s a word you’ll no doubt be acquainted with. Not knowing the word for beer in the Czech Republic is akin to not knowing the word for sun block in the Sahara. In terms of vernacular, it’s vital. Pivo is a Slavonic word meaning ‘the most o...

By Ben McFarland from Issue 1 published on 26/08/2005


 
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