Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, know that I enjoy a drink every now and then, especially when the drink is something special, not just your random club drink.
When it comes to wines or whiskies, we have plenty of options to choose from available in Lebanon. Perhaps as a nation, we know our wines best, with countless amazing chateaux and a taste for foreign vintages as well. Single malt and blended whisky lovers also have a wide range to choose from. However, I’ve always felt that not enough attention and consideration was given to the beer lovers in Lebanon.
With only a handful of notable beer breweries in Lebanon, and a few, often seasonally available imported beers, there isn’t much choice for Lebanese consumers who want to drink the alcoholic beverage that helped shape modern civilization.
That’s until five new craft beers were introduced onto the Lebanese market in 2018, and I had the chance to taste them all before my trip to Canada along with a few good friends of mine like Gino and Brahms!
AFLIGEM Blonde — Belgium (Alc% 6.8)
Afligem Blonde was one of my favorites. The Belgian brew is infused with tropical fruits, which give the golden beer a roundness in your mouth. If you swirl your pint a bit, then the aromas you’re likely to pick up on are banana, spices and hoppy aromas.
BIRRA MORRETI — Italy (Alc% 4.6)
This brew, one of the biggest in Italy, felt and tasted like what you imagine beer should taste and feel like. The bitterness is just right, and the aroma of hops is what dominates the smell that is also just right, without any surprises like fruity or spicy aromas.
LAGUNITAS IPA — USA (Alc% 6.2)
Lagunitas IPA is a champion of IPAs stateside, with the hints of caramel malt barley clearly discernible along with the hops aroma and taste. If you’re an IPA fan, then this is the beer for you from the 5 new craft beers in Lebanon. Personally, I’m not an IPA fan.
LAGUNITAS LITTLE SUMPIN’ — USA (Alc% 7.5)
What makes Little Sumpin’ special, is that it’s made from 50% wheat and 50% malted barley, then dry-hopped with scrumptious NorthWestern hops. If beers with a lot of wheat is your fancy, then try this little sumpin!
LAGUNITAS DAYTIME — USA (Alc% 4.65)
With an alcohol content of 4.65%, Lagunitas Daytime has a name that is pretty accurate. You can enjoy this beer without interrupting your day’s busy schedule. Dry hops and toasty malt foundation make the taste perfect to wash down whatever you’re having for lunch.
My favorite was the Aligem Blonde, with the Moretti a close second. Little Sumpin’ was my least favorite, as I prefer barley over wheat in the beer I drink. You can find these new craft beers at Spinneys, Carrefour and selected pubs and restaurants across Lebanon.