Summer days mean festive flavours

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By Bob Anthony

With the mercury rising rapidly, it’s no surprise that brewers are looking to tap into the drinking market with beverages tailored to the festive season.

There appears to be a growing number of brewers who are turning their attention to light, crisp drops modelled on the lines of cervezas from Mexico and Latin America and some of the rice- based brews from Asia.

Among the brewers trying their hand in this market is Balter Brewing who have released their Cerveza which is a very easy drinking drop and well suited to the warmer months (and beyond).

It is a crisp clean lager but still retains good flavour and is very refreshing on a hot day.

It doesn’t try to outdo its more well-known overseas counterparts such as Corona or Sol but is definitely worthy of consideration if you are inclined to those beers.

Moreover, I personally don’t think you need to add lime or lemon to this brew as there is enough in the flavour to deliver as is.

It comes in a very stylish 355ml bottle and at four per cent, it is a good full strength beer that should appeal to a very broad market.

It doesn’t sit heavy in the gut and there is enough bitterness in the aftertaste to bring you back for more.

It would go well with fresh seafood, salad dishes or Mediterranean-style foods.

It is a beer which I think will appeal to those looking for a thirst quencher and to those who aren’t big beer drinkers but are looking for something refreshing.

Balter isn’t the only craft brewer looking to venture into this area with brewers, Modus, Yulli and even Little Creatures having a crack at this style of beer.

For home brewers, there are a number of companies putting out cervezas such as Morgans and Coopers and I can speak from experience that with the right yeast, good water and conditions, you can create a bloody good drop at home.

However if you can’t wait that long, Balter Cerveza at around $20 a 355ml six pack is definitely worth sampling.

Another interesting trend which is growing in the market is the range of zero alcohol beers.

At first I thought “what’s the point” but if you have to drive or be responsible at a function, and still want to enjoy a drop that has that beer flavour, those aren’t bad alternatives.

The challenge for the main players in this market is provision of the zero brews, especially in pubs and colours.

Since they don’t have an alcohol content, they can’t be chilled for the risk of freezing in the beer lines, hence they are sold in stubbies or cans.

Brews News Australia publisher Matt Kirkegaard said the zero alcohol market was interesting to watch because while there was no excise due to the lack of alcohol in the brews, making a zero alcohol beer was an expensive process.

With that in mind, perceived cost savings were to some extent, negated by the production of the brews.

“The flavour and quality of some of the zero alcohol beers is very good and if you are someone who enjoys have a beer for flavour rather than for alcohol content, they are pretty good,” Matt said.

“There’s also the aesthetic of having a beer which comes in a stubbie and looks like a beer and taste like one when you are out – especially if you are driving.”

The marketing behind zero alcohol beers hasn’t reached any great heights as yet even the thought here seems to beer a growing acceptance of them.

I think the price point is something which will determine the popularity of these brews more than anything though in terms of responsibility, they present a good option.

If you haven’t tried a zero brew, do your own taste test at home or better yet with some mates and see if they can tell the difference.

Cheers

Bob

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