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11 Obscure Beer Styles That Are Worth a Try

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Sure, stouts, India pale ales, and hefeweizens are tasty, but if you want to venture away from the beaten path for your next beer, give one of these styles a shot.

1. Grodziskie (Grätzer)

A smoky wheat ale that originated in Poland, Grodziskie is a long-lost cousin of Berliner weisse. Like Berliner weisse, it is low in alcohol, occasionally tart, and highly carbonated, but it also features a unique smoky twist thanks to the oak-burning kilns used to malt the wheat. Lichtenhainer is a very similar German take on the style that historically tended to be wilder and sourer in character.

Examples to Try: The Monarchy Grätzer, Professor Fritz Briem Grodziskie, Lichtehhainer Freigeist Abraxxxas

2. Gose

This medieval German style is currently enjoying a renaissance in the United States. Gose is a top-fermented wheat beer brewed with salt, coriander, and souring cultures. While gose originated in Goslar, it became the regional specialty of Leipzig and as such was allowed an exemption from the Reinheitsgebot (the German purity law). A traditional gose showcases notes of lemon, spice, and salt, but modern takes have added quirkier ingredients like cherries, yuzu, and dry hops. Some examples have even been aged in tequila barrels.

Examples to Try: Bahnhof Liepziger Gose, Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose, Westbrook Gose and Gozu, Off Color Troublesome

3. Chicha

The official beer of Peru is literally made with spit. Traditional chicha brewers chew on maize to allow natural enzymes from their mouths to unlock the grain’s fermentable sugars. While this practice may sound unsanitary, the grains are then boiled and sterilized of wild yeast and bacteria. Although there are very few commercial examples available in the U.S., there is a thriving culture of homebrewed chicha in South America, with variants ranging from unfermented, sweetened chicha for children to more adult-friendly chichas brewed with spices, fruits, and chiles.

Examples to Try: Dogfish Head Chicha, many unlicensed chicherias in Peru

4. Sahti/Gruit

Beer has historically been defined as a beverage made from hops, malt, water, and yeast. How do drinkers deal with a climate that won’t support hops? They improvise, of course! Sahti is a traditional Finnish ale style that is bittered using juniper twigs. It generally features rye malt and estery yeast, giving it notes of spice and banana. The Gruit style is more varied in execution and can combine numerous bittering herbs, the most common being sweet gale, yarrow, and heather.

Examples to Try: Lammin Sahtia, Off Color Bare Bear, Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Gruit, Upright Special Herbs

5. Dampfbier

Before there was steam beer, there was dampfbier. This Bavarian style uses a wheat beer yeast strain without actually including any wheat in the grain bill. Brewed mainly in the summer and fermented at high temperatures (70 degrees Fahrenheit or more), a classic dampfbier will feature notes of clove and banana.

Examples to Try:  Dampfbierbrauerei Zwiesel Dampfbier, Surly Dampfbier, Local Option Dampf Loc

6. Kottbusser

Another German beer that defies the German Reinheitsgebot purity law that restricted the definition of beer to only including barley, hops, and water, kottbusser recipes include adjuncts like oats, honey, and molasses. While this style originated in Cottbus, roughly an hour’s drive southeast of Berlin, it was essentially extinct until North American breweries revived it. A kottbusser drinks like a sweeter, smoother, nuttier altbier.

Examples to Try: Off Color Scurry, J Wakefield Kottbusser

7. Joppenbier

Another historical style rescued from the grave, Joppenbier is a high gravity, spontaneously fermented Dutch beer that combines elements of English barleywine and Belgian lambic. While the only commercially available example is a speculative recreation, historical sources describe the beer as having a port or sherry-like sweetness followed by a vinous acidity and sourness from the wild yeast.

Example to Try: Witte Klavervier Joppenbier

8. Burton Ale KK

What’s old is new again! Originating in Burton-on-Trent, the Burton ale was a popular English ale before being supplanted by pale ales and IPAs. The KK designation denotes that the beer was for “Keeping,” meaning it was high in both alcohol and hopping. When Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project attempted to recreate the style using a historical recipe from 1901, the brewers discovered that the combination of roasty, dark malts and aggressive hopping was a dead ringer for a more modern beer style: the Black IPA.

Example to Try: Pretty Things Once Upon a Time 1901 KK

9. Faro

If you find lambic too wild or sour, you might be interested in its kinder, gentler cousin. Faro is sweetened with candi sugar and may also include common Belgian spices like orange peel and coriander. A true historical faro would never have been bottled, as the added sugar would ferment and cause the bottle to explode, but modern versions are pasteurized to avoid this problem. Faro has historically enjoyed a poor reputation that continues to this day—Charles Baudelaire likened it to sewer water, calling it the “beer that you drink twice.” You’ve got to be at least a little curious after reading that description.

Examples to Try: Cantillon Faro, Girardin Faro 1882

10. Koyt (Kuit)

Before this Dutch ale was driven to extinction by the rise of lager, it was mainly brewed with oats and wheat. There is some debate among beer historians on whether koyt was lightly hopped or bittered with herbs and spices like gruit. While we may never know the truth, modern interpretations come across as a creamier take on the pale wheat ale.

Examples to Try: Witte Klavervier Kuit, Jopen Koyt, Reuben’s Brews Koyt, Beau’s Dubbel Koyt

11. Kentucky Common

A pre-Prohibition ale brewed in the Louisville area, the modern version of the Kentucky common is a distant cousin of bourbon that also uses corn and rye in a sour mash. The result? An easy-drinking brown ale with a slight tartness and acidity.

Examples to Try: Local Option Kentucky Common, Against the Grain Kamen Knuddeln, New Albanian Phoenix, Lervig / To Øl Kentucky Common

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New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]

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