Craft beer has become somewhat of a ‘thing’ these-days; the drinkers and the brewers are fairly easily recognisable, at least when it comes to the gentlemen, with their below-the-chin-beards and attire which to a degree resembles a modern lumberjack.
New breweries are being set up at a record rate (170 last year alone) and the UK can now boast more breweries per head than any other country in the world.
So it isn’t such a wonder that these craftsmen are putting their own spin on everything they come across. Even champagne.
No, nobody is playing a trick on you, it’s the genuine article.
Champagne beer is one of the latest novelties in the beer world. It’s a light and sparkling drink which looks and tastes more like champagne than beer. This beer style is also referred to as ‘brut beer’ or ‘biere brut’.
What makes it so unique is that during the brewing process, the brewer uses champagne yeast instead of the regular beer yeast. This is what gives it the looks and carbonation and a flavour that is close to real champagne.
Some of these beers actually undergo their second fermentation in the cellars of the Champagne region - which basically means it’s the real thing!
Biere Brut may not yet be on the shelf of your local corner shop, but it is readily available online from beer merchants, and is considerably more economic than champagne. All the refined bubbles with a smaller price tag – even more of a reason to give this tipple a try!
We’ve compiled (below) some of the most popular choices for you, so next time you’re raising a glass in celebration, why not give champagne beer a go? But beware, you may never look back!
Deus Brut des Flandres, 11.5%
Created with the sophisticated beer drinker in mind, this potent yet refined brew is matured in the Champagne region of France where it undergoes a similar fermentation process to your traditional bubbly. This tipple is medium bodied and effervescent, complex, flowery-biscuity, basically just a delight in a glass. A bottle of this sets you back £19.95 when ordered through www.deliamo.co.uk
Malheur Brut Cuvée Royale, 9%
This Belgium delight is golden, almost straw-like, with high carbonation for those extra bubbles. The brewing process has tried to reduce slightly the malty fullness, caramelisation of body and grainy dryness and to impart an edge to its crisp acidity. The beer pours with a beautiful foamy top and is a sure fire way to win over any doubting thomas who thinks beer can never replace champagne. A bottle costs a mere £17.80 so click your way to www.beermerchants.com as soon as you can.
Kasteel Cru, 5.2%
Finally, the odd one out. Kasteel Cru is a delicate lager, pale straw in appearance, with streaming bubbles rising to a sharp, white foam. The beer's aroma is lifted by its lively carbonation, with light and slightly fruit-like characteristics. The first taste delivers an immediate 'zing' from the carbonation, and a natural acidity is created by the special yeast during fermentation. This enhances the refreshing and moreish character of the beer. You can even buy a whole crate of this for a mere £44.99 at www.theonlineofflicence.co.uk