Beers for Valentine's Day
8 February 2016, By Jonny Garrett
We’ve read a lot of articles about Valentines day beers, and most of them have been awful.
Here at Beer Merchants we don’t subscribe to the idea that different genders drink different kinds of beer. We’ve sold enough beer to know that Lindemans Kriek goes to as many men as women, and the same can be said for Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
Our tastes evolve from the moment we’re born, we train ourselves (consciously or not) to like certain things. Some people prefer sweet things, others salty things, or sour things. When it comes to bitter things like beer it’s even more complicated, because we can become desensitized. Just like you get used to spicy food by eating lots of it, the more bitter beers you drink the less extreme they will taste. So we believe it’s nurture, not nature, that informs our tastes.
So all you can really conclude is that different people drink different kinds of beer – and you won’t find us pandering to any bizarre notion that women only like fruit beers. That said, there is a cherry beer in this list, but only because it’s bloody amazing with chocolate.
This world-famous Belgian pale ale is the Negroni of the beer world. Intensely pithy and herbal, but balanced by a little sweet orange and sherberty malt. It’s a fantastic aperitif that opens your stomach, cleanses your palate and goes really well with crisps, which is the vol au vant of the 21st century.
Your partner may well ask what a white IPA is – which will be a great talking point if you know the answer. It’s one of those styles that makes German’s start twitching, because it isn’t a style at all. It’s a combination of the IPA and the Belgian wit beer – essentially an IPA brewed with wheat and, if the brewer is feeling particularly traditional, orange peel and coriander. The result is a slightly sweeter hoppy blonde, with lots of citrus and a velvety mouthfeel. Perfect with your fish course.
We’re going to assume you’re having something light because of all the courses, so we’ve gone for a hoppy, juicy beer that would make a wonderful accompaniment too lots of things – but especially Parma ham-wrapped chicken. More importantly though this is a sharing bottle, and sharing is caring. Right?
Yeah, yeah, we started this with a rant against beer sexism, but there is simply no better match in the world than dark chocolate and cherry beer. It turns into a Black Forest Gateau in your mouth, and it’s quite simply the best feeling in the world. Also, this beer is completely unsweetened and uses plenty of very old lambic so it’s got very little residual sweetness, save that lovely heady almond aroma.
Once you’re well and truly stuffed you need a digestif to get that stomach working. You don’t want to be too bloated for… actually I won’t finish that sentence. Anyway, higher alcohol drinks encourage the stomach produce vital chemicals for digestion and they don’t come much stronger or better than Black Eyed King Imp. This incredible Imperial Coffee Stout is also loaded with caffeine which can also help. If you’re feeling really decadent, stick a scoop of ice cream in.