By Lindsay Trivers
September, 06 2017
For those looking to unleash their inner beer nerd, Hop Fest
is back! This hugely successful, bi-annual beer tasting/concert
is the perfect chance to taste beers that are rarely available in the UAE, however even to the most rabid and brew savvy connoisseurs, walking into the humungous tent and seeing the smorgasbord of ales on display can be a bit overwhelming. So with that in mind here’s our advice on some don’t-miss-beers to try this Hop Fest:
English Ales, whilst wonderfully addictive, tend to be quite bitter and served a touch on the warm side, whereas US beers come loaded with invigorating flavors and aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit. For those looking to have the best of both worlds, 13 Guns is an English beer made in an American Craft style. Comparatively subtle in intensity compared to many other IPA’s this is a great gateway beer for those getting into craft beers.
Mountain Goat IPA
This story of this brewery is every beer lover’s secret fantasy come to life – two mates who started home brewing, found they were good at it and turned their hobby into one of the fastest rising craft breweries in Australia. Mountain Goat will be the first Aussie beer available in the UAE market that’s made in small enough quantities to be classified as a craft beer, and it comes action packed with malty flavours and a malty taste of caramel to offset the classic hop induced pine and mango characters of an IPA.
Brooklyn East IPA
We love talking about Brooklyn Beer, not just because it’s a pioneer of the craft beer scene, but also because the brewer first learned to make beer in bathtubs in the Middle East when he worked here as a photographer in the 1980’s. Using four types of hops to achieve its huge aromas of pine, grapefruit, and lychee, Brooklyn East IPA is finally due to enter the UAE market in a keg! Just in case you fall in love with it and need more after Hop Fest is over it’s already available on draft at Black Tap.
Rouge’s Dead Guy Ale
If perfumy, hopped, craft beers don’t tickle your fancy but still want to drink a high-quality craft brew this is definitely the one for you. Created in honor of the Mayan Day of Dead, this beer has achieved iconic status in craft beer circles, winning an endless list of international awards along the way. From its initial, deeply roasted malt, it gets a deliciously dark amber color and rich, nutty, toasted aromas, combined with a surprising touch of sweetness.
Hop House 13
St. James Gate is, and always has been where Guinness is made; however, behind the scenes, they are always working on other beers too in their experimental Warehouse 13. Using the same, secret yeast strand that is in Guinness, they’ve now created this double-hopped lager that’s clean, refreshing and thirst quenching, yet thanks to that second dose of hops it comes with an additional hit of bitterness, body, and aroma. Hop House 13 has been on the market internationally for a few years now, and this is its intro to the UAE.
If you’d like to know more about The Tasting Class and our fun and interactive beer and wine classes held across the UAE, check out our website The Tasting Class or contact [email protected] to book the ultimate treat – they can organise a private tasting or even great wine and dinner at home, or you can get the location of our next public tasting here.
The Wines we tasted