Thanks mainly to the efforts of the
grass-roots group "Georgians for World Class Beer," House Bill 645
finally passed the House and Senate in 2004 and updated Georgia's
outdated beer law that limited beer sold in the state to less than 6%
alcohol. This new law was wonderful news for Georgia beer fans
who are now able to enjoy some of the world's richest and most
flavorful gourmet, high-gravity beers! The new brands have been
extremely popular in the state thus far in terms of sales. It's a
great time to be a gourmet beer lover in Georgia! Below are
descriptions of some of these beer styles now available for sale in
Georgia. Remember that when savoring these classic brews, it's
all about quality and not quantity. Cheers!
are rich and malty German lagers that range from deep gold to dark
brown in color and have an intense toast and toffee aroma and flavor
from the use of bold German malts. The bitter hop aspect of these
beers is barely noticeable, as the sweet malt character
dominates. Examples: Paulaner
Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Sam Adams Double Bock.
Weizenbock is a strong
version of a dark Bavarian wheat beer. It is filled with rich
aromas and flavors of clove, banana, caramel, and wheat, and has a
definite alcohol presence. Bottled versions taste best when the
yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle is poured into the glass
along with the rest of the beer. Example: Aventinus.
Strong Scotch Ales have a
character that is deeply malty with caramel notes. There can also
be peaty and smoky aromas and flavors with hints of roasted or smoked
malts. There are also notes of plum, raisins or dried fruits in
the thick flavors, and alcohol warmth is usually present. This
beer is like a dessert in a glass. Examples: Traquair House Ale, McEwan's
Scotch Ale, Belhaven Wee Heavy.
Russian Imperial Stouts
are rich and complex with lots of alcohol character backed up by
roasted malts that provide coffee, dark chocolate, or slightly burnt
tones. These are the strongest Stouts in the world and are
jet-black in color with flavors of dark grains, hop bitterness, and
fruity esters from the ale yeast fermentation. Examples: Samuel Smith Imperial
Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.
Imperial IPA is a big
version of the classic India Pale Ale. These strong, malty pale
ales are golden amber to medium copper in color and have a huge spicy,
citrusy hop aroma, flavor and bitterness. This style is a recent
American innovation. Examples:
Rogue I2PA, Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, Terrapin Rye Squared.
Belgian Dubbels are dark
amber to copper in color and have malty flavors of raisin, plum, clove,
and caramel. These beers originated from the monasteries of
Belgium in the middle ages and are very fruity and complex. Examples: Westmalle Dubbel, Affligem
Dubbel, Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale.
Belgian Tripels and Strong
Golden Ales have a color that is deep yellow to gold, and
flavors that are spicy, fruity, alcoholic, and softly sweet.
There is a bit of spicy hop character along with substantial
carbonation which provides a creamy head. Examples: Westmalle Tripel, Affligem
Belgian Strong Dark Ales
have aromas that are very complex with malty sweetness and bready
notes. Sweet dark fruit and malt flavors provide for a rich
mouthfeel and warming alcohol character. Examples: Rochefort 10,
Chimay Grand Reserve, Kasteelbier Donker.
Barleywines are ales
brewed to the strength of wines. These powerful beers have
intense fruity, malty flavors and aromas, and are very warming.
Hop bitterness and aroma can be mild in English versions and quite
spicy, resiny and predominant in American brands. These beers are
best on cold nights in front of a roaring fire. Examples: Young's
Old Nick, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.