World Beers and Samuel Smith Fruit Beers
This is from Merchant du Vin, America’s Premier Specialty Beer Importer.
We have said it many times: as beer lovers we feel fortunate to live in the present day. Beer choices are vast, and beer flavors range widely in ways that have never been matched in history.
Part of the beauty is the number of beers that beer consumers can choose – from inside the USA, and from around the world. (One of the commonly-vented frustrations on consumer beer websites is still “Dang – I’ve heard of that excellent beer, but I can’t get it where I live.” They want and expect to have access to every beer in the world!)
There’s two issues, really: One is where a great brewer happens to be located – the brewery could be near you, but many will be far from you. The other is whether a region does add an identifiable character to a beer. (While not claiming to be unbiased, we think it does . . . . and the debate is endless: when you taste a Traquair House Ale, does the flavor somehow reflect the nearby Tweed River, the old wooden primary fermenters, the hills and climate of Peeblesshire? To say nothing about which is better, can you taste the difference between a Belgian ale and a Belgian-style ale brewed outside Belgium? Don’t English ales have as one of their characteristics a character, a combination of flavors, that can best be described as . . . English? Can’t you taste that Samuel Smith ferments their ales in stone vessels? Decide for yourself!)
We think that beer lovers deserve, demand and appreciate beers from around the world as part of their choices.
Brewers seem to agree – look at the great current wave of collaboration between American and European brewers: they travel to each others’ breweries, build recipes together, share ingredients, and release them with multiple brewery names on the label – something that would have been unheard-of just a few years ago. But after all, brewers are beer lovers.
The Brewer’s Association, a trade group for American craft breweries, seems to agree as well. Their marketing efforts here in the US are – of course – focused on American beers, but in 2004 they started an Export Development Program with a USDA grant. The BA is helping to export American craft beers to Europe and Asia – in fact, as they point out, total US craft beer exports have increased 110% since 2003, and 25% in 2008 alone. We may be a bit jealous that we can’t get a USDA grant, but we say – kudos! We think a beer lover anywhere in the world should be able to enjoy a wide range of fine beers, whether they live close to no breweries, or only a few, or many.
Even beer marketers and salespeople seem to agree: they choose names for beers that reflect the global nature of great beer – saisons brewed in the US, tripels at most brewpubs, IPA brewed at Belgian breweries. (Er . . . one note to enthusiastic beer marketers: there is no “Trappist-style.” The term “Trappist” in any form is appropriate on beers from one of seven breweries, period.)
Take delight: at your local store, bar and restaurant you can find great beer from many, many excellent breweries that may be far away. And a sincere thank-you to you wholesalers, accounts and consumers that are not only finding them but buying them: Craft Beer sales – that is, World Craft Beer and American Craft Beer – are growing faster than any other beer category.
Samuel Smith Fruit Beers
Samuel Smith’s Organic Fruit Beers – Cherry, Raspberry, and Strawberry. These innovative, handcrafted USDA Certified Organic beers, announced last month, are at fine beer spots now. Sales are ahead of our forecasts, so we apologize if you experience an out-of-stock . . . we’re working hard with the brewery to get more to you soon!
Samuel Smith’s Organic Cherry Ale shows vibrant cherry character and glowing pink color underpinned with rich malt flavor to create an unparalleled fruit ale. OG 1.065; ABV 5.1%; IBU 16.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Ale has a dramatic and mouth-watering appeal from the natural acidity of organic raspberries; smooth body, finishes dry with appealing raspberry aroma. OG 1.065; ABV 5.1%; IBU 11.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Ale is soft and subtle, with the sophisticated and elusive flavor of fresh strawberries beautifully married to clean, smooth malt. An elegant beer. OG 1.065; ABV 5.1%; IBU 14.