A Classic Beer Guide for Women
Remember your first cup of coffee? You had a burning desire to move into the world of adults. There was a bit of an “aura” circling the coffee-drinking set – a diverse group, ranging from the high-powered-and-driven-corporate-types to the free-spirited-Bohemian-coffee-house-stylists and the friends-bonded-for-life-crew.
You had experienced the delicious aroma of morning coffee, wafting up the stairs as a kid. The bond was already created. An emotional magnetism drew you intensely toward that first mug. It was time...lots of sugar; lots of cream; sweet, frothy cappuccino or a dash of hazelnut flavoring to cut the bitterness. Eventually, you acquired a deep love for that bitterness, and drank it black.
Might you be ready for something tall, dark and handsome?
A Guinness Stout, perhaps?
If you have difficulty picturing yourself with a glass of this frothy hunk of muscle, read on…
Women who develop an appreciation for beer are a revered segment of the population. Although the number of female beer lovers is growing, they are still considered a rare breed – a fascination to men and a secretly-admired class by other women. When men discover a woman’s delightful knowledge on the subject, they become unconsciously enamored, seemingly seduced by her desire to connect with this thirst-quenching brew.
We enjoy the diversity of exotic foods, from salads with raspberry vinaigrette dressing to Japanese sushi or shrimp marinated in lemon. Beer holds as much exotic appeal as any food – signature types like Belgian tripel, kölsch, chocolate stout, framboise, India pale ale, weissbier, oatmeal porter, saison, doppelbock, pilsner, märzen, bière de garde, barleywine, scotch ale, and mead. The Beer Judge Certification Program currently lists 28 different categories of beer, while the Brewers Association lists 136 distinctive styles and the World Beer Cup lists 91. Within those categories and styles are hundreds of signature brews, with appealing flavors for the most discriminating palate.
Beer is versatile, due to this wide array of styles. It can be refreshing on a summer day, deeply satisfying as a warmed aperitif by a raging fire, or used as a magical ingredient in every category of gourmet cooking.
If you fear that beer will make you fat, consider reading the label, as you would with any food product. Guinness Draught has less calories and alcohol than a Budweiser. The list of low carb beer and light beer is growing daily. Some styles, particularly porters and stouts, have been nicknamed “liquid bread,” having the added benefit of decreasing your appetite for high calorie foods.
You are a woman with class and style, so always drink beer from a glass. This will allow the CO2 to dissipate into the atmosphere before it gets to your stomach where it can produce that “bloated” feeling. It will also allow your beer to breathe, which draws out the complexities in a Trappist Ale or Bavarian-style wheat beer. Many brasseries and brewpubs present your selection in a beer chalice or snifter, pleasuring your sense of smell with evocative aromas, as well.
Bitterness in beer is an acquired taste, much like your love of coffee. You may be completely satisfied with the refreshing citrus flavors in a hazy weissbier. On the other hand, a hoppy IPA may entice you with its crisp, dry nose, causing you to fall in love with its powerful, lingering bite. As you experience the diversity in style and signature, you will be drawn to those with the power to release those pleasure-seeking endorphins in your brain, much like you are drawn to your favorite “flavor” of man. Enjoy that pleasure, savoring every nuance of its sweet complexity.
Resist the temptation to get revenge for all those annoying beer commercials with bikini-clad twins. It doesn’t matter. You are opening your life to a global pleasure, one that is celebrated from San Francisco, London and Cologne to Sydney, Brasilia and Tokyo. If you are a travel buff, your social openness to the exotic styles abroad will enhance your enchantment with the colorful cultures to which you bond.
Beer is an affordable luxury. The most complex of imports is well within the price-range of reality, placing it in a class by itself.
Craft breweries, brewpubs, and European-style brasseries are the best places to sample the diverse styles of beer. Most offer samplers of four or five signature brews. You can begin to gain an understanding of the variety available, and develop a feel for the styles that float your boat.
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