Crafts & Imports = Better Flavor

December 8th, 2011
Move over, Bud Light drinkers. Or maybe we should say: Move up. The hottest move in beer drinking today is toward craft and imported beers and away from lager-style lights, according to representatives of Sigel's and Centennial, two of Dallas' largest retailers. Young adults' buying patterns have changed, says Centennial senior vice president Ron Cockerham. The second- generation baby boomers are more image-conscious and want to purchase brands that project a positive or cool image. Among the coolest right now are craft beers Blue Moon Belgian White: and Fat Tire Amber Ale, both Belgian-style ales made in Colorado. Blue Moon is a lighter-type beer that's totally different from a lager beer, says Sigel's top beer man, Bruce Calhoun. It's a wheat-style beer, a sizzling category in its own right. Wheat beers tend to be mellow, even creamy, with subtle, complex layers of flavor. With a lot of today's craft beers, squeezing a wedge of orange or lemon into the drink is de rigueur. Orange brings out the orange peel that's part of Blue Moon's formula, and Widmer Hefeweizen, another trendy wheat brew that's made in Oregon, pitches the virtues of a lemon slice on its Web site. That's not such a leap, when you consider the tradition of serving lime with Mexican beers such as the ever-popular Corona: , Dos Equis: and Tecate: Heineken: and Heineken Light: also are hot imports, Mr. Calhoun says. Mr. Cockerham adds Stella Artois:, another Belgian, to the list. The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek serves a version of fruity Belgian amber ale: Hougaerdse DAS, made by the Hoegaarden brewery with dried coriander and orange peel. Michael Flynn, the Mansion Restaurant's new master sommelier, says the nice acidity helps it go well with food. (Master sommeliers are required to learn about spirits and beers to earn their credentials.) For an occasion such as a Super Bowl game, he recommends pairing Belgian or Belgian-style ales with foods such as fish and chips, simply prepared chicken, nachos, or old-fashioned chips and dips. Save queso and salsa, he says, for more aggressive lager beers such as Sam Adams:, another craft favorite. Pierce,K.(2008)Try craft and imported beers for better flavor. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 23,2008, from