Get ready to take your palette on a global tour, stopping off at some of the world’s best brews along the way. With the end of the availability of summer seasonal flavors quickly approaching, and fall and winter brews just around the corner, now is the perfect time to expand your horizons a bit and taste some of the must try beers that are making their mark around the world. A couple of the varieties below are a little trickier to find, and a couple are old favorites that you may have had before, but one thing’s for sure; they’re all delicious and if you haven’t tried them yet you’re missing out.
Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale
Give summer a proper send off with this scrumptious brew. Paradise Valley Grapefruit Ale is a summer seasonal crafted by Whistler Brewing Company, and time is running out for you to sample the 2015 batch.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pour a pint of this ale is its fruity aroma and cloudy golden appearance with subtle pink hues that become visible in the sunlight. Upon first sip and you’ll immediately feel refreshed by its crisp citrus notes and delicate grainy flavors. The tangy grapefruit finish may startle you at first, but you’ll find yourself craving this fruity favorite soon enough.
Sterling and Willamette hops, known for their floral and fruity notes, make up the base of this brew. Dried grapefruit rinds are then added to give it that signature flavor that makes it, as the brewery’s website says, “the perfect patio beer.”
At 5% alcohol by volume (ABV), you can have a few of these without falling over, unlike some of the other brews on this list. You may have sampled this summer blonde with a twist at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, where it has been on tap all summer. This is definitely a beer you need to find before it vanishes for the season.
Two Hearted Ale
Two Hearted Ale is an IPA crafted by Bell’s Brewery, based out of Kalamazoo, MI in the States. For the most part, this beer is available all throughout the US year round, so make sure to ask for it in your local liqour store or watering hole.
Named the “Best IPA in the World” by RateBeer.com last year, who describe this brew as “perfect for Hemingway-esque trips to the Upper Peninsula,” this beer was named after the Two-Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. When you first pour it, you’ll be immediately notice its hazy golden orange appearance. Savor your first sip as the intense hop aroma and malt balance reaches an equilibrium on your taste buds. Two Hearted is crafted with Centennial hops, a citrusy variety imported from the Pacific Northwest, so it’s well equipped for the BC brew connoisseur.
Centennial hops are added twice during the brewing process for a powerful punch of flavor. This beer’s unmistakable signature taste, harmonious aromatic balance, and clean finish make it the perfect choice for the avid IPA drinker. Though the flavor is strong, it’s not one you’ll quickly tire of, making it easy to see why Two Hearted is a favorite in the States and one of our must try beers. Be careful with this one, though; at 7% ABV it can sneak up on you, so make sure you take it easy.
Guinness Extra Stout
Guinness is the go-to Irish brew, and almost every self-respecting pub has it in some form or another. We highly recommend you ask your bartender or local liqour store for a batch of the Extra Stout, brewed right in New Brunswick.
Guinness is a brewery based in Dublin, Ireland, with a long-running history. Today, they have expanded all over the world, making their beer one of the most accessible international brands. However, the Extra Stout can be hard to find in the States.
While most people think of a stout as a particularly heavy drink, your first sip of this brew will be rich, creamy, and velvety, with a bitter finish that you’ll know to expect from a beer this dark. Its one of our must try beers, not only because of its popularity, but because the taste is mild enough for it to be a good first step for drinkers who aren’t sure how they feel about stouts. Additionally, it doesn’t have a strong flavor like many other brews that may include notes of smokey coffee or chocolate. The Guiness Extra Stout has an ABV of 6%.
Pilsner Urquell is a Czech beer known as the original pilsner, with a recipe and reputation dating back to the mid nineteenth century. Though it is now brewed by a global company, SABMiller, it has been brewed in the city of Plzeň since it was invented by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in 1842. It has a straw-gold transparent appearance when poured, and when you first sip it you’ll experience an early aroma reminiscent of fresh buttery biscuits.
As this pilsner’s taste profile develops, you’ll get a subtle malty sweetness (some have said it’s like sweet corn even) and some caramel tones. The Czech Saaz hops in this brew provide it with a tasty, bitter finish that comes as a surprise from this otherwise gentle beer.
Pilsner Urqell has such a great reputation that it can usually be found worldwide at any time of the year. Men’s Fitness praised it highly on its list of the “50 Greatest Beers in the World” saying, “If solid tradition and consistency are enough, then its dangerous drinkability make it a clear choice for one of world’s top beers.” At approximately 4.4% ABV, this is a great beer for the mid-afternoon or a prolonged drinking session.
The Great Pumpkin
This fall seasonal from Elysian Brewing Company is the reason we don’t fear cold weather. We’ll take any excuse to drink this delicious brew that comes straight out of Seattle. At 8.1% ABV you better take it easy with this one.
The golden-orange, deep copper appearance of this brew may make it appear light and innocent, but that’s not the case. Elysians Great Pumpkin Ale is packed with fall flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and plenty of pumpkin flavor. This beer gets its strong pumpkin flavor from real pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds that are added to the mash, kettle, and fermenter during the brewing process.
This brew is not very sweet unlike many other pumpkin beers, but carries a perfectly balanced spicy punch, making it the perfect beer for fall.
Want More Must Try Beers?
There’s a world full of beers out there, so bringing our list of must try beers down to just five was quite the challenge. If you’d like to read more of our beer suggestions, you can also find out about the best spring beers and our recommended unusual beers to try.
And don’t forget, each year Gibbons proudly hosts the Whistler Village Beer Festival in celebration of all the fantastic beers out there.