I say it right away: the supermarket is not (yet) a good place to buy beer. Of course, there are no shortage of exceptions, and chains like Coop, Esselunga, Iper or other large centers sometimes offer interestingly brewed products mixed with the chaos of increasingly camaleonian industrial beers. The enthusiast has no problem to immediately understand that he has had luck and fills the trolley of Saison Dupont on offer, but the able-bodied consumer how does he orient himself in front of a shelf? Here are some simple tips to try to limit the damage.
1) You will not have another beer if not bottled . Forget about cans and drums, to drink well we have to turn to glass. And possibly dark glass, because it is suitable for preserving beer. So we also take out the transparent bottles. And also the lime …
2) We are not at the island of the famous. We discard the brands that we saw on TV advertising: those with the stunning blonde, ice buckets or beer drank. If you are not an expert you probably know only famous brands. And famous brands means industry: beautiful and without soul. And no, the beer that my grandfather drank no longer exists. That brand has become a budget line for some multinational companies. No amarcord, let’s go on.
3) Reading is important . The label of a beer can sometimes help us a lot: first we read the ingredients (even if they are starting to disappear … alive sincerity). As we do not like to read “fruity” because we want real fruit, so we want barley malt, wheat, rye or oats. Not corn or rice which are substitutes of lower quality, and a mass-produced beer symptom. Then we read where the beer is produced and by whom: if the manufacturer is a code-fiscal code and the production plant can be in different countries then the spy “Beer to avoid” flashes wild.
4) Do not make it strange. Let’s skip the “exotic” beers; Japanese or Jamaican labels are often produced in Europe under license.
5) Do not be Uncle Scrooge . Good beer often costs a little more. If a liter of beer costs less than one euro on the shelf … we understand each other, right?
6) Belgian roulette . Often the good beers that are found at the supermarket come from Belgium: Trappiste and Dupont to begin with, but also Achuffe or Duvel can give more satisfaction than a Peroni. Unfortunately, even the best traps are (or appear to be) Belgian. Avoid various devils or demons, pirates, abbeys and unknown monks, also because you will often discover that they are all produced by a single company.
7) Experimentation leads to perfection . Throw the bottles you do not know into the cart. At home, try them and try to understand if they have an identifiable taste, if they satisfy you and if, after all, you like them. You will thus have a more concrete idea of your tastes and, hopefully, you will launch to a pub (maybe one of the good ones …) to level up.
In the end, it is useless to do sophisms: if you like a Forst Sixtus, drink it tastefully. But one day, when you drink a BiBock, you will feel a difference that you can hardly do without.