Four Unique Import Beers You May Not Have Tried

Home/Beer/Four Unique Import Beers You May Not Have Tried

Four Unique Import Beers You May Not Have Tried

Moa Breakfast Lager:

Situated in the famous winemaking area of Marlborough, New Zealand, the Moa Brewery was established in 2003 by Josh Scott, the son of famous Marlborough winemaker Allan Scott. His focus is on creating super premium handcrafted beers that feature New Zealand hops and are bottle conditioned. The name Moa (pronounced ‘more’ according to their web site) come from New Zealand’s now extinct flightless bird.

Their Breakfast Lager is a light bodied effervescent beer that features a hint of cherries on the palate.

5.5% ABV. $21.99 for a 4pk of 375ml bottles.

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale:

Hitachino Nest beers are a brand of quality top fermented ales from the Kiuchi Brewery in Naka, Japan. The brewery began in 1823 as a sake brewery, and began brewing beer in 1996. Imports to the U.S. began in 2000. The brewery offers a wide variety of award winning beers. The Japanese Classic Ale is designed after the British India Pale Ales that made their way to Japan in the 19th Century. The beer features classic British Kent Golding and Fuggles hops, and is aged in cedar casks, the same type of casks that are used in the brewing of traditional sake.

7% ABV. $6.49 for a 12oz bottle.

Traquair Jacobite Ale:

The Traquair House Brewery is situated beneath the chapel of the oldest inhabited house in Scotland. The Traquair House was granted a royal charter by King Alexander I in the year 1107, and served as a retreat for 23 monarchs, a refuge for persecuted Catholics, and a bastion of support for the Jacobites’ long conflict to regain the Scottish throne lost in 1688. The Jacobites were supporters of the Roman Catholic James II of the Stuart family, who was deposed in 1688 and replaced by his daughter Mary II and her husband William III. Records show that a brewery was in operation at the Traquair House as far back as 1566. The brewery had fallen into disuse by the early 1880’s, but was revived in 1965 by Peter Maxwell Stuart, a descendent of the Stuart family himself. The brewing equipment was intact, including open unlined oak fermenters. His first beer was the Traquair House Ale, evolved from an 18th century recipe. The beer is a dark ale which is fermented in oak barrels, and features coriander, more often used in lighter wit style beers these days.

8% ABV. $7.99 for a 500ml bottle.

(The information on the Traquair House and its history came directly from Garrett Oliver’s Oxford Companion to Beer, in a section written by Alastair Gilmour.)

Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock Rauchbier:

The Schlenkerla Brewery is the most famous brewer of rauchbiers (smoke beers) from the city most famous for the style in the world, Bamberg, Germany. The medieval city is something to behold, with its stone gatehouse on the river and cobblestone streets. The Schlenkerla beer hall is a traditional half timbered building first mentioned in a document in 1405 (then known as the Blue Lion.) The name Schlenkerla is Bamberg slang for “Schlenkerer”, one who has a habit of swinging their arms as they shuffle along. Andreas Graser, who acquired the pub in 1877 had this habit, and the name stuck with him, his brewery and his beer. The word “Aecht” means “true” or “original”. Rauchbiers are made from barley malt that is kiln dried over an open fire of aged beechwood, giving the beer a smoky, bacony flavor. The rauchbier brewing tradition dates back at least 5 centuries, and the traditional open fire malting method is still used to this day. The Schlenkerla brewery makes a Marzen, a helles type lager, an Urbock (available in the fall), a Doppelbock (available in the spring), and a Weissbier.

6.5% ABV. $5.99 for a 500ml bottle.

(The information on Andreas Graser and the history of the Shlenkerla Brewery came directly from the Oxford Companion to Beer, in a section written by Horst Dornbusch).