What’s The Deal With Sour Ales? (And Which Ones Should I Try?)

Fruity, tart and complex, the flavor profile of sour beer is sure to leave a lasting impression on your palette. And as the craft beer market continues its upward trend with sour ales by its side, you may be wondering how this distinct beverage gets its tartness or which style you should try next. Continue reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind brew. The Deal with Sour Ales - Columbia Distributing

How Sour Beers Are Made

Where does sour beer get its trademark tartness from? The answer – bacteria and wild yeasts. Introduced into the brewing process, these two ingredients are responsible for the majority of sour beers. The most common agents used to deliberately sour beer are:

  • Brettanomyces – Brett is a strain of yeast used to slowly ferment beer and produces funky brews, a subset of sour beer.
  • Lactobacillus – Used to convert sugars into lactic acid, lacto is a bacterium that creates sour styles with crisp, clean sourness in a short amount of time. Lacto is often found in Gose and Berliner Weisse brews.
  • Pediococcus – Like lacto, pedio is a bacterium that lowers the pH level of the beer by creating lactic acid. However, pedio is known for its funkier flavors and aromas.

Some brews, like Lambic, are made by leaving coolships, or big open vats, of wort exposed to the outside air, letting wild yeast and bacteria ferment the beer naturally. Then, they are aged in barrels and later blended for consistency.

What Sour Beers Should I Try?

As you peruse the beer selection of your local grocery or liquor store, you may notice the sheer variety of sour ales, from Lambic to Berliner Weisse to Gueuze to Gose. Consult the following flavor profiles, and choose the sour beer that best suits your personal taste.

Flanders red ales – These are a great choice for those new to the world of sour beer. Generally light-bodied and reddish-brown in color, they are characterized by sharp, fruity, sour and tart notes.

Berliner Weisse – On warmer days, go for a Berliner Weissbier. Pale-gold in complexion, Berliner Weisse beers are refreshing, tart, sour and acidic, and typically feature a lemony, citrus sharpness.

Lambic – Crisp, yet tart, Lambics are light-bodied beers with little to no hop flavor or distinctive bitterness. Lambic varieties are often blended with fruit to balance out the brew’s sour nature.

Gueuze – If you’re looking for a dryer, yet fruitier, flavor profile, seek out the traditional Belgian Gueuze, which is made by bottling both young and old Lambics together and aging them for about two to three years.

Gose – A German sour ale, Gose is slightly tart, yet highly refreshing. This brew features a signature spice and dryness attributed to the addition of salt and coriander.

Contact Columbia Distributing today to learn more about the sour ales and other alcoholic beverages we distribute.

 


H2O Decoded: Sparkling Vs. Still Water

You spent the past hour at the gym working out and are now on the road to recovery. As you go to grab a refreshing bottle of water from the cooler, two different options catch your eye – still and sparkling. Regular water has always been your lifeline, but sipping sparkling varieties is such an enjoyable experience. Then, the question hits you. Are there really any differences between the two? After all, they’re both just water, right? Before you replace your old standby with a bottle of sparkling water, consider the different processes and flavors and how they relate to your hydration needs.

Why Sparkling Water BubblesWater

A satisfying fizzle emerges from a just-opened bottle of sparkling water. Slightly above the water’s surface, tiny bubbles dance in harmony. As you enjoy your fizzy beverage, you wonder, “What makes sparkling water bubble?”

Made by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure, sparkling water is produced by a process called carbonation. Known by many names, including club soda, seltzer water and mineral water, carbonated water is much the same as regular, still water, except that it contains bubbles and may also consist of other beneficial minerals and additives.

Pamper Your Taste Buds

Sparkling water is an enjoyable alternative to still water. Offering an immersive drinking experience, sparkling water can be found in a variety of thirst-quenching flavors, from lemon-lime to wild berry to coconut pineapple. Like regular water, you can also flavor sparkling varieties with natural ingredients found around your kitchen, such as mint leaves, cucumber, lemon and lime slices and other fresh fruit. With so many delicious and invigorating options to choose from, reaching your daily water intake requirement is both simple and enjoyable.

Meet Your Hydration Needs However You See Fit

Whether you’re cooling off after a long run or quenching your thirst throughout the day, both still and sparkling water serve the same basic purpose – hydration. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite bubbly beverage or stick to plain water. The choice is up to you.

Contact Columbia Distributing to learn more about our selection of still and sparkling water.

 


Mocktails To Add To Your Menu

6 Mocktails To Add To Your Menu

Although traditional cocktails will always have a special place on your menu, the growing trend of non-alcoholic mixed drinks, otherwise known as mocktails, might make you think twice about your restaurant’s beverage options. Accommodating non-drinkers, creating a more inclusive environment and ultimately boosting sales, mocktails help diversify your specialty drink list. In need of some inspiration? Sift through the recipes below to help craft your own mocktail menu.

Strawberry soda that tastes delicious and refreshing.

#1: Virgin Moscow Mule

An alcohol-free twist on a fan-favorite cocktail, the virgin Moscow mule combines lime juice, ginger beer, simple syrup and to create a refreshing, citrusy drink with a spicy edge. Serve in a copper mug and garnish with a slice of lime and ginger for a classic touch.

#2: Cran-Apple Cider

As the leaves turn to shades of deep burgundy, crimson and fiery orange, patrons may be in the mood for a delicious mocktail inspired by autumn. This cran-apple cider recipe consists of two basic ingredients – cranberry juice and apple cider. For an enticing look, rim the glass with sugar and add a seasonable apple slice.

#3: Roy Rogers

Although the Roy Rogers mocktail is named after Hollywood’s most famous cowboy, its flavor profile closely resembles that of a Shirley Temple. Simply fill a highball glass with cola, add a splash of grenadine and finish with a maraschino cherry.

#4: Shirley Temple

Speaking of Shirley Temple, this traditional non-alcoholic drink is a staple in the world of mocktails. The sugary sweet Shirley Temple contains lemon-lime soda and grenadine and is topped with a maraschino cherry for good measure.

#5: Mojito Mocktail

Marked by a distinct minty flavor, this mojito mocktail may just be the refreshing summer drink your regulars have been searching for. Combining fresh mint, lime juice, soda water and sugar, this alcohol-free mojito offers non-drinkers a thirst-quenching concoction for when the warmer weather moves in.

#6: Mock Champagne

Special occasions call for celebratory drinks. This mock champagne recipe can be enjoyed by expectant mothers, abstainers and children alike. Simply combine ginger ale, pineapple juice and white grape juice to craft a light, enchanting mocktail.

For every event, bar and restaurant, Columbia Distributing offers a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages. Browse the brands we distribute, or contact us to see how our selections can accommodate your mocktail menu.


Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Of the many wellness drinks available, coconut water has captured the attention of many people due to its numerous health benefits.

Coconut Water

Nutrient Content

Coconut water comes from young fruits, and if the fruits ripen, the water changes into solid coconut meat. The water is 94 percent liquid with just traces of fat. This beverage is also rich with minerals, as it contains magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.

Weight Loss

The low fat content of coconut water makes it an ideal part of a weight loss regimen. It’s a low-calorie way to still feel full while dieting.

Digestion Aid

Just as many people swear by kombucha or other wellness drinks for digestion, the high fiber content of coconut water makes it useful as a digestion aid. It may also help with acid reflux and indigestion symptoms.

Hydration

A high potassium content and low sugar content make coconut water a natural energy drink that’s healthier than its artificial competitors. These hydrating properties also make coconut water a natural hangover remedy after consuming too many alcoholic beverages because it helps replenish lost fluids while settling the stomach.

Blood Pressure

When electrolyte levels are skewed, people may experience high blood pressure. The minerals present in coconut water can stabilize electrolyte levels and have a positive impact on blood pressure.

Antioxidants

The antioxidants present in this beverage can have a beneficial impact on free radicals, which cause damage to cells and deplete collagen production. Several laboratory studies have shown a decrease in rats’ free radical activity when they were given coconut water.

Blood Sugar Levels

Studies have also shown a reduction in blood sugar levels among diabetic rats given this drink. The same rats also showed a reduced amount of hemoglobin A1c, which is a long-term measurement of blood sugar control. The magnesium present in coconut water can also have a positive impact on insulin sensitivity for people with type 2 Diabetes.

The low caloric content and high nutritional content of this beverage make it a worthy addition to a list of wellness drinks.

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Six Unique Kid-Friendly Beverages for Birthday Parties

A child’s birthday party is the perfect time to get creative. Many parents coordinate decorations, food, and tableware to match a theme, but they may overlook a fun opportunity—the drinks! Here are six unique beverages to serve at a kid-friendly party.

Homemade summer cold raspberry beverage with crushed iced and raspberries.

Shark Bite

This delicious drink is sure to make a splash at any summer-themed party. Mix some pineapple juice, Body Armor sports drink – Mixed Berry flavor, and 7-UP together. Pour into individual glasses, and just before serving, add a splash of grenadine (a thick cherry-flavored syrup). To truly sell the theme, drop in a gummy shark.

Kid-Friendly Sangria

Bring some class to the party with this age-appropriate twist on an adult favorite. Mix a juice of choice (cranberry juice works well for this), Canada Dry ginger ale, and sliced fruit and berries like oranges, limes, pineapple, strawberries, and cranberries. Just like sangria, the longer it sits, the fruitier the flavor it’ll punch.

Raspberry Sparkle

Fizzy beverages are always a hit with kids. Combine raspberry sorbet, raspberry juice, and carbonated water for a fruity twist on a classic party punch. As a bonus, this is easily adaptable to almost any other flavor for children who may not like raspberry.

Extra-Special Shirley Temple

Mixing grenadine and 7-UP is the easiest way to make this old-timey drink. Put a unique twist on it by freezing cherries and throwing them in. They’ll keep the beverages cool without watering them down!

Horchata

Having a piñata? Serve horchata along with it! This is a Mexican rice and cinnamon drink that the kids will love. Blend uncooked rice and water together and let it sit for several hours. Then, strain and throw away the rice. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks to the rice water, then chill and serve over ice.

Color-Changing Drinks

This is perfect for younger children who love a fun surprise. Put a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of a glass and let it dry. Before serving the drinks, fill the cups with ice. Let the kids pour their own beverages (a clear soda works best), and then watch in awe as the food coloring magically changes the color of the drink!

Be sure to follow @ColumbiaDistributing on Facebook for more seasonal drink recipes and the latest drink trends!

 

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