Alongside Latvian beer sommeliers, Maxima explored beer and food pairing at its first pop-up beer bar. The total assortment of beer in Maxima stores consists of more than 300 products, with more than 60% being beers from local brands.
“People are beginning to prioritise quality over quantity in their beer drinking. To ensure that a wide range of high-quality beers becomes more accessible to the Latvian public without having to travel a long way to a specialist purveyor, we have carefully selected and expanded the beer assortment available in Maxima stores. We offer 52 different brews from small Latvian breweries, as well as the world’s most popular international beers.
Furthermore, recognising the public’s interest in craft beer, we have grouped them all together, offering an even larger selection at 15 of the largest Maxima stores, in which special Craft Beer stands offer 23 different brands of beer. It is interesting that beer, just like wine, has delicate nuances which complement different food tastes,” explains Maxima Latvija Board Member Viktors Troicins.
“When starting to explore the varieties of beer available and experimenting in pairing beer and food, one of the easiest ways is to divide beer into different categories and match these with foods. For example, a gently hoppy, light beer goes well with chicken and fish, while a strong hoppy taste can be paired with spicy food. If you enjoy beef, try it with a dark or sweet fruity beer. And remember, desserts can also be paired with beer. If you’re eating a chocolate dessert, look for a cherry, blackcurrant or sweet dark beer,” recommends Brand Ambassador for Lielvārdes Alus Ingemārs Dzenis.
“The current global beer trend is for sour beers brewed using different yeasts, such as champagne yeast. Another beer-brewing trend is the use of different oak barrels which have previously held whisky, port or other drinks, adding new aromas to the beer. And of course, a favourite among beer-lovers worldwide and in Latvia is vibrant, bitter, smokier and fruitier hoppy beers. However, the unchanged leader among those who enjoy beer is and will continue to be lager. I should say that lagers are also constantly changing, and brewers worldwide are working to make lager more aromatic, full-bodied and varied,” explains Mežpils Sommelier Andris Rasiņš.
As part of the event, visitors were able to learn about the latest beer trends in Latvia and around the world; explore the large variety in beer and how it can be matched with various food; as well as talk one-on-one with a beer sommelier and brand representatives. Tastings of international and local beer selections included companies and brands such as Baltā Bura, Lielvārdes Alus, Mežpilsalus, Valmiermuižas alus, and the breweries Viedi and Teika.