Here at Yorkshire Craft Beers, we firmly believe there is a beer out there for everyone. Light or dark, sour or sweet, there will be a beer for you somewhere. A style that may get overlooked, or even questioned because of its name, is the table beer. Are you expected to drink it whilst sitting at a table? Or was it created atop a table? Actually, its name likely harkens from the world of wine…
Traditionally a continental style, the table beer was created as a lower percentage option for those seeking a lighter option, or a beer to be shared at meal times. Because of its lower ABV, table beer usually was served in a larger vessel with the intention of being shared amongst diners or a family, much like a table wine. Enabling people to enjoy a beverage (or several) with a meal, allowed this style to flourish without too much risk of a headache the morning after.
But what are the characteristics of a table beer? As discussed, the ABV is lower in these beers (usually ranging from 1.5%-3%) which naturally gives the beer a lighter body. Whilst beers that are stronger would usually feel slightly thicker, modern table beers offer a similar experience in both flavour and aroma despite the lesser quantity of alcohol.
Because of their lesser strength, table beers are extremely versatile and can be paired quite excellently with food, provide a good starting point if drinking/tasting several beers, or be drank as a palate cleanser between meal courses or between beers.