A very interesting article critiquing the overuse, or supposed overuse of hops in american beer. What do you all think? Agree? Disagree?
NPR talks about a new major that is hitting the country by storm, craft beer.
As the marauding hordes of craft beer geeks attack local liquor stores for Bourbon County I sat quietly sipping on a 2013 vintage of Black Tuesday by The Bruery ignoring the fleeting desire to run like a chicken with my head cut off through the internet and BUY MORE CRAFT BEER!
And upon this momentous occasion of tasting Black Tuesday for the first time I came across the following thought: is high ABV beer helping us experience more beer? Maybe yes, but also maybe no.
High ABV beer seems to be a holy grail of the dark beer experience with booming flavor and uncharted flavor profiles in the labyrinth of barrel aging. For example Samaus and Mephistopheles by Avery, Black Tuesday and Sucre by The Bruery, and The End of History by Brew Dog all give us mammoth flavors that catapult us into the outer space of big beer. They have discovered the rare air of this. And for new flavor profiles I am all for it! The uncharted territory is incredible.
But during my 2013 vintage tasting of Black Tuesday I realized (this is also post Samaus, Mephistopheles, and Sucre see my Untapped to prove it) that I could not handle this beer if it had not been aged I would not have been able to handle the flavor profile! What happens when you age beer is that the harsh and sharp flavors round out to create the perfect easy coasting turns of malt forward beers. This was my experience completely with aging Black Tuesday. I remember also when I had Sucre for the first time that the astringency of the alcohol almost burned my mouth. The sugariness almost gave me heartburn like when I eat donuts!
Long story short I am a fan of high ABV beers.
Long story short, super psyched that I aged my high ABV beer.
Thus are high AVB beers helping the craft beer scene? Maybe yes because they push the boundaries of flavor and engineering in the brewing world. Maybe not because the astringency is burning my tastebuds and I am unable to enjoy this beer.
Whatever your preference think about your beer and the best way to enjoy it.
Until next time, pour proper my friends…
Sometimes the simplest questions escape us. For example, why nitrogen in some beers and not in others? How did Left Hand get this reputation for their Milk Stout Nitro?
This quick and concise article by Left Hand Brewing gives a great explanation on why and what of Nitrogen in beer. Heck made me want to drink nitrogen infused beer! Get it!
Draft Mag is at it again with these awesome articles about beer and cheese. I think beer is hard to pair with cheese but nonetheless this starter article is super helpful. I love to just do what the article says and move forward with cheese and beer. Get out there and have some fun!
Draft Magazine has some great articles. One thing they are particularly good at is helping the younger ones get their hands on better beer. For example this article about beer for wine drinkers is really helpful and great. I work at a restaurant and find this helpful because I want to introduce people to the beauty and complexity of craft beer who drink wine only. The tendency is to think of wine as the complicated drink. But because beer has more variables is tends to be more complex and wonderful. Enjoy this article and learn about this goodness.
Just found out about the Brewers Association list of breweries per state. Very interesting for statistics. And for the brewing business as a whole it provides a very helpful global picture. Go check it out and see what your state has to offer for craft beer!
This video is great. Its awesome when companies dont take themselves too seriously.
And the 90s is just rad.
There is lots of talk about cellaring and aging craft beer. I have been doing some research and just wanted to share some resources on this subject as of recent. And now for a few summary remarks. Not all, but a few things I have learned.
1) Store upright.
2) Away from light.
3) Store at 50-55 degrees if you can.
4) Humidity around 50-70%
5) Higher ABV Beers the better. Above 10% if possible.
Now for the links
Until next time, pour proper my friends…
One of the dangers of coming from the new world is that we like things that are big, bold, and in your face. The subtle, serene, and quiet tend to be missed in the maze of wows and kazaams in the bigger and better america.
This heartily applies to craft beer in america. Take sours for example. New world sours are blowing up in a variety of styles and craziness that the traditions of Belgium never expected. Or take IPA’s. Touchy subject I know so I will tread lightly. Avery brewing, in a marvelous pun, made a “new world porter” which is really a black IPA proving that americans are taking classic styles to their borders and beyond.
This trait of the New World, most realized by the good old ‘Merica, is something to be cherished and honored but also to be used with a cautious and careful hand. If we forget the tradition which has inspired our wild witches brews then we tend to boil down to arrogant “a-cultural” jerks who don’t give credit where credit is due. However on the other hand if we fear the tradition we never experiment and try new things collapsing into the sepulcher of the past and never utilizing our individual gifts.
This is one reason why beers like The New Belgium and 3 Floyds Gratzer is such a great beer. Not because it tastes good but because these new world brewers are honoring the style while also putting their own spin on this.
I dont think the american craft beer scene is necessarily in danger of become “a-historical” because many brewers have done taken advice from the heroes’ of the old world such as Allagash going to Cantillion to figure out how to do a coolship (see the book American Sour Beers). Or for example how it was in american that the lost styles of Gose and Berlinerwiess were recovered, changed, and taken in as our own. But we always want to say Cheers to the world of tradition for the sake of new inginuity. For the love of craft beer enjoy a old world style and raise a pint to our family across the pond.