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Archive | May, 2012

Don’t forget The Session #64: Pale Ale

The SessionThe Session #64 will be in session tomorrow (or June 1, 2012 if you aren’t reading this on May 31).

Carla Companion, the Beer Babe, will host. The topic is Pale Ale. Find two of them, drink them, write about them. It’s that simple.

We’ll be traveling and focused on things other than beer (or at least writing about it). I almost feel I should apologize for being absent, but I look forward to reading the recap next week.

Extreme. Soul. Are we talking about wine or beer?

A) Wine Enthusiast writer and noted blogger Steve Heimoff asks if a wine can have soul.

Perhaps it’s our more jaded, cautious age that does not permit me to do so, in quite that fashion. I find certain wines “fabulous,” “fantastic,” “stellar” and the like. But anthropomorphising wine isn’t my style. On the other hand, “soul” is just a word. I’ve enjoyed many wines that gave me such “a sensorial onslaught as to capture [my] complete and undivided attention.” Whether or not they had “soul,” I will leave to others to determine.

I wouldn’t call soul just a word. Quite honestly, more than six years after I added the tagline “In search of the soul of beer” here I’m still looking and occasionally wondering just what that means. But there’s more to it than trying to find “stellar” beer.

B) If you’ll recall, I’m a fan of Wine Wars, in large part because the book takes the “sideways” view. Author Mike Veseth has announced his next book will be called Extreme Wine (Honest to goodness, I typed beer right after extreme; pure force of habit.)

Where Wine Wars probed the center of the world wine market, Extreme Wines focuses on edges based on the same theory that wine lovers use when they tilt their glasses “sideways” and analyze the liquid’s rim: the forces of change first make themselves visible at the outer limits.

This, of course, is good reason to consider the role of extreme beer. In fact, this table of contents is just waiting for somebody to replace the word wine with beer. And maybe throw in the words barrel-aged, Brettanomyces and hops.

1. X-Wines: In Vino Veritas?
2. Extreme Wine: Best and the Worst
3. The Fame Game: Most Famous, Most Forgotten and Most Infamous
4. Sold Out: Rarest, Most Unusual and Most Ubiquitous
5. Money Wine: Cheapest, Most Expensive and Most Overpriced
6. Extreme Wine Booms and Busts
7. Extreme Wine People
8. Fifteen Minutes: Celebrity Wine
9. [The Medium is the] Message in a Bottle: Television, Film and the Web
10. Around the World in 80 Wines: Extreme Wine Tourism
11. Extreme Wine by the Numbers
12. Tasting Notes from the Edge

The Session #64: Woohoo! A return to style

The SessionCarla Companion, the Beer Babe, has picked the topic for The Session #64 and it is Pale Ale. Find two of them, drink them, write about them. It’s that simple.

The Session has taken many twists and turns since the first one in March of 2007, many of them delightful. But I never would have predicted 64 gatherings in that a) we’d still be doing this, b) we wouldn’t yet have focused on pale ale.

Looking back at Jay Brooks’ archive I see we’ve also somehow overlooked IPA. Oh, my.

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