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Session #121 topic announced: Bock!

The SessionHost Jon Abernathy has announced the topic for The Session #121 is “Bock!”

You know, that “beer” that is really the stuff left at the bottom of the tank after a beer ferments. Not really.
Michael Jackson once explained how that myth may have come about:

A high gravity brew was made in March and laid down as a provision to be drawn upon during the summer months. When the warm weather was over, in September and October, the last of the stock was ceremonially consumed. This may explain the resilient folklore that bock beer is made from the sediment taken from vessels during spring cleaning. A laughable story, but perhaps based on a misunderstanding of the truth.

There’s plenty beyond that myth to write about and Abernathy has lots of suggestions. The Session is March 3. I’ll be in Minnesota that weekend for a meeting of hop growers, and I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to find a bock and three.


Session #120 roundup posted

The SessionThis is what happens when you are not distracted by the Super Bowl, Super Bowl commercials or Lady Gaga.

Host Joe Tindall did not mess around getting a roundup posted for The Session 120: Brown Beer.

As I suspected, he was not able to resist posting the picture of Audrey Hepburn in a brown hat. And he passed along my favorite sentences of The Session (from Boak & Bailey): “Back in the 1990s Sean Franklin of Rosster’s ditched brown in favour of pale because he wanted a blank canvas on which hops could shine. If pale is blank, is brown noise? Or texture? Texture can be good. Noise too.”


The Session #120: There will be brown

The SessionSo are we talking #964B00 or #8B4513?

In his post announcing the topic for the final episode of The Session’s 10th season would be “brown beer,” host Joe Tindall wrote, “to refer to a traditional bitter as ‘brown’ seems to suggest it belongs to a bygone corduroy-trousered era.” An American would not write that. The last time traditional* brown bitter beers roamed these parts the Republicans were the party championing civil rights. In case you hadn’t noticed The Session has become more international than when it began 10 years ago, and contributions from across the Atlantic a) give us a different perspective and b) often arrive along with the sun here.

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Session #120 announced: Brown beer

The SessionHost Joe Tindall has announced that the topic for The Session #120 is brown beer.

The colour brown has certain connotations, some of which I won’t dwell on. But used in reference to beer, it can signify a kind of depressing old fashioned-ness – to refer to a traditional bitter as ‘brown’ seems to suggest it belongs to a bygone corduroy-trousered era. As breweries who pride themselves on their modernity focus on beers that are either decidedly pale or unmistakably black, the unglamorous brown middle ground is consistently neglected.

So for Session 120, let’s buck the trend and contemplate brown beer. This might be brown ale, or the aforementioned English bitter; it could be a malty Belgian brune, a dubbel or a tart oud bruin; even a German dunkel might qualify.

So let’s get the famous George Gobel line out of the way. “Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?” And think brown for Feb. 3.

The Session #119 roundup posted

The SessionHost Alec Latham has posted the roundup for The Session #119: Discomfort Beer.

I was particularly drawn to Jay Brooks’ post (the one we all had to wait for), because it is about a) chile beers and b) how picky and eater he is.

So unlike Alec’s experience with Black IPAs, or many people, including myself, warming to a new type of beer, chili beer seems like a love it or hate it kind of beer, with little ground in the middle. And you won’t be surprised to learn I hate them. How could there be any middle ground? Maybe your tolerance for spiciness increases over time, but that has not been my personal experience. My wife has been trying for over twenty years, as did many girlfriends before that. And while I do, believe it or not, eat many more foods today than I did when I was a child and in the intervening years, many people are still shocked at how picky I am and usually chuckle at what I consider to be too spicy. C’est la vie.

I can testify he is right about b) although I disagree, for the most part about a). If you judge chile beers based on Ed’s Cave Creek Chili, an out of balance gimmick, then he is right. But we lived in New Mexico for 13 years, and one of the reasons we moved there is because we like chiles. A well-made green chile beer is not about bringing the heat; it is about the aroma or roasted chiles that hangs in the air on Albuquerque’s north Fourth Street during chile harvest.

That is as pleasantly powerful as the my first beer memory is unpleasantly powerful.

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