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Session #116 announced: Anything Gose

The SessionHost Derrick Peterman has announced the topic for The Session #116 is “Anything Gose,” and suggests you learn how to pronounce it.

I choose the Gose style in particular since it can be approached in so many different ways. Want to talk about the history of the Gose? How about how American breweries are taking this style and running wild with it with different spice and fruit additions? How else has the Gose manifested itself outside its German homeland? Is the Gose here to stay or will it go the way of the Black IPA, once the hot style but slowly becoming a largely irrelevant curiosity? (OK, that might not be your opinion of the Black IPA, but you get the idea.) Of course, we’re all on the look-out for a good Gose, so if there are any you particularly like, we’d love to hear about them.

If you want to learn more about the history of the style, I can recommend a good book.

Session #115: 12 really good beer books

The SessionClosing on seven years ago I posted a list of 10 really good beer books. As opposed to, say, the Ten Best Beer Books EVER! Of course, many readers missed the disclaimers (why there were no beer and food books and no technical/brewing/homebrewing books), so I know what I may be getting into by bringing it up and adding two books to that list for The Session No. 115 (“The role of beer books”).

The newcomers are The Beer Bible, by Jeff Alworth, and Triplebock: Three Beer Stories by Evan Rail. The latter is intential fiction (as opposed to the unintential beer fiction that far too often finds its way into print). There is some fiction in The Bedside Book of Beer on my original list, but more quality beer fiction sure would be nice. Yes, the former is a resource, a book you can pull off the shelf to find an answer that settles a bar bet. But it is also a book to read from start to finish, to be considered as a whole, because that’s the way Alworth presents the beers within it.

For those who don’t want the short version, here is the original list:

– The Beer Companion.
– Three Sheets to the Wind.
– Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer.
– Beer: The Story of the Pint.
– Travels with Barley: A Journey Through the Beer Culture in America.
– Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink.
– Origin and History of Beer and Brewing.
– The Book of Beer Knowledge.
– The Bedside Book of Beer.
– Faces Along the Bar: Lore and Order in the Workingman’s Saloon, 1870-1920.

Or you can read more.

Session #115 announced: The role of beer books

The SessionHost Joan Villar-i-Martí has announced that the topic for The Session #115 will be “Role of beer books.”

He writes, “Participants can talk about that first book that caught their attention, which brought them to get interested in beer; or maybe about books that helped developing their local beer scene. There’s also the – bad – role of books that regrettably misinform readers because their authors did not do their work properly. There are many different ways to tackle this topic.”

So read a new book or revisit an old friend and post on the topic Sept. 2.

The Session #114: A St. Louis pilsner

The SessionWe Changed The World … For This?
[Via All About Beer]
An American Story.
IPAs as National Tradition.
[Both via Beervana]

Whoa! What’s all of this have to do with The Session #114, given that Alistair Reece has asked us to write about pilsners? But what Jeff Alworth has to say about the use of American hops and about how American brewers, and now brewers around the world who are mimicking them, is relevant.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Forest Park PilsnerThere is such a thing as an Americanized pilsner out there that has nothing to do with Miller Lite. Who You Callin’ Wussie from Arrogant Brewing* is an example. It is a well made flavorful beer, brimming with lots of aromas and flavors, some of which you won’t find in an old world pilsner. Basically, it’s kind of loud and it bangs into the furniture. That’s OK, as long as it is adding diversity, not eliminating choice. These are the sorts of things you should be thinking about when you read Lew Bryson’s column in All About Beer.

*Yes, this is the same brewery as Stone, although I find the explanation exhausting.

I’m not sure any beer can get inside your bones like certain music — let’s say just about any song from Son Volt’s Trace — but one like Stammtisch from Urban Chestnut Brewing just up the road from us, or Live Oak Pilz, or Marble Pils, has a better chance than any IPA I can think of. Or a pilsner like Wussie, which ranked seventh in a blind tasting of pilsners conducted by Paste magazine. Stammtisch was first, and Pilz and Pils apparently were not tasted.

Paste praises Urban Chestnut for brewing “superlative German beer styles.” I understand this, but maybe because I’ve been in St. Louis almost as long as Urban Chestnut (and Daria has been here longer) I figure I’m drinking St. Louis beer, not German beer. Part of the attraction of Stammtisch is that it has become a familiar flavor, just as Trace is familiar. Oh, and that drinking a liter isn’t a challenge. It’s more like humming along when Jay Farrar sings, “Ste. Genevieve can hold back the water, but saints don’t bother with a tear stained eye.”


The beer in the photo is Urban Chestnut’s Forest Park Pilsner, which is brewed with six-row barley malt, corn, and Cluster hops. I wrote about in the August/September issue of Craft Beer & Brewing.

The Session #114: Pilsners

The SessionWhen The Session began more nine years ago — so before half of the breweries now operating in U.S. had opened — it focused on exploring styles.And it will again next week. Host Alistair Reece has asked us to write about pilsners for The Session #114.

What I want folks to do is put down their IPAs, their Belgians, their sours, their barrel aged stuff, and hunt out a few pilsners to compare and contrast, whether they be Czech, German, Belgian, American, etc, etc. Try to get examples of Czech and German in particular to see the differences. Most of all though I just want people to re-discover what I consider the pinnacle of the brewing craft, so off hunting you go.

The next Session is Aug. 5.

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