‘What beer is all about’

MONDAY BEER LINKS, MUSING 07.14.14

The Jim Koch magic eat-yeast-and-don’t-get-drunk trick revisited. NPR’s The Salt invests a lot of time and more than 1,000 words before concluding, “we didn’t learn the ultimate trick to drinking without getting drunk, but we did enjoy monitoring our experience of intoxication.” Including the “sweet spot” for getting buzzed. (0.04 BAC if you are too lazy to read that far.)

[Via NPR]

“All in all, the BJCP system rewards conformity and ‘cloning’ while punishing creativity.” OK, that’s a little bit provocative, but Boak and Bailey put it in boldface midway through their post “On Judging” – so give it a read and see what you think.

[Via Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog]

Saison. Saison. Saison. In a rather strange post at Slate, Pete Mortensen offers major beer producers suggestions what they should be brewing, including “tart saisons.” Jeff Alworth is not impressed with Mortensen’s thinking, but “here’s the thing: he may very well have a point.” And although the headline reads, “Why We Should Take Beer Styles Less Seriously” Derek Dellinger is really talking about saison(s). I’m a sucker for any posts that concludes, “…. Okay, maybe all I’m really saying here is, if I ever have kids, I want them to grow up having very strong opinions about the microbial content of saisons.”

[Via Slate, Beervana, and Bear Flavored Ales]

Why bars charge what they do for beer. Which is different than why you are willing (or not) to pay the markup.

[Via serious eats]

Mexican Logger: Simply What Beer Is All About. My favorite post of the week, and the thought I want to leave you with.

I’ve had Double Black IPA’s aged in oak barrels, beers with two adjunct ingredients for every color in the rainbow, IPA’s steeped in hops in a french-press, sours that are fermented with 100% Brett yeasts, pumpkin beers that bring in money for local non-profits, beers aged in rum barrels, beers made with ingredients from local hikes, I’ve had beers that are taken and aged five different ways, beers that were a collaboration between over ten Colorado breweries, and I’ve had some of the tastiest cask beers ever (I never did get to try those mushroom beers though). The beer that stands out above them all is Ska Brewing’s Mexian Logger. To put it plainly, it’s the only one that made me realize that sometimes in my effort to try everything that is new and special, I miss out on the great beers that I can drink repeatedly, all night long while hanging out with my pals. This beer reminded me that sometimes beer is simply about drinking with friends, relaxing, and enjoying the end of a long day.

[Via Focus on the Beer]

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The Session #90: The gloves come off

The SessionJake at Hipster Brewfus has posted marching orders for The Session #90: Beer Fight Club. Because? For one thing, he writes, “a lot of the topics on The Session lately have been pretty unimaginative, uninspired, and uninteresting.”

Although this matter comes up from time to time in the beer blogosphere, there’s also “my growing frustration with the general acceptance that all craft beer is good beer, and that any hint of negativity will do damage to our burgeoning scene.”

So the premise:

Have you ever drank a beer that became a battle, more than an enjoyable experience? Maybe a beer that was far bigger than you had anticipated? Something you felt determined to drink, just so you can say you conquered that son of a bitch, and you are all that is powerful. Or perhaps it is something that is just so bad, all you want to do is slap it around a bit. Or maybe you were on the verge of passing out, but you just wanted that one last beer, and the valiant struggle between taste bud fulfillment and the velvety embrace of sleep that ensued.

You picking up what I’m putting down?

It’s time put down whatever praise you were about to dole out, and serve up a nice can of ass whupping.

Should be an interesting challenge.

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Friday beer: Two Jokers Double-Wit

Boulevard Two Jokers Double-WitSo you bought the first edition of “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die” and worked your way through the first 1,000 before you realized that blankety-blanket so and so Stan Hieronymus* suggested a beer you couldn’t find. Now you can die in peace — Two Jokers Double-Wit is back.

It would seem not everybody was as impressed with Two Jokers as I was when it was released in 2009. As a result, Boulevard Brewing did not brew it beer in 2012, or 2013. It’s back now, as a seasonal, familiar and convivial. At the risk of repeating myself, here’s what I wrote in 2009:

“It makes sense that Boulevard Brewing, located in America’s bread basket, would include wheat as a major ingredient in seventy percent of the beers it brews. Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat, a 4.4 percent beer perfect for humid nights in Boulevard’s home of Kansas City, accounts for most of that, but the brewery makes a full spectrum of wheat-based beers, including Two Jokers Double Wit. ‘The beer and the name are based on duality,’ said Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels. ‘On one side you have the old-school way of making a tart white beer while on the other side you have the U.S. craft beer movement to make everything bigger, more complex. This beer is an approach to overcome these differences.’

“He uses what brewers call a ‘sour mash’ to create much of the tartness in this beer, a method employed in Belgium at the beginning of the twentieth century instead of using ‘wild’ yeast. ‘I like the idea of tartness in white beers,’ said Pauwels, who is Belgian-born and trained. ‘Nowadays we tend to over spice these beer to reach that goal, while they were pretty simple beers at that time (in the nineteenth century).’ The recipe for Two Jokers includes both malted and unmalted wheat and a bit of oats. It is spiced with coriander, orange peel, lavender, cardamom and grains of paradise, but none in quantities that make them easy to pick out.

DRINKING NOTE
Pours hazy orange with an off-white head. Citrus and spices jump from the glass, followed by sweet notes of cotton candy. Tart on the tongue, pleasantly grainy, with refreshing orange and lemon zest flavors. Complex and lively.”

*****

* Full disclosure: I was paid to contribute 51 entries to the book. So Two Jokers and I have a working relationship, even following each other on Twitter.

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Kufle i Kapsle

Another example of beer from a place.

Kufle i Kapsle

Kufle i Kapsle

Kufle i Kapsle

Kufle i Kapsle
Nowogrodzka 25
00-511 Śródmieście, Warszawa

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The Session #89 wrapped up

The SessionBill Kostkas has posted the roundup for The Session #89: Beer in History.

His own contribution to The Session left me thinking about our recent travels in Poland.

Battlefield Brew Works just up the York Road outside of Gettysburg proper is one of my favorite brewpubs in the entire Commonwealth. The bar inside is crafted from trees that were grown on the farm’s property when it actually used to be a farm. The establishment itself is completely inside an 1860′s style Pennsylvania Dutch barn.

The Brew Works sits on what once was (or kind of still is) the Monfort Farm just outside of Gettysburg. At one point during and for some time after the Battle of Gettysburg the barn was used as a field hospital and is designated as such by a plate on a fireplace inside. I can honestly say that in my two plus years of doing things and recording some of them on this blog that this one was the most excited I have ever been to combine both beer and history. I can’t wait to return next month.

We’re kind of hit and miss in the United States about preserving the past (or conserving the present, but that’s another discussion). But at least the continent hasn’t had to host a world war. It is a delight to stroll through Warsaw’s Old Town, which was established in the thirteenth century, and point to this or that cool bit of architecture. Except, of course, the one-time city center had to be rebuilt after World War II. Nazi troops leveled 85 percent of it during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

Considering history from time to time can help keep beer in perspective. Feel free to resume drinking.

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