Here is the (simplistic) label we designed for this batch:
Yesterday (Monday, February 1, 2011) we cracked the last 1 liter bottle of beer that we had filled. It was not completely filled like the others so it makes a good choice for the first taste test. We popped it open – and I mean popped. I pushed the swing top lid and a very loud pop resulted. Good sign that we got it carbonated.
The beer poured beautifully with just over one finger of head. So far so good.
As we took our initial smells we both agreed that there was a bit of a funky aroma going on with this beer. I am too inexperienced at home brewing to know exactly what or why this is. I have a suspicion that it is just because our beer is still so green and needs to bottle condition a few more weeks.
It has been in the bottle for about 2 weeks and our understanding is that it is thought to be best to wait 1 month before drinking it. Hopefully over the next little while the aroma mellows out to something more pleasing.
As for the taste…it was green but very good. The weird smell was definitely not in the taste of the beer. It is still young but was quite tasty. I can already see that our adaptation of this kit from a Cream Ale to a Northern English Brown Ale has been successful. I hope some more complexity develops in the flavors but as it is now it is already clearly the style we were going for.
We each downed just under a pints worth and were left satisfied with our efforts and hopeful for the remaining 21 liters.
I’ll post pictures next time I open one up.
What I want to do with this article is delve into what the current beer industry and beer scene in Canada and the United States looks like and what some recent and not-so-recent events have done to get us here.
The simple truth is that our countries, compared to European countries, are adolescents in terms of National history but even more so when it comes to beer. The history behind beer and other alcoholic beverages in North America has a profound and pervasive effect on the beer we can easily obtain at our local liquor stores.
I want to get into the difference between macro breweries, micro breweries, and craft breweries and discuss how they simultaneously produce the same product (i.e. beer) but entirely different products. This will touch on issues of economics, greed, corporate responsibilities, and passion for beer. (more…)
If you have started to get into the craft beer scene you have probably started to read various sources of beer reviews or ratings. You may be surfing on ratebeer or beeradvocate and have obviously somehow found this blog.
Through these travels you likely have encountered examples of beer that has been aged months up or years. Many beers continue to improve with age.
I know in my reading I have come across numerous instances of this. What confused me was that I would see some beers that were considered to get worse with age. These beers were recommended to be consumed as soon as possible. This actually applies to virtually all mass-produced beers you will find.
This led me to wonder what the difference was and how I could identify beers that would benefit from me purchasing and aging them. Lots of beer aficionados will purchase beer of a particular vintage, sometimes numerous bottles, then leave them to sit for a few years. You may then sample the same beer of different vintages or agings. This is known as a “vertical” tasting. (more…)
My wife and I were in Munich for about 4 days in September of 2009. While there we learned a great deal about the local beer, it’s history, and the beer culture so ingrained in the German state of Bavaria. Munich immediately seized a special place and meaning for me and I continue to be fascinated by all things beer. This has lead me to write this piece to share what I know about beer as it relates to Munich.
While we traveled we took a “Beer and Brewery” tour with a local guide that also taught English classes to the local Bavarians. He would always invite his English class students along on the beer tour to provide them an opportunity to polish up their English and to add an authentic presence to the tour. Not a bad idea in my opinion.
I should note it was these gentleman who informed me that people living in Munich or elsewhere in Bavaria do not often consider themselves “Germans”. They prefer to be called “Bavarians”. I can’t speak to how much of a biased comment this was. This is me in the front and the two Bavarian dudes along for the tour in the back:
I don’t have a specific idea of what I want to write about – so this could get long…click to keep reading
You may have read that I am trying to drink every beer I can out of a book I received that assigns a beer to every day of the year. I am still attempting that; however, my research on the beers is revealing that probably about 10% are available here. That means it would be about 36 beers over the year or 3 a month.
In the meantime I still want to have some other beers and try some new ones. The struggle I am having is that I will continue to buy the same good beer if I don’t have some other method of helping me choose.
I have been categorizing my beer tastings into the BJCP beer categories and have also listed those on a separate page of the blog. I am thinking I will try and get my hands on a beer from each of the styles. This will be a long-term goal as I think some will prove difficult to find.
I like this idea because if I didn’t do this I would likely have a far higher proportion of Stouts and Imperial Stouts (for the winter) and wheat beers (for the summer) on my list.
I started to search each category out on the web and find what the top rated beers in each category are. There are already some categories where it looks like there will be slim pickings.
For example, the Lite American Lager category houses such great (failures) as Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light etc. I actually managed to find some in this category that were rated decent on Ratebeer.com. For example, Bitburger Light got 17 / 100 overall and 95 / 100 in its category (low alocohol). Coors light got zero overall rating and 2 / 100 in its category.
The trouble is only the shitty ones are available here…
I refuse to put those “beverages” on my blog and take them seriously so the Lite American Lager category will have to wait until I find one of the decent ones.