Be it good or bad, craft beer has always had trends that a lot of breweries/drinkers like to follow. Once the initial novelty of craft beer wore off IPA’s seemed to the stage. The hoppier the better. And while that still may be true for some drinkers, I think that most have adjusted themselves to enjoy a balanced hoppy beer over a hop-bomb any day.
In my mind the next “big” thing has been oaked beers. While putting beer in oak casks has been around for hundreds of years, it was the thing to do. There were/are tons of beers that are now oak conditions. While I do like some of the characteristics that oak can add to a beer, it seems like moreover the oak barrel is there to put a “unique” spin on the beer. I am sure there have been plenty of other trends that I have missed, but I’ve only been in the craft beer world for three years now, so those trends may not of been as obvious to me.
In my mind the up and coming trend in craft beer is sour beers. I see more and more news/press releases about sour beers than ever before. It seems like everyone is starting to experiment in them. I really haven’t ever enjoyed the whole sour thing, but I can see why people enjoy it. Sour beers have also been around for hundreds of years, but it seems that a lot of craft brewers are just now taking their first steps into the style. I am all for experimentation in beer and I hope that American Craft Brewers keep turning out some of the finest beers in the world, but I want brewers to be themselves and make quality beers that don’t play towards trends.
My little hiatus from posting has not stopped my love of Belgian beers in the slightest. Today’s Belgian beer comes all the way from Brooklyn, NY, home of the Brooklyn Brewery. Don’t you love it when the brewery’s name and location match? Anyway I don’t think that it any secret that I love most of the beers that I have ever had from the Brooklyn Brewery. On this site I have only reviewed their Pennant Ale ’55, but I have enjoyed a great number of their beers that we hastily drank before the appearance of this blog. I have also read their book, which is also wonderful if you were wondering.
Brooklyn Local 1 comes in as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, which essentially means it is a Belgian beer that has a high ABV and hops that are stronger than you would expect on a normal Belgian beer. It pours a straw color and is 100% cloudy. Lots of sediment to be found and a delicious fluffy white head to go along with it. This beer looks the part of a wonderful Belgian. On the nose the Belgian yeast stands out, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. There is a slight sweetness that is on there as well which I found refreshing.
On the tongue I first noticed the Belgian yeast and the spicy flavors that go along with it. As I dug more into the beer I noticed the malt more and more. It was very sweet. Perhaps that comes from the German malts that are used in making the beer instead of the typical Belgian malts. The hops also come from Germany. Local 1 is a very clean beer. The hops, Belgian yeast, and the malts balance each other out nicely and the hops really help clean your tongue from any left over flavors. The aftertaste was also a nice mix of lemon, grassy flavors, a slight hop bite, Belgian yeast, and some warming alcohol.
For a beer that comes in at 9.0% ABV this beer really did not feature much in the way of heat. It was very hidden and only noticeable on the aftertaste and a bit when the beer really warmed up. The body was in the medium range but it was highly carbonated, so it was tough to get a really sampling of what it would of been like had it had normal carbonation. The beer is something that I think any Belgian beer lover would love. It is clean but features everything a Belgian beer should. Perhaps the most surprising part is how well the ABV is hidden. If you are not careful this beer could easily sneak up on you. It also comes in a caged and corked bottle which added to the “must buy” factor for me.
The Brooklyn Brewery also makes Local 2 which I have had in the past and really enjoyed. It is another Belgian style beer, but much darker and much more bold. If you see anything with Brooklyn Local 1 or 2, get it and I don’t think that you would be disappointed. Continue reading →
Sorry for the lack of updates for the last week and a half here or so. Here the BreweryReviewery household, things have been a bit crazy since my last update. I will also start this post out by saying that the updates are coming, but probably not till this time next week. The reasons are many, but it mostly boils down into two things.
The first is that my wife just defended her thesis on Friday and I basically stayed away from her during that time so that she could finish everything up. She did pass and will officially soon have her Masters in Atmospheric Science. Going along with the whole weather thing, I was out chasing tornadoes with the grad and PhD students of Texas Tech. Is this something that I would normally do, no. But going with a bunch of smart people who know what they are doing and are trying to improve warning times and structures made me feel a bit safe. I did get to see four tornadoes on Thursday. And no, they didn’t do any damage other than to some fields. And second no that real storm chasing is not like what it is on the Discovery Channel.
The second reason goes back into the whole tornado thing. My wife is part of Vortex2 along with the rest of Texas Tech and a couple of hundred other scientist. She leaves soon and, being that I didn’t get to see her much while she was finishing up her thesis, I kind of, sort of, want to spend time with her now. So I am taking a quick break from the site to enjoy some time with my wife (and puppy) before she (my wife not the dog) head out for six weeks to study tornadoes.
A few other side-notes. I have now experienced tornadoes and a earthquake. That leaves an erupting volcano (I saw one but it wasn’t doing anything fun), a hurricane, and a tsunami as my last natural disasters to see before I die. Is that a weird goal? The puppy, Maggie, is one today. And is it alright to call a dog a puppy past one? I’ll be back soon with lots of new content here soon.
I recently did a post about one of the reasons that I will buy a certain beer. Other than the bottle there are a few other things that make me want to buy a beer. The name of the beer sometimes will make me want to purchase it. As I have said numerous times, I am an advertisers dream because if you can put together a creative product, chances are I will buy it or at least seriously consider it. Some gimmicks like Miller’s Vortex Bottle don’t really sell me because I know that it is just a gimmick.
The names and bottles can really turn me onto a beer. My latest example is when I was at World Market earlier this week. I have noted before how much I love going there for their mix and match six packs, which allow me to get six different beers from different breweries for the same price as a normal six pack. Genius. On this trip to the World Market I came across a beer with the title “Terrible.” I had to get it. I also recognized the brewery that made it as Unibroue, who I absolutely love. The bottle is a 750 ml corked and caged bottle that is dark brown, almost black. There is a rectangular silver section that has the words “Terrible” in fancy font in black. It look wonderful.
The whole package was put together so well and any brewery that has the audacity to title their beer Terrible deserves a chance. Some other beers that I have bought simply because of the name are Arrogant Bastard Ale, Hobgobbin, Delirium, and Captain Sig’s Deadliest Ale among others. Anyone else a sucker for good beer names?