Tag Archives: beer styles

Beer moods

A post over at The Brew Club got me thinking about something I am going to call beer moods. In the post, Scott reviewed Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA and shared some thoughts about his experiences with IPAs. He said,

The Dogfish Head 60 was among my first craft beers, and quite frankly, I wasn’t ready for it at all!  As a matter of fact, I found it so much of an assault on my senses, that I wrote off the whole IPA scene until just last year.  What a shame.

The reason this caught my eye is that I was in the same boat when I first starting drinking craft beer. From my interpretation, IPAs are the beers that “hook” a lot of craft beer drinkers. I wonder why so many craft beer drinkers start with an IPA instead of ramping up to them. Why start at the extremes? An IPA is a aggressive beer with an acquired taste. Sure some people can take to them right away, but for many, they take time to appreciate.

In my own experience, I had someone who loved craft beer and guided me to learn the different beer styles. I was quickly a fan of IPAs but I really didn’t appreciate the first several that I had. There are some styles of beer that I like and crave more than others.

This is where the beer moods idea comes in. I really love hoppy beers sometime. Right now, I’m on a hoppy beer kick. But there  are other times where I don’t want anything hoppy. I want a malt forward beer or something with some spices. I seem to randomly go through these changes and I don’t understand why. Last year around this time I was on a Belgian beer kick. The strange part is that the moods kick in quickly and seriously deter me from trying the previous beer mood style.

Am I the only one who goes though these beer moods? If you do, what mood are you in now and how does it affect your beer drinking?

Some site updates

If you haven’t noticed the right hand sidebar has been going under a few changes recently. I am adding a few larger buttons to more easily navigate unique parts of the site along with the social media parts of the site. We do have a Facebook page now, which I was reluctant to do for a long time. I think it mainly stems from the fact that I used to view the number of fans as a measure of success. It might be a little true, but I’m looking at it as another outlet for the site to grow.

There will be some more changes coming soon, but those are mainly it for now. I didn’t do any “2010 year in review” post or a “plans for 2011 post,” but these changes are a very small part of what I plan on doing. I really want to start adding content for people new to craft brewing along with content for people who are into craft brewing, but want to know more about beer styles, history, and the like. I also plan on homebrewing a whole lot more this year because the displeasure of bottling is now behind me. This is has been open for just over two years now and our traffic has significantly increased in that time. I also have a few side project that are beer related that should be fun, but more on them later.

Thank you so much for visiting my site. I appreciate the comments and the e-mails that I get. If you have a Facebook account go ahead and “Like” our page.

Beer Review #51 Allagash White

About two weeks ago I was talking about how I was in an English ale mood. That phase has come and passed, unlike these guys who have a whole month devoted to English beers. Right now I am back where I was around this time last year, Belgian beers. I don’t know what is going on with my taste buds but it seems every two weeks I am in the mood for something totally different. It makes it tough as a homebrewer because I generally like to brew beer styles I like. At this rate I have no idea what I want. What does that have to do with a beer review? Well nothing, so let’s get to it.

As part of my Belgian beer kick I was lucky enough to find a four pack of Allagash White from the Allagash Brewing Comapny in Portland, Maine. Allagash White is classified as a Belgian White ale and totally delivers on the promise in every way. It pours a brilliant cloudy, golden color and has a nice fluffy white head to boot. The yeast that stays in the beer at the time of bottling can easily been seen in suspension. The nose is light, but full of aromas. The first thing I noticed was the Belgian yeast spices (clove, banana, etc). There was also a light malt sweetness thrown in there.

On the tongue there is a light lemon flavor up front. The Belgian yeast follows soon after with the banana coming first, then followed by the clove. It finishes with a wonderful aftertaste, that leaves you wanting more. It is very crisp and refreshing as well. A Belgian White is supposed to be a light, delicate beer that is full of flavor, but is also so well balanced that the smallest mistake could throw that balance off. Allagash White is light and watery in the mouthfeel department, as you would expect for the style. This is an unmistakably drinkable beer. Great for a hot day or a warm spring day. It goes down easily and has enough of everything to make you want more.

When I first had this I was on a run of Belgian Tripels, so this seemed a bit watered down and unappealing. The more I drank it the more I found that I liked it. It was very subtle in it’s approach to a Belgian style beer. I really enjoyed it and I think you would too. The bottle is also a fun read because they should you how to pour the beer to get everything you can out of it. I always enjoy when breweries do the small extra things in helping educate the drinker. Again, this is a wonderful beer, try it if you get the chance. Continue reading

Colonial America beer

11-17-01I’ve been trying to come up with my next recipe for homebrewing and I can’t really decide on what I want to do exactly. I keep going between a porter, a winter warmer, or some type of amber ale. I really just can’t decide at all. And then I got an idea; how about a Colonial
America style of beer?

I thought it sounded like a great idea so I have been doing a lot of research into beer styles and brewing techniques during the Colonial time in America. I have run across several helpful articles and have really started to dive into them. I am still working on a solid recipe but I thought that I would share my current ideas and information and see if anyone can point me in a more correct direction.

Right now I am looking at three “styles” of Colonial beer. The first would be a basic porter, not super strong, but packed with roasty flavors and medium carbonation. The second style I am looking at is more of a British style pub ale that Thomas Jefferson is said to have enjoyed. Who knows if that is true, but it makes a good story. In place of all of the British malts and hops I would substitute American malts and hops. The final beer that I am looking into is a Spruce beer that was common during the Revolutionary War. It would be a darker beer, similar to a porter, but also have some essence of spruce put into it. Now I just need to narrow down my focus a bit.

I also am concerned with doing this beer authentically. I will have to use some modern brewing practices, but I would like to get the ingredients as close as possible. I know that hops change from year to year, and there is no way to actually know what the barley was malted at during that period but digging into some more material, I hope to find some more clues.  Below are a few links that I have been looking over the gain a better understanding of Colonial brewing in America.

Links

As I said, I have a lot more research to do, but these links are a start. I have a few books that I can get more information out of, but I will have to dig in and find the correct information. If you find any other info out there I am more than willing to take it.