A Beer Judge’s Diary: What Do We Mean by “Clean?”

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 I’ve seen the word used so many times in judging. I thought I knew what it means and that includes what, to me, is only one contradiction. I had thought “clean” meant no fermentation by products that stand out and interfere with the malt, the hops and whatever else defines a style that has no yeast funk. The contradiction? Well, it’s the Germans who, as the cliché’ goes, must have everything precise, exact, just so. OK, I know that’s stereotyping but I’m only mentioning the perception, I have known plenty of Germans who are definitely not that way.
 To be clean and be German in this sense seems to be defined as no fruity, funky, significant DMS or buttery/diacetyl-like esters. Unfortunately that often doesn’t seem to be include a light sulfur-sense to some Germans, which I find their much treasured lager yeast sometimes provides. Not all the time, but a lot.
 OK, I admit: like some are sensitive to butter maybe I’m sensitive to sulfur? Possibly because a little butter bothers me not, but I REALLY dislike sulfur? Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: What Do We Mean by “Clean?””

What’s the Meaning of “IBU?”

Craft enthusiasts enjoy exploring the depths of pints uncharted, but they don’t sail without navigational equipment. One of the most ubiquitous and least comprehensible methods of navigating the heavy seas is the IBU scale.

The rate of bittering is an important influence on taste as the success in the marketplace of the Dogfish Head brand’s 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute IPA has demonstrated. But an IBU scale is more accurate for measuring bitterness than any method based on the rate of hops addition.

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Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

Some craft beers from small Florida breweries are being replaced by national craft brands, several of which are owned by one of the industry's biggest players, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
[Photo illustration by Ron Borresen, Times]The national battle between Big Beer and local craft breweries is playing out on the shelves of your neighborhood Publix — and some favorite Florida brewmakers are losing. The guild that represents Florida brewers says at least 12 small breweries have had merchandise reduced or completely taken off the shelves in some Publix stores across the state. What’s in its place? Craft brews from across the country — several of which are owned by one of beer’s biggest players, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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Brew Files – Episode 38 – Going Off


The Brew is Out There!

Knowledge Show

When everything is going right, our fermentations run easily with a smooth transformation of sugar into ethanol and CO2. When things don’t go right, well, our beer pays the price. In this episode, we’ll look at the most common off-flavors we’ve encountered, what causes them and how to prevent/fix them. So, sit back, we’re going off the rails…

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Second Story Brewing

What happens when your pub chain wants a brewery but has no room? You make room! When Brian Herbertson joined the Simmzy’s group, that was his challenge. The answer – stick it on the second floor! Together we sit down and discuss just how you put a brewery on the second story, tackling supplying a whole chain with beer from one location and his spin on the summer’s new hit style – Brut IPA.

 

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Stone VirtuAle: The Most Significant Subtlety

This is probably one of those I probably owe Stone Brewing an apology. This may be too late to do them any good, in terms of immediate sales. Another probability: it’s likely to not matter. This is, after all, STONE Brewing we’re talking about – not to be confused with KeySTONE Light, as the owners of Keystone desperately hope you are – and if they are not, in fact, the nation’s preeminent craft brewery, they are inarguably in the Top Five. I’m going to assume that 90% of this (if not all) is already in America’s bellies. But I fervently hope they’ll make this beer again and, whether you realize it or not..so do you.

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Brew Files – Episode 37 – Andy Black Doubles Down


The Brew is Out There!

Technique Show

Yorkshire Square’s Andy Black has opinions. In the episode, Drew sits down with LA’s guardian of the cask to discuss session beers, making a beer festival worthy of attending and stretching his equipment with the strangle old method of double or reiterated mashing. Sit back with a proper pint for this episode of the Brew Files

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134 of the Best Pilsners


Craft beer has a complicated relationship with pilsner. It’s the world’s most widely consumed, most widely copied and emulated beer style, but the vast majority of those beers either don’t actually qualify for the “pilsner” style guidelines or come anywhere close to the Brewers Association definition of “craft.” And yet, it’s also a style with a rich history, dating back to the famous ur-pils of 1842, Pilsner Urquell. For more detailed information on the style’s history and current role, by the way, check out our companion piece: Let’s Talk Beer Styles: Pilsner, which was published when we last blind-tasted this style back in 2016.

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