Forget Craft, Let’s Try Transparency

 

I drink Budweiser. I drink Miller High Life. I drink Goose Island IPA and a few other flavors. I’m not a particular fan of Bud Light or Miller Lite, but in a pinch they’ll do.

I drink what I want, when I want. If the situation calls for a 3-ounce pour of something expensive or rare, fine. If it calls for a can of something fizzy and light in a patriotic koozie, all the better.

We live in a post-craft world, one where consumers are often told that the only thing that matters is flavor, not ownership. If the beer’s good, then why worry about anything else? On the surface, that’s an appealing argument. But it only takes a little tire kicking to realize it’s a pretty flimsy advance.

I don’t know whether authenticity matters or what it even is. I’m told that’s what Millennials want, but frankly I’ve yet to meet any who spend much time talking about it. They’re usually into trying everything. So am I, a lot of the time.

 

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Hot or Not: Heat Effects on Flavor Stability in Finished Beer

While we’re right to be wary of light when it comes to finished beer, worries about heat are – persistently and irrationally – overstated. While heat does have an effect, it isn’t an inherently damaging factor in its own right: it needs help. And, by and large, if you’re producing good, healthy beer then you don’t need to worry quite as much.

BRIGHT VS. HOT
Light is our enemy. We’ve all tasted skunky beer. Skunking is an effect caused by the interaction of UV light with specific compounds found in hops (though not hop extracts, as I understand it). This has led some to conflate light with heat, which is a bad idea for at least two reasons.

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Beer Styles – Gose vs. Gueuze

Gose and GueuzeIf you’ve ever been out roaming among the beer hipsters of the beer-iverse, you’ve probably heard plenty of chatter about sour beers. While it seems like a conversation in an encrypted WWII language made to fool the Nazi’s, not everything us beer hipsters say is nonsense. Sour beers are a stronghold of the beer hipster, so if you want to stand any chance of finding out about or discussing the newest sours to hit the local beer shoppes, you need to know your styles. This will only focus on a small part of the sour beer world, but step one is pronunciation.

Gose:
G-oh-suh (as in Van Gogh with a “suh” at the end)

Gueuze:
G-er-zah (if you’re Belgian);
Goo-zuh (if you’re nasty);
G-oo-z (as in “goo” with a marketing firm’s urban “z” at the end)

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Brewing with Potatoes: Techniques

potatoes

Both corn and rice are used as starchy adjuncts by brewers worldwide. These adjuncts boost the strength of a beer without increasing its body. Corn and rice also dilute the protein content of wort. As adventurous homebrewers, there is another common starchy food we can use as an adjunct — potatoes.

Types of Potatoes

The common potato comes from the potato plant (Solanum tuberosum), a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, tobacco and peppers. The edible portion of the potato plant is the tuber, a modified underground stem. There are many varieties of potatoes found on supermarket shelves and they can be grouped into two functional categories, waxy or mealy (or starchy). Mealy varieties — such as Russet, Yukon Gold or baking-type potatoes — can easily be used in homebrewing. Waxy varieties — such as Chef’s potatoes or red potatoes — may be usable, but I don’t have any experience with them.

Both corn and rice are used as starchy adjuncts by brewers worldwide. These adjuncts boost the strength of a beer without increasing its body. Corn and rice also dilute the protein content of wort. As adventurous homebrewers, there is another common starchy food we can use as an adjunct — potatoes.

Types of Potatoes

The common potato comes from the potato plant (Solanum tuberosum), a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, tobacco and peppers. The edible portion of the potato plant is the tuber, a modified underground stem. There are many varieties of potatoes found on supermarket shelves and they can be grouped into two functional categories, waxy or mealy (or starchy). Mealy varieties — such as Russet, Yukon Gold or baking-type potatoes — can easily be used in homebrewing. Waxy varieties — such as Chef’s potatoes or red potatoes — may be usable, but I don’t have any experience with them.

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The Import Snobs

TPFJust this morning, I was reading a list of tweets and a couple of comments from a person who shall remain anonymous. The comments and tweets leaned heavily on this theme:

“Dear US Craft Beer: You are trying too hard.”

“The reason for calling something “craft beer” is an additional $2 – $4 a six-pack.”

“@GABF In terms of German styles, not winning a medal would appear to be more of a badge of honor than winning one. Embarrassing.”

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