Mythical poster at The LTS Good for What Ales You Beer Journal. Loves good beer. Hates same old, same old. Muses that Bud and Miller might as well be brewed in urinals. Drinks lagers too, if they are complex and interesting.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, lager is back. Homebrewers and commercial craft brewers who had initially focused on ale have rediscovered the joys of cold fermentation and the diverse array of lager beer styles. Lager is not synonymous with mass-produced yellow fizz water (though that is one of many lager styles), and many who initially stayed away from these fun styles are starting to rediscover their allure.
Brewing a great lager does require that the brewer pay a little extra attention to technique, but it needn’t be terribly complicated. Here are 5 tips that will improve your homebrewed lager, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-timer.
As the Holidays are upon us, it’s time to give thanks with this episode of Denny and Drew reflecting on the Maltose Falcons 45th Anniversary Party with the band, the beer and Steve Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing. And then we talk what we’re brewing for the rest of the holidays and doing some weird things with beer!
One of the keys to making consistently good beer is to ensure consistently good fermentation practices, which for many brewers involves using various nutrients to encourage solid yeast performance. Viewed as being one of the most important nutrients, zinc is readily available for purchase and generally gets added to the wort just before pitching the yeast.
Zinc is a co-factor for certain enzymes that assist with yeast growth and metabolism. Even at relatively low concentrations (0.2-2.0 ppm), zinc is said to have a noticeable impact on fermentation by allowing the yeast to work more efficiently during the growth phase, resulting in a quicker start and healthier fermentation, which ultimately leads to a cleaner tasting beer. While too much zinc can inhibit yeast growth, usage rates at the higher end of the recommended range are also believed to contribute to beer foam stability.
Unless you live under a beer can-shaped rock, you’ve likely heard the news that New Belgium Brewing will be acquired by Lion Little World Beverages, a subsidiary of Kirin, a Japanese brewing conglomerate.
New Belgium co-founder Kim Jordan confirmed the announcement with a letter on Tuesday, saying that Kirin’s subsidiary will acquire 100 percent of the Colorado-based craft brewery. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019, dependent on New Belgium’s employee-owners agreeing to the sale.
DENVER — Jamie and Janna Williams have answered thousands of questions over the years at their homebrew shop, but the latest may be the hardest. “It’s been difficult to explain why we aren’t going to be around,” Jamie Williams said Tuesday. The couple made the decision to close their shop, CO-Brew, by the end of this year, citing a slowdown in business and the rising costs of keeping a business afloat in a growing city.
I saw a repost of an article in some publication called Punch(drink.com), on my Facebook feed, this morning, and I have to confess that I missed it when it first appeared…in 2016. That article can be reached by clicking the image. The basic premise is that rarity, in today’s craft beer culture, has come to equate to greatness and it traces the evolution of this phenomenon. It also, to which I have to object, assumes some degree of credibility for that notion. That, for me, is that part that gets me to jam by walking stick into the ground, fix the author with my best Galdolfian glare, and growl, “You shall not pass!!”
It’s a word that evokes Victor Hugo’s Paris, and could pass as the name of a pre-Prohibition cocktail. To brewers, however, a grisette is more than a word. It’s a relatively old beer style with roots in the Belgian province of Hainaut, along the French border. Its defining characteristics are, like the beer itself, somewhat hazy, due to the fact that little information about grisettes survived into the present day. And while these “little gray” beers are grouped with saisons in the farmhouse ale family, they are thought to have been brewed for workers who labored in mines, not fields. In spite of a dearth of details, quite a few brewers have nonetheless taken to this obscure style, and have arrived at three general points of agreement: Grisettes should be lower alcohol ales made with malted wheat that lean into their hop character.
The two beers that I received from Crux Fermentation Project, earlier this week, can be reviewed in just one word:
That’s it. Thanks for reading and remember to tip your server!
I’ll try to make this brief because it’s really very simple: Crux, as we have all come to know them, (because “Crux Fermentation Project” is a mouthful…literally and figuratively) is one of the most purely accomplished breweries in the US. No brewer is going to argue with that and very few beer fans would. They operate on a plane with Deschutes and Dogfish and Stone and Jolly Pumpkin and Cigar City and maybe a dozen other breweries whose brewmasters have established that the name on the label guarantees something exceptional in your glass. There is no such thing as a “Meh” Crux beer. The only real question is to what degree will these beers push our pleasure buttons. And Crux, like those other breweries mentioned, never rests on their laurels. In fact, as with Deschutes – both before, during and after Larry Sidor, Crux brewmaster and co-owner, was there – Crux keeps tweaking and evaluating and improving even their greatest successes.
The Maltose Falcons needed a lot of beer for our 45th Anniversary Party and we got some of our favorite breweries in LA involved in the mayhem. In this episode, Drew sits done with the wild and wacky crew at Transplants Brewing Company to discuss making a Pumpkin Beer that’s not a Pumpkin Beer in more than just one way. And then Drew shares his thoughts on the final beer along with the recipe that inspired it.
Those are the words of Bay Area brewing legend Ron Silberstein, founder of ThirstyBear Brewpub in San Francisco and Admiral Maltings across the Bay in Alameda. Over two decades after it was founded, ThirstyBear remains innovative in a competitive market, while Admiral Maltings is making waves in an entrenched industry.
“Some of the bigger malting companies can make a thousand tons in a batch,” said Silberstein. “We can’t do that in a year.” And yet, he adds, “Malt freshly out of the kiln has aroma and flavor that can’t be duplicated by malt that’s generally at least a year old by the time you get it.”
In the country’s nascent quest for new expressions within beer, Silberstein provides a compelling path toward new scents, flavors, and ways of doing business.