Why All Beer Once Tasted Like Smoke


Today’s brewers can add any number of flavors to their beers. Some are newfangled, such as chili pepper or pumpkin; others are deeply traditional. Smoke is one of the latter, with a long and widespread pedigree. All across Europe, a hint of barbecue was once pervasive—until the Industrial Revolution, the flavor was the inevitable result of the brewing process. Malt is one of beer’s primary ingredients, and a change in how it’s made brought beer out of its smoky past.

Grains, unlike wine grapes and cider apples, don’t contain sugars. They have starches, which can’t be fermented until they are accessed and converted into sugars. Malting is the process of accessing those starches by steeping the grains in water.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Reflections and Resolutions, 2017 Edition

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

So here we are again. One more turn around this mortal coil, drinking to forget the follies of an old year and toasting the auspiciousness of the new. For me 2017 has been extremely enjoyable, uncanny parallels between the 1930s and the present notwithstanding. I hope it has been the same for you.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Deschutes “The Abyss”: Santa Intervenes…I Hope

I know I haven’t written to you in a few years…well, okay, quite a few years. Oh, alright, the last time was during the Eisenhower administration. Whatever. The point is, I apologize.

It wasn’t because I forgot you or that I ever doubted. When I was lying in bed, my daughter’s head resting on my arm, trying to get her to go to sleep because, “Hey, Santa won’t come if you’re awake!”, I wasn’t thinking that it was going to be me drinking up that God-awful Kroger store-brand egg nog. I was telling her what was in my heart. And, besides, I knew my wife would suck it up and drink the egg nog, if I bitched long enough. And cut it 50/50 with brandy.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Winter beer brings holiday cheer across the country

Winter means holidays, and holidays mean gifts. Gifts are always welcome — especially gifts of beer.

Well before visions of gingerbread cookies and sugar plums dance in our heads, breweries have the season’s flavors in mind. Brewers anticipate the season like a white Christmas; in Rhode Island, Newport Storm Brewery was busy fermenting for three months to craft its annual release — for the 17th year. In San Francisco, Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, a new recipe each year, is officially the brewery’s 43rd Christmas beer on the wall.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Crux “Tough Love” 2017 [Banished] Edition: The Ultimate Refutation of the Asshole Stout

We’ve all seen this before:

American-style Imperial Stout, 30-weight, insane final gravity, totally opaque in the glass, laced with additives, barrel-aged, and, these days, aggressively hopped.

There was an old car joke, from my high school days: “Why do you call a Pontiac GTO an ‘asshole’? Because everybody has one. ”

Same deal here. Everybody has one of these wood-aged assholes and, many times, they really don’t taste much different from their racy analog. When you get hold of a great one, you know it, instantly…I do, anyway.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

Boom in sugary pastry stouts shows craft industry forgetting what beer tastes like


Remember that Budweiser commercial that lit up craft beer a few years back?

It mocked people who dared to smell their beer. Who cared to think critically about their beer. Who created such things as pumpkin peach ale. Well, turns out Budweiser might have had a point.

After six hours wandering the aisles of the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer last weekend, I have concluded that craft beer is betraying itself. It is forgetting what beer should taste like.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE

The City of Portland v. Old Town Brewing


Have you heard the one about the big brewery that sends the little brewery a cease-and-desist letter for trademark infringement? Of course you have—it happens every month or two. It’s usually not great press for the big brewery, and sometimes it even metastasizes into a David-and-Goliath morality tale. Last Wednesday, Portlanders learned of a through-the-looking-glass variation on the story. A little brewery owned a valid, long-standing trademark, but a deep-pocketed large city refused to acknowledge it and told the little guys they planned to license the disputed image to AB InBev. And despite having no clear legal avenue to securing these rights, the city keeps dumping thousands of dollars into their effort to defeat Old Town.

Want to read more? Please click…

HERE