So you’re minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there’s a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It’s been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.
The obvious gift for any beer lover is a selection of special brews. But if you’d prefer a gift not prone to breaking or leakage, 2012 has been another banner year for books about beer. Here are a few of my favorites.
Written by my friends Stephen Beaumont and Tim Webb, who circled the globe putting this tome together, “The World Atlas of Beer” (Sterling Epicure, $30, 256 pages) is a worthy successor to the late Michael Jackson’s “New World Guide to Beer.” Covering the entire panoply of beer across six continents (there are no breweries in Antarctica) is a herculean task, but the book accomplishes it elegantly. The book, appointed with detailed maps, beautiful photographs, tasting notes and an impressive range of information, is a great choice for both beginners and seasoned beer geeks.
Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s Kings of Beer
Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay, Salt City and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.
The Topic: Judging Mead Part II
Greetings from the beer judge who likes to challenge how things are being done, perhaps a bit too much. If you remember, a few weeks ago, in another edition of BB, I suggested that we streamline the process of taking the Mead exam with a provisional Mead judge status and an online exam. The response I got back was intriguing, and logical. Considering the response I wanted to write just a little more on the topic.
Before I do that, I must state that I am happy that the BJCP responds so well, so quickly, to its members. As with any organizations there are certainly those who don’t always do this well… and admittedly there are those who challenge who think their “challenge” is more important than the organization itself. I am not one of those folks.
In addition I will add that anything I say could be wrong headed, or misguided. I do understand that I am not directly involved in designing and implementing these programs. Having been an entertainer who designs and sells my own shows for children since 1984, I very well understand there’s a big gap between conceptualizing, then designing something, and even more so: implementing something. Sometimes people suggest ways of doing things and they really don’t understand because they aren’t actually involved in “making it happen,” that it simply won’t work that way. Things rarely work when put to use exactly as one expects them to when you put them into practice.
Now, to address some of the concerns raised about my last proposal…
This is superb. I was amazed how much it reminded me of Geuze from Belgium. this is from… Cincinnati?
Rocky head, slight: fades very fast. Light urin color. Sorry, but that’s what it is. SRM is probably 2 at best. Hazy.
Mouthfeel is a sour that lingers and a light pilsner malt in the background. This is as light as air, body-wise. Slight tingle from slight carbonation: pleasant.
Aroma: brett-lie, sour with hit of sweet and funk that could only get more funky in time. Perhaps a bit horse saddle.
Taste: sour dominant, but not offensive so in any sense. This is a delicate quaff. Malt background way back. I would say this is one of those rhubarb-like sours that should get even better in time. I would recommend doing as per the style: mixing aged versions more. This one seems a bit young. But I recommend: buy.
Welcome to the new PGA rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.” This beer was rated…
Venture inside the walls of the Disneyland Resort and you’ll encounter numerous wonders rarely found outside of Orange Country. This summer’s reopening of the California Adventure park, for instance, attracted plenty of buzz with the introduction of Cars Land and a host of other rides and attractions not found at any other Disney-branded theme park.
But the objects capable of giving visitors a true buzz have received much less attention.
Relatively unnoticed in the California Adventure makeover is the park’s increased offerings of craft beer. The high-end Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge is a showcase for California-brewed ales, offering selections from Placentia’s the Bruery, San Diego’s Karl Strauss, Petaluma’s Lagunitas and three from Anaheim Brewery. Continue reading “Disney Samples California Craft”
Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with…
The Bottle Collection.
Written by Ken Carman
Although some reviewers rate this as lightly sweet, I seem to remember it as medium to very sweet for a milk stout. Bare in mind, it’s no Mackeson, which to my palate can sometimes come close to “sickeningly sweet.”
Haven’t seen it for a while, but I haven’t been looking. A lot of malt character: mostly pale with the obvious roasted barley that defines a stout. The head was good, plentiful and very black. The taste lingered for quite a while: sweet dominant backed up by the malt and few hops.
Aroma: sweet with dark malt sense, from what I remember. I remember the aroma as the best part of an otherwise good, but could be better, beer: via balance.
Mouthfeel indicates if there’s not any oatmeal in this, it’s like there is. I’m guessing the gravity is not that high, but the complete, cover the palate, mouthfeel gives the perception of more boy. If I had to liken it to fruit I would say a hint of milk coated plum.
I would rate this as close to a classic of the style, from what I remember, but not quite. Back off on the sweet/lactose/milk sense just a tad.
Obsidian black with no light shining through. Head fades so fast hard to assess… perhaps pillow with a hint of rock. Second pour held. Soft, delightful, pillow upon the mustache head. Held longer 2nd time. Off the srm chart. Light carbonation supports a thick, luscious, dark malt dominated viscosity. If there’s any black patent in here just enough. The alcohol is obvious, but not intrusive. Full body, but carbonation on lighter side of medium.
Deep, dark, malt nose with a hint of sweet. Sweet, dark, malt dominated taste. Not lactose, but hint of to the taste in sweet. 10% plus, but not that alcoholic for that. Some molasses-like sense.
This is a substantial beverage. Almost after dinner-ish. Very rich, deep malt sense.
In fact, the UK’s Institute of Physics has launched a Christmas website based on beer, to help explain some of the more peculiar scientific phenomena hidden in your ale. Like, for instance, why the bubbles in your pint of stout fall instead of rising:
As your pint of stout settles, the bubbles in the centre of the glass (where you can’t see them) ARE rising to the surface, but at the same time the bubbles touching the wall of the glass experience some drag which prevents them from floating upwards.