Beer Profile: Green Flash’s Sea to Sea Lager

Profiled by Maria Devan

pgaprofileHere we go! Green Flash Sea to Sea Lager. The can is dated best by 12/18/2016. I bought it a while ago and it’s been ogled. It’s past what many lager fans believe is the end of it’s shelf life and I bought it because it was in a can and because I actually believe in the freshness date on it as far as the lager in cans is concerned and in general because of the style of hopping. Low to moderate hops. This is a zwickel lager made with German pilsner malt, Hallertau Mittlefruh and Czech Saaz hops. They say a notable yeast so maybe that means a house strain not necessarily theirs?

Off topic a bit, in my beer world the grocery has just changed everything about the beer section. There is a new distributor I hear. There are more selections that resemble the selections you find in the bottle shop. The mainstays are still there but the way it’s organized is different. Now it is alphabetical instead of geographical region. It seems like there is more beer, but is there really? They have two huge palates taking up space where there used to be shelves full of beer. That’s not actually more beer but there do seem to be all kinds of new choices. The imports section is the same. Didn’t change at all and I want some of that Spaten oktoberfest. Let me tell you how that influences my buying habits as I think of it later, in other non related threads.

OK . . .

Soft nose. Breaddy with a nice toasty brown bread crust. Sweet herb from hop. Cool. Earth and mild sulfur and spice. A bit of malt richness. A little sweetness.

Taste follows the nose. Breaddy. Soft hop with a low presence on the palate but it is striking. Saaz are sweet leafy herb, the Hallertau are spicy earthy and floral. Crisp bubble, clean, no diacetyl, faint dms. Delicate flavors but a hearty mouthfeel.

Lightly hazy, pale golden yellow undertone. Bubbly soapy head, creamy on top. Excellent presentation. Lace is clinging.

I drank it pretty fast and I could go for another. As far as hops fading, these are not that faded from their low to moderate presence and the features that make the noble hop distinct are alive and well. Good clean bitterness lasts and takes the flavors away to leave the bread or the malt. This was an exemplary beer. No fruity esters, that hint of sulfur makes it appealing and authentic to me and opens the palate at the end so it goes well with food. No fruity hop flavors except for the characteristic light lemon. It should only be in the finish and not all over the palate. Brewers used to say the lager takes too much time, too much space and is not a good investment on the shelf either. I think it is. I think lasts longer than you think as compared to an IPA that has to be drunk today or else AND you can drink a lot of it, a surprising whole lot of it!

The lager is an extreme beer. Happy New Beer Sunday!

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Welcome to the PGA beer 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 “perfecto.”

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mdMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. That’s Maria in the middle. The other two are not, but they are lucky to have her as a friend.

Judging Specialty Cider and Perry

At the BJCP members meeting in Baltimore it was indicated by a large percentages of judges present that they had at least some discomfort with judging cider. That’s natural, and the cider exam committee is working on that. In the interest of helping alleviate that discomfort, we’re going to start periodically talking about understanding and judging cider and perry.

Photo Sep 03, 8 34 26 AMI’m going to start with Specialty Cider because in general the characters are stronger, with less need for understanding of subtlety or the need to search out hard-to-find or over-aged French ciders or Traditional Perries for judge practice and palate training. Later, if there’s interest, I’ll talk about Cider Characteristics, as well as Judging Standard Cider and Perry, Common Flaws, and Understanding Malolactic

Fermentation (MLF).

In the meantime judges who want to know more about cider are reminded to read the Introduction section of our 2015 BJCP Cider Guidelines before they judge, and are encouraged to visit their local orchards this summer/fall, try new and different apples when possible, and to do some cider reading. Ben Watson’s “Cider Hard & Sweet”, Claude Jolicoeur’s “The New Cidermaker’s Handbook” and Andrew Lea’s “Craft Cider Making” are a great place to start.

 

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The Pumpkin Beer Thing: A Short View

What did I ever do to you, Jackass?!?

pumpkin

I’ve gotten a few emails – well, by actual count, 271 emails – in the past year that seem to presume that, since I’m a knowledgeable beer so ‘n’ so, I just hafta be against All Things Pumpkin, at least as the evil gourd applies to beer.

As I said, 271 times, that is NOT true.

As with every other style of beer, I find pumpkin beers that I absolutely adore and those I wouldn’t use to wash a cat. A LOT of people who confess to adore fruit-infused beers like Logsdon “Peche ‘n’ Brett”, turn right around and sniffily dismiss all pumpkin beers as though they were somehow plotting to crawl out of the bottle and taint their lovely peach-infused sour. That, folks, is irrationality at its blinkered, small-focus best.

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HERE