In the Enchanting Land of Zoigl Beer

Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard

Tucked away in northeastern Bavaria on the Czech border, the Oberpfalz is home to Zoigl, a beer style brewed the same way it was a century ago. But Zoigl is more than a beer style. It’s an ethos upholding a tradition that has long since died out across most of Bavaria. For starters, Zoigl is brewed in a communal brewhouse, a brewing arrangement held over from medieval times. From there, the brewers transport the brew to their own cellars for fermentation before serving them in their Zoiglstuben for only a few days every month. Just look for the six-pointed Zoiglstern, the telltale sign that reveals where the beer is flowing.

And those Zoiglstuben! The Zoiglstube is more of a living room than a restaurant, a convivial place where every seat is full by late afternoon. It’s virtually impossible not to engage with other people. A steady stream of locals crowd in to swap stories or catch up on the news of the day, gladly making room for all who pass through the door. After a few Zoiglbier, we’re all locals.

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Brew Files – Episode 86 – Water The Primer

The Brew is Out There!

We’re going back to basics with a Drew & Denny’s primer on all things water. Why and what you need to worry about and what you shouldn’t worry about! Water doesn’t need to be complicated to get results!

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A Beer Judge’s Diary: Zoom!!!!!! to Great Meetings

Picture courtesy Russell Scott

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 Yeah, ya’ll have to know: best to meet via the internet these days due to COVID. I downloaded Zoom on my laptop and the home computer just before the first one we attended with Music City Brewers: a version of what we used to call Thirsty Thursday.Thirsty Thursday tends to be a little chaotic anyway, so that wasn’t a surpise. The net made it a little worse, but not much.
 It’s still a good idea even if it’s the more social gatherings people used to have way, way, WAY back in time. You know a month, more or less?
 I’ve already found a microphone, now I have to find a camera for the home PC. I swore it had one. These days it’s no humongous surprise that stores are sold out. Onward to the net.
  I felt Zoom shined the next day during this month’s regular meeting for Clarksville Carboys, Clarksville, TN. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Zoom!!!!!! to Great Meetings”

Maria Devan: Ithaca Beer Everyday Haze

Sweet haze on a yellow body with a creamy head of white foam that lasts a long time and falls clinging in streaks. Orange with orange pith, twiggy pine and grapefruit. Tropical highlights come to the nose slowly and some sweet green herbal. This beer smells like orange juice! The taste is exactly like orange juice and freshly squeezed to boot! This could be one of Ithaca’s most sensual and exotic beers. There is just a touch of bitterness in the swallow and the body of the beer is pillow-y soft and light for it’s 6.6 abv. It’s a piney sharpness that punctuates the bitterness. This is a quintessential IPA with traditional IPA flavors in the style of the NEIPA. If you have ever wanted to define the style NEIPA you have to do it by the mouthfeel and by the appearance. This beer shows you exactly why this variation on the style has it’s own name. It’s just different enough from the original IPA style to merit it’s own category . This beer is a 4.25 out of 5.

Inspection- COVID and Beer Yeast

By Ken Carman
 The analogy is by all means imperfect. I will point out some of the ways it is imperfect. But I do believe it will help folks who might not understand yet some thing about the nature of COVID.
 We keep talking about flattening the curve and how once it starts going back down things can open back up. I think when it comes to basic biology that’s a mistake. And I am open to you, dear readers, pointing out
any errors here. Hey, I was the Education/English major who ended up in Communications/Mass Media for my BA, then to Music Business and Recording. Science was NOT my strongest field in school. (However I have always had a vast interest in it, if only it they didn’t insist on turning it into a foreign language. But that’s another topic.)
 I am also a homebrewer who has written about beer for many years. But I admit I am a generalist in almost all fields, including brewing. I think that’s why some analogies I use can work well helping others understand. Not all. Ask my wife.
 How is beer yeast like COVID? Continue reading “Inspection- COVID and Beer Yeast”

It’s Time to Rethink Craft Beer

Have you heard the story about how IPA was invented in the 1800s because brewers were trying to figure out how to make a beer that could be shipped to India without going bad? They figured out that increasing the amount of alcohol and hops would help preserve the beer and a new style was born.

This story is not true. By the time I started working in the beer industry this myth had been widely debunked yet still spread. Those of us who know try their best to set the record straight.

In the same way it’s important to re-explore history, it’s valuable to re-examine how we talk about beer basics. Beer basics include ingredients and process, styles and flavors and pairing beer with food–what people need to know to start their journey as a beer geek.

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Belfast pub delivering pints of freshly-poured Guinness door-to-door during lockdown

A BELFAST pub is pulling out all the stops  – and the pints – to keep spirits up for those living in lockdown with a door-to-door Guinness delivery service. 

The Hatfield House on Ormeau Road in south Belfast has been delivering freshly-poured pints of Guinness to customers across the Northern Irish capital since the coronavirus pandemic prompted the temporary closure of all pubs.

Using a state-of-the-art van kitted out with a portable tap system, the service was created to help cater to those missing the distinctive taste of a perfectly poured pint of the black stuff.

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Questioning Traditional Palate Cleansers in Competitions

Hi, My name is Mirella and I’m a Craft Beer and Sensory consultant in Toronto. I’d like to share with you one of four things I think we should let go of as an industry. The below is a transcript of a video I originally posted on Youtube. If you’re interested, you can find the original video, as well as the other three topics on YouTube.

Transcript: Questioning Old Beer Habits Part 1

It’s time we reconsider using crackers (or bread) on the table during beer tasting and judging sessions.

Like most of the things I’m questioning, this custom was adopted from wine.The idea is to have some plain bread or unsalted crackers as a palate cleanser between beers.  Here’s the issue: there are number of beers that have a bread or cracker-like note. It would be the equivalent of using apple slices as a palate cleanser for wine. The reason bread and crackers work as a palate cleanser, in this instance, is that there are no bread-like flavours in wine; it’s fruit based.

Beer, on the other hand, is grain based. And, yes, it’s for the most part a different grain (we’re talking barley versus wheat) but the flavours are quite similar and I’ve found especially with light golden beers, that the cereal grain note in the crackers is stronger than the one in the beer and it impairs the evaluation process. Regardless of style, bread and crackers aren’t really ‘cleansing the palate’ between beers. The whole idea of a palate cleanser is to provide a sensory break, which doesn’t work when you’re presenting a food with similar flavours.

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