I headed out to Stone Brewingâ€™s Berlin outpost in Mariendorf with less than great expectations. Stoneâ€™s arrival in Berlin had been anything but auspicious. During a press conference in 2014, co-owner Greg Koch presided over the destruction of a pallet of main-stream German beers crushed with a rock dropped from a forklift. The symbolism was lost on no one, and the exercise in cultural tone-deafness did little to endear Stone to the German drinking public beyond the craft beer converts in the crowd.
Koch came to have misgivings about this public display of arrogance, stating in an interview with Nina Anika Klotz of Hopfenhelden that it wasnâ€™t a performance he was keen on repeating. He acknowledged that the stunt â€œwas not meant as an insult toward beer.â€ His target all along, he claimed, was not the German brewing tradition per se, but rather the industrially produced beer lining the shelves of German discount supermarkets like Rewe and Lidl â€” beer, he emphasized, that was undermining the sterling reputation of German brewing.
A new report by the public-interest advocacy group U.S. PIRG reveals that tests of five wines and 15 beers, including organic ones, found traces of the controversial weed killer glyphosate in 19 out of the 20.
They include brands like Coors Light, Miller Lite, Budweiser, Corona, Heineken, Guinness, Stella Artois and Samuel Adams.
â€œThe levels of glyphosate we found are not necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning given the potential health risks,â€ U.S. PIRG said.
Glyphosate, best known as an ingredient in Monsantoâ€™s Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization.
Iron Horse Brewery, located in painfully windy Ellensburg, Washington, brews what is arguably (it keeps winning STATE-WIDE crowd-sourced “best of” contests, pretty much every year) the most undefinable, odd, compelling beer made in the Pacific Northwest. Rivaled only by Sound Brewery’s “Monk’s Indiscretion” for inspired eccentricity, Iron Horse “Quilter’s Irish Death” chuckles – darkly – at the whole idea of “category”. Is it a Stout? Nope, although it may be a bit Stout-ISH. Is it a Wee Heavy. Getting colder? Is it an Irish Dry Stout? Again, NO. It’s a tad lighter in weight and texture than any of those but at 7.8% ABV, it’ll work just fine as a Winter Warmer. So…is it one? NO.
Our judges: Jerry Wood, Certified BJCP and Ken Carman, Certified BJCP
Letâ€™s beginning, as us judges so often do, with AROMA. I noticed Jerry commented on a sweet aroma. I did not comment on sweetness either way even though I frequently do: Jerry did and I should have. Jerry found it very sweet in the aroma: honey-like, and slightly sweet in flavor. I donâ€™t remember it that way: now I wish I had that second bottle Millie and I finished off to reassess for my own sake.
This is why I write notes to myself on top of judging sheet when Iâ€™m practicing filling them out. I try to catch what I missed once I review what I did.
Jerry found a mild solvent sense (“almost”) and perfume-y hop. We agreed on perfume-y but I didnâ€™t get any sense of solvent. In fact I found the alcohol level a tad low. More on this in a moment.
I also identified that the hops could be contributing to the pepper sense, which to me was overwhelming in the balance. Indeed my major issue was balance. We both had an 8 for AROMA. Continue reading “Judge Counter Points: New Belgium Tripel”
FLAGSHIP FEBRUARY…sounds like just another contrived event, made up to make somebody some quick cash, doesn’t it?
You could not be more wrong.
Flag February was conceived by two guys named Jay R. Brooks and Stephen Beaumont and it addresses one of the things about craft beer and our buzz-seeking culture that has always concerned me the most. We as beer fans are kinda, well, trendy. I’m no better about this than anybody else. New beers get me all atwitter, especially if the “new” part is some emerging style or variation or technical approach that breaks some new ground.
But the downside of that is that true greatness in craft brewing – those beers that set a new milepost and help breweries make their mark in the craft beer culture – often get lost in our communal rush after Buzz and Novelty and staying Hip and Current.