Long-forgotten yeast strains are being sought out from shipwrecks, abandoned breweries and other locations in the hope they could be put to good use if resurrected.
As we head towards the end of another extraordinary year, BBC Future is taking a look back at some of our favourite stories for our “Best of 2021” collection. Discover more of our picks here.
As the diver gently eased himself through a hatch into the sunken hold, he could see the shipwreck’s treasure lying in wait for him. It had been down there for more than 100 years. But now some of it was about to be freed from its resting place.
The explorer in question, Steve Hickman, a dive technician and amateur diver, carried a small, netted bag with him. The treasure he was after was beer. Preserved in the hold of this vessel were row upon row of glass beer bottles, partly buried in silt.
Continuing my plan to write about issues rather than some droll recounting of competitions….
I started judging in the late 90’s.
I’ve seen well run competitions, poor run competitions. Most of them are between the two. I’d like to share some problems I’ve seen. Have no fear, organizers, no specific comp will be mentioned, unless it’s one I started.
Some things are so obvious: like not having spicy Italian food for lunch, and especially not placing it a few feet away from judge; especially with no cover.
Let’s pose a problem: someone leaves the staff quickly. Even if there’s no indication they might be mad, or have a grudge, change the damn passwords. Lock them out. Not meanness, just security. They may seem the nicest person in the world to you (or not), but who knows for sure what’s going inside someone else’s mind?
Play it safe. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: Competition Dos and Don’ts”
This is a maple bourbon barrel Mocha Latte Imperial Stout, aged. I don’t get a lot of bourbon, the maple is obvious. Bourbon more in the nose. I really don’t care for it when brewers over declare, but this comes very, very close to what’s declared. Only critique in this regard is some of what they declared is so background might have been better if a little more, but that’s VERY subjective.
Thick, almost chewy, viscous body that no light will ever shine through. Black, obsidian, the devil couldn’t shine a light through this. Pretty much no head.
This is close to all advertised, just some more in nose, some more to taste. Bourbon more to nose. Mocha and rye more to taste.
Initial attack is rye, dark malts and obviously high abv: but not that high to taste. Compliments to the brewer. Middle is rye hangs into the finish and the aftertaste with alcohol and male: dark, deep, luxurious. Bourbon really very minor to taste.
Aroma is light bourbon, caramel malt-ish and darker malt. No roasted barley sensed.
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.”
Written by Franz D. Hofer for A Tempest in a Teapot
An entry from my beer notebook describes a day trip from Brussels in June 2019: “By shortly after noon, I had found my way to Het Anker, the ‘real’ reason for my visit to Mechelen. I love how beer, breweries, and their history get me out to places I wouldn’t otherwise visit!”
When you think about all those dazzling Belgian cities like Bruges, Antwerp, or Ghent, Mechelen probably isn’t the first place you’d think of visiting on a trip to Belgium. But with its magnificent St. Rumbold Cathedral, historic béguinage quarters, and vibrant squares, Mechelen is well worth the 30-minute train ride from Brussels.
Mechelen is also home to a dense concentration of classic beer cafes that exude a time-worn charm you just won’t find in many of today’s sleek but curiously anodyne establishments. And if that’s not enough, it’s also home to Het Anker, brewers of Gouden Carolus, a range of weighty beers named after Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.