German IPA, Polaris, 1217, process, self-righteousness – must be an October brew day

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There I was, citizens: I was enjoying the last gasps of Minnesota summer while brewing outside, I was drinking something from Maine Brewing Co., I was trying out some new hops and new yeast, I was smelling the roast happening at the coffee shop downwind, I was gristing some malt and heating some water and ruminating on a recent conversation with friends. Continue reading

Reader question: Brett beers to try

Reader Carl wrote:

I was recently at Surly’s taproom and tried both You’re in (Urine) Trouble and Misanthrope and was surprised by how much I liked them. I have not had any Brett beers before and now want to expand my tastes; do you have any suggestions for what I should try that are available in our (MN) market?

Help me out, citizens: what should Carl drink? I’ll go first:

MN-specific, two other beers I’ve had in the past year from local brewers that stand out in my mind were Surly Brett Liquor IPA and Pour Decisions St. Whatshername Tripel. They’re both limited-release, so keep your eyes peeled.

And you can’t go wrong with the classics: Cantillon, Boon, Hanssens, Rodenbach, Bockor Cuvee des Jacobins, Orval, Liefmans …

bubbles in my beer, part 2

Citizens, in the last several months your author has seen a number of stories about new, contract-brewed brands built almost purely around a marketing concept or narrow demographic target that seem to be, to put it as objectively as possible, all hat and no cattle. What a lot of folks in the fall of 2012 might have considered “getting into brewing for the wrong reasons.”

My knee jerk reaction was uncharitable and unfavorable. Deep, internet forum-grade butthurt, scandalized like a Victorian lady. My second, more considered line of inquiry was to dig a little deeper. Join me in examining my feelings.

Continue reading

prep day: Quotidian Pale Ale

Back in my day, when we had a gold-to-amber colored hoppy ale that was about 4.5% abv, we didn’t call it Session IPA. We called it “pale ale.” It was bitter but balanced, reasonable about its alcohol content, and it smelled like grapefruit and pine trees and cat piss … and we liked it that way.  Continue reading

feels like the first time

self portrait with Secession

The recent opportunity to try Westvleteren 12 (thanks, David!) got me thinking: what makes a beer memorable? There are objectively great, world-class, special occasion beers – like the Westy – and then there are your personal favorites, and the overlap (or lack thereof) is interesting. Continue reading