The many aspects of beer flavor

We all know beer is delicious. What most people don’t think much about is WHY it’s delicious, or why some folks will rant and rave about a brew that you think is mediocre. It’s fine to simply like or not like a beer, but if one puts a bit of effort into figuring out how the beer really tastes, they might discover other brews that have similar characteristics. Continue reading

The smashing rise of hard cider

Walk into any restaurant or pub with a decent array of taps, or any liquor store, and you’ll see something that wouldn’t have been there 5 years ago: hard cider. Johnny Appleseed would be thrilled.

Today’s ciders can be sweet, sharp, dry, and even hoppy. They can be highly-carbonated or barely-carbonated, and appear with all sorts of extra flavors like cinnamon, ginger, pear (called “perry”), raspberry, and a variety of other flavors. Continue reading

Pairing beer and food

With breweries and beer choices multiplying like yeast cells in wort (beer before yeast transforms the sugary water into BEER), people are giving real thought to how to best pair beer with food.

When the only brews available were choices of light lagers, pairing beer with food was simple – either beer worked with the food or it didn’t. Those light beers do pair well with some foods because their crisp, refreshing, palate-cleansing nature washes away fats in, say, pizza or a burger, but their ideal food partners were limited. Continue reading

Glass choice makes a big difference for beer drinkers

Now that we’re all beginning to try beer with flavor (hopefully), it’s time to talk about how to properly enjoy said beer. When drinking nearly flavorless lagers, it really doesn’t matter what vessel you’re using to drink from … the bottle/can, a standard “shaker” pint glass, or an old shoe.

But the standard glass that we all know and are used to is about the worst glass one can use for beer. It’s terrible at all three goals a beer glass has: keep the beer cold, keep it carbonated, and hold the aroma in the glass. Continue reading

Beginning the craft beer journey

Let me be clear: all beer is good beer. There are merits to a nice cold Budweiser (or other light American lager) on a hot summer day … it’s crisp, refreshing, and inoffensive. Nothing wrong with that. But drinking just Bud/Miller/Coors is like only eating Quarter Pounders or Big Macs and never having a cheese steak sandwich, never having a sloppy Joe, never trying steak tips. Continue reading