Sunday, August 24, 2014
Part of the 2014 Harvest Collection, Harvest Saison pours a delightfully hazy ripe pineapple hue with an short eggshell colored head. Sweet to the taste, made with barley, oats, rye and wheat, this saison delivers on the Belgian style very well. Banana, bubble gum, pineapple and pear all vie for the attention of the taste buds. Similar in some respects to a hefeweizen, or even a dunkelweizen (sans the dark color of course) but with a character all its own. Great addition to the annual Harvest Collection.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Cloudy, dark apricot-orange in color, not much of a head. Technically a barleywine, it undoubtedly shares some characteristics with its grapey cousins. Very strong raisin tastes, maybe some plum, and lingering on the borders of perception...figs. Hold on; I think that I detect some black cherry on the back of my tongue. Almost syrupy in consistency, similar in feel to those "nectars".
Very tasty; but be careful, 11.9% ABV makes this a sit-at-home-and-don't-operate-heavy-machinery brew.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Within the modern brewing community, "IPA" became synonymous with "really hoppy" and many breweries designated their hoppiest beer as an IPA. This resulted in a wide variance in IBU's (International Bittering Unit - a measurement of hop derived bitterness) from brewer to brewer and region to region, with the Pacific Northwest gaining a reputation for being a center for hoppy beers.
With the popularity of IPA's has come the phenomena of branding anything that is even slightly hoppy as an IPA. You have your Black IPA's, Red IPA's, Belgian or White IPA's, Rye IPA's ad infinitum. There is some disagreement among the craft beer community about whether or not this is a good thing. If you are one who believes that craft brewing is a sacred calling that should be outside the realm of crass commercialism, then sure, it's bad. But if you recognizer that it's a business like any other, you see that "IPA" has become shorthand for "hoppy" and leave it at that.
Another appellation that has achieved critical mass is the term "Imperial". Originally used only as part of the style Imperial Russian Stout, a specific style of stout that received its name due to it being brewed in England for the Russian Czars,"'Imperial" has come to mean "a really large amount of alcohol" when appended to an existing beer style, like "Imperial Porter", or "Imperial Amber".
The bottom line is that what a brewery calls its beer may or not be a helpful description of what is actually in the bottle. Read beer reviews, sample when possible and do your research. there's a lot great beer out there!