Thursday, July 9, 2015
While at Lazlo's Beer Tour this past Monday night a question was posed to Jim about cans vs. bottles. Many of the newer craft beer companies are packaging their beer in cans, when it has been the practice over the last few years to go with bottles - so much so that, for many people, the experience of craft beer is connected to bottles, while cans are looked down upon and connected in the culture to "mass-produced". Part of the reason that start up breweries (until recently) packaged in bottles was that it was cheaper (until recently) to bottle as compared to cans. In the last few years this trend has reversed and it has become very affordable to can: the equipment is affordable and the cost of cans is much lower than that of bottles. Some brewers (including Sierra Nevada) have done controlled taste tests comparing canned vs. bottled beer and there is no discernable difference. There are several benefits to canned beer for the consumer. The main one is that the can protects the beer from UV light, the main culprit in "skunking" beer. Cans are lighter and pack more efficiently. They are easier to carry in and way easier to carry out when bringing beer to a picnic or camping trip. Since they crush when empty, they don't take up as much room in your trash. As a follow up to this conversation, Jim said that a bottle is a delivery package for beer, not something that you should drink it out of. Several things happen (or fail to happen) when you drink beer out of a bottle: not enough CO2 is released, affecting the taste; and you are cutting off your sense of smell, which, as any 5th grade science student knows, is a huge component of taste; you don't get a head, which, among other things, traps some of the aroma (and therefore flavor) in the bubbles. Drinking out of a can is somewhat better than a bottle, since you have that round flat surface of the beer separated by air from the top of the can, allowing some air flow. Jim's advice was pour your beer into something, even if it's a plastic cup.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Kölsch,to remind those who are not obsessive about beer styles as I am, is a hybrid style: brewed with ale yeast and warm fermented as ales are, but then lagered, i.e. set aside in cool temperatures as lagers are. Altbier is the other main hybrid style. Altbiers, however, tend to be a medium dark in hue, with a nutty, or sometimes chocolaty flavor, while a Kölsch tends to be golden in color and much lighter in body, closer to the lager side of the family. While I question whether this is a true Kölsch, Blue Blood has done a pretty good job of replicating the taste and feel of the style. It pours crisp and clear with a bright white head. There's flowery and fruity notes and an unobtrusive sweetness. Low IBU and ABV, making for a good beer for the hot days of summer.