Category: Style

Now we get to try some good old Guinness

GUINNESS STOUT is one of the most well-known brands of any kind in the world.

Its harp logo is as familiar as the McDonald’s arches. Its dark body and tan, cascading head are instantly recognizable from across the bar. Even beer drinkers who’ve never left Port Richmond can tell you it’s been brewed since 1759 at St James’s Gate, in … Read the rest

Pre-Prohibition brews weren’t the tastiest beers

IF WE’RE living in the best of beer times – an unprecedented era of expansive choice, inventive styles and technological superiority – how do you explain the aberration that’s come to be called Pre-Pro?

Now, you can count me among the corps of traditionalists who hold it as an article of faith that older is better than new. I prefer … Read the rest

How to add refreshing spice to beer? Gingerly

THE PURIST in me is gagging even as I write this, but the other day I took a perfectly good Sam Adams Boston Lager, poured half of it into a pint glass, then topped it with a can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale.

Gassy and sweet, with the lager’s classic noble hops now completely masked by sugar, it could only … Read the rest

No-calorie beer? It’s not a fat chance anymore

SOMEDAY, someone is going to make a zero-calorie beer. It’ll look, smell, taste and feel just like the real thing, but it won’t contain an iota of caloric content.

I know this because:

1. The leading segment in the beer world is light – aka diet – beer. People want fewer and fewer calories, even if it means dumbing down … Read the rest

Pilsners debuted to a hostile crowd

PALE YELLOW lager – it’s as ordinary as white boxer shorts.

Imagine telling that to the Munich brewers who gathered a few weeks after their beloved Oktoberfest in 1895 to gripe about this newfangled brew called Helles Lagerbier. That kind of talk would have had you facing the wrath of Hans and Fritz, clicking their heels and railing about the … Read the rest

This contest beckons brewers who walk on the wild side

CATEGORY 23. It is the netherland of beer, a cryptic destination for brewer-artistes whose imaginations pry them from the realm of conventionality.

Category 23 is the final classification in the Beer Judge Certification Program’s biblical taxonomy of styles. The first 22 define traditional styles of ales and lagers: porter, wheat beer, Belgian ale, bock, pale ale, and so on. Category … Read the rest

Americans should create their own spring brew

EVERY YEAR around March 1, a handful of French breweries release a special beer to mark the change of seasons. It’s called Biere de Mars, which is French for March beer.

There’s a bunch of hoopla. Caf├ęs put up signs announcing the arrival of the malty, slightly hoppy brew from Meteor, Kronenbourg, Fischer and a few other breweries. It’s all … Read the rest

Some beers can stay in the cellar a long time

AT FIRST, THE expiration date on bottles of Boon Mariage Parfait looks like a typo: Best before 29-06-2027.

That’s not some Y2K mistake. The superb gueuze, a blend of Belgian lambics, is good till June 29, 2027.

Assuming you can wait that long.

In an age when Budweiser has set the freshness standard with its famous “born-on” date (good for … Read the rest

Why you can’t brew ice bock in the U.S.

THE BEER in front of me was dark and strong . . . and totally illegal in America.

It was an ice bock, an old style that – thanks to one of those puzzling quirks in alcohol law – cannot be brewed in America and sold as beer.

I won’t mention the brewer who made it because he could face … Read the rest