It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere, so naturally my mind turns to beer. My most recent homebrew, an Irish red ale, is being poured and another batch is in the carboy, an American wheat.
The only downside, when you drink beer you have to make beer:
Irish Red Ale
Very drinkable. This is one of those descriptions people give to a beer that I think is the kiss of death. It basically says to me that nothing is very memorable about the beer five minutes after finishing a glass. However, I am beginning to think that in the evening following a hot summer day this is exactly the kind of beer you want to drink. You can see the “color” of the beer in the photo above.
More than some previous “lawnmower” beers I brewed up—notable the AK47 recipe from the good folks at Northern Brewer—the Irish red ale has more personality. Unlike some aggressively hopped or overly alcoholic beers this particular beer is drinkable in a way that lets you finish a few pints without feeling like you’re bloated on bong water. Sorry for the imagery, but my friend from St. Louis came up this past weekend with about ten different beers from local breweries down south. Half of them filled the room with the distinct aroma of a head shop the moment the bottle cap was lifted. Ugh!
Patersbier and Petitie Saison d’Ete
The next couple of batches that I brew are going to be different styles from anything I have tried earlier. It is going to be an escape from the trap of American hybrid ales. Do not be fooled, I am a huge fan of the American style of beer but there is something to be said for spreading one’s wings.
Patersbier is the brew that monk’s save for themselves. Translated literally, patersbier means “father’s beer.” Usually not served or sold to the public patersbier is a very drinkable and rare treat. This is one of those styles of beers that makes you glad to be a homebrewer because it is unlikely anyone you know has ever raised a glass.
Another notable element of the patersbier recipe is that is calls for Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity. A characteristic of this yeast is that is produces few iso-amyl acetate, which are the dreaded banana flavor producing molecules. You may like banana flavor in your beer, but it makes me want to vomit.
Petitie Saison d’Ete is a session strength seasonal beer. Of less strength—in terms of alcohol—from beers with similar ingredients this beer represents a continental version of the “lawnmower” beer.
Can Craft Beer Save the U.S. Economy?
Can beer save America? Or, more accurately, can craft and smaller scale beer save the American economy? It’s a question posed by David Sirota over at Salon.
I think the question is less can craft beer save the American economy, but can deep craft save the American economy? It’s not the small scale, in and of itself, that makes many craft beers so attractive and what propels to segment’s growth. Rather, it is the ability to pay attention to details forgotten by the large brewers because these characteristics do not apply to a broad audience or are too expensive to institute on a large scale.
The same thing could be said for a lot of other segments of the economy. Whether it’s furniture built with a degree of customization impossible from China or Ikea. Or, meat raised by ranchers and farmers who actually care about the welfare of the animals and the health of the planet everyone shares.
Maybe it’s just craft for craft’s sake. Like the light bulb guy in Portlandia. Maybe that was a low blow.
I am only listening to what the beer glass tells me to do!