May Beer Thoughts

Just a few random beer thoughts a week into May…

Irish Red Ale

I brewed up my second batch of Irish Red Ale because…well, Northern Brewer was offering a free growler with the purchase of this particular kit so I bit.  If there is one truism about homebrewers, it’s that we love us some glassware.  It’s like crack cocaine.

It was about one year ago that I tried this particular recipe for the first time.  The beer turned out well:

Irish Red Ale Part Deux

This style is perfect for brewing up a crowd pleasing batch of beer.  I stuck to the recipe as called out because I felt that I should leave well enough alone.

Like a well-crafted wheat beer or saison, the Irish red ale is easy to drink and pleasing.  No one is going to sing from the mountain top about the notes of licorice and dragon fruit along with a lingering hoppy finish, but no one is going to complain when you crack open a bottle and slide a glass under their nose.

After putting over thirty miles on the bike this afternoon, a cold glass of this particular ginger beauty was a welcome sight.

A Guide to Sustainable Beer

What does it mean for beer to be sustainable?  The good folks over at Grist.org took a shot at the topic.  I agree that sustainable beer starts with craft brewers and ends there because there is no way that the AB-InBevs of the world can be sustainable.  Sorry, but these companies are the liquid equivalent of WalMart and Monsanto.

From there it becomes a question of what you think is sustainable.  Is it local?  Beer can be made and consumed locally.  Heck, it’s better that way.  But what about the ingredients?  You want to source hops locally and do not live in New York or the Pacific Northwest?  Good luck.  You want to go organic?  Some have tried, but the market does not seem to bear the extra cost—even though I personally loved Mothership Wit when it was available.  The discontinuation of that beer was one of the reasons that I started homebrewing in the first place.  Thanks New Belgium.

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