I have long been an American defender of European palates. I have spent many a session (and blog post) defending half-liter pours of Bavarian helles beer or imperial pints of cask bitter. Mark gives one of the best one-sentence description of the pleasures of cask ale—and helles lager: “There’s a simplicity to these beers that belies their depth and balance and makes their drinkability somehow increase as you go from pint to pint.” Totally true.
But I think it’s time I defend American palates for our European friends.
The second note is the new podcast, in which Patrick and I consider Trappist ales. Not all abbey ales, just the monastic ones. The idea came to us as we considered the lingering winter and the absence of American winter ales (which get pulled from shelves Jan 1), and which beers we--all right, I--turn to in these desperate months. If ever there was a beam of liquid sunshine on a winter's day, it was one of the Trappist ales of Belgium. Listen to it below or on iTunes. (And bonus production note: new mic!)