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Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Odds and Ends

I've been trying to think of a hook for this story, but I got nothin'.
But one [distillery] has found a work-around. It's come up with a chemical process that ages bourbon not in years — but in hours. The innovation is unsettling an industry that is long-soaked in history and tradition....

Terressentia's website says its process uses ultrasonic energy and oxygenation, which "finishes chemical reactions that failed to complete in the distillation stage," and results in a "smoother mouth feel."
Interesting, though.

Next, I'd like to direct you to the latest All About Beer blog post, in which thinking about the validity of regional IPA subtypes (West Coast, East Coast, etc.) leads me to consider regionalism:
So, if we think there’s a style effect going on, it’s more likely a brewery effect. They don’t drink a lot of Dortmund export in Cleveland because of some exotic local preference (I’d find it mighty surprising to see the Dortmunder style pop up anywhere else)—but because the favorite local brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Co., makes a great version of that beer. Here in Portland, one of the U.S. cities most famous for hops, our best-selling craft beer is a wheat ale. But that’s not because Portland is a wheat ale town (they’re pretty rare), but because Widmer’s flagship is Hefeweizen, and Widmer’s our hometown brewery.
And finally, a personal note: the Beer Bible apparently went to the printer today. They're doing two versions, hard- and soft-cover, though the former is mainly just for the library market. (Just 1,500 copies, but you can pre-order one--no doubt for a Limited! Time! Only! from Amazon.) On the inner flaps of the dust cover, the publisher has written really nice copy. To celebrate the imminent tangible manifestation of the book, I'd like to share it with you. (An indulgence, and I appreciate it.)
Never in the long history of drinking have beer lovers had it so good, with a brewing renaissance happening around the globe. And never before have beer lovers who also have a thirst for knowledge had it so good—The Beer Bible is a lively, comprehensive, authoritative, and purely fun-toread guide to beer in all its glory.

The Beer Bible celebrates the pleasure of discovery, for readers new to beer, and the pleasure of connoisseurship, for old hands ever eager for more information. It’s a book built on the premise that the best way to learn about beer isn’t by trying every one out there, but instead pouring your favorite and studying it. That’s what opens the doorway to history, culture, and craft, the influences that make each style of beer unique.

Like bitter, for example. Its origins in the twin discoveries of hops as a spicing agent and modern kilning, which allowed for straw-colored malts. How it took several more centuries to displace the great porter epoch. The influence of mineral-rich Burton water. The Zen simplicity of how bitter is brewed. The quality called “moreish”—a distinctly British adjective extolling the virtue of being pleasant over the course of a full evening at the pub. And the fact that it really needs to be drunk straight from the tap or cask.

To top it off, Jeff Alworth’s ever-engaging style: “British bitters are characterized by a definite hop presence, but they have no violence in them. The hops ride atop a gentle biscuit sweetness and add marmalade and spice.” And so it goes for bocks and lambics, schwarzbiers and Vienna lagers, saisons and Pilsners, weisses, weizens, and witbiers.

Welcome to beer heaven.
(That last sentence even seems to be a subtle tip of the hat to this blog.)

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