Archive | October, 2010

A non-beer review!

27 Oct

I know its been a while since I’ve had a post up, but I’ve had a few extenuating circumstances that have had me not drinking beer lately. I’ve actually been drinking a lot of another beverage:

 

This pours a dark green with a thick sticky consistency. I can’t comment much on aroma as my nose was completely stuffed up, but it does have a strong medicine-y anise taste, and coats your throat well. I think one of the best features of this would be the way I was dead to the world in a half hour and the bizarre dreams that came with that. I do have one complaint. As a side effect of the Doxylamine succinate (6.25 mg/15 mL), an antihistamine/hypnotic, it basically turned the mucus in my nose to sludge in my ear canal, which in turn became severely infected. So, besides grossing my doctor out (he actually said “eew”) I can’t really hear and my ear is leaking. I guess overall, I’m not the biggest fan of NyQuil, and will be sticking with my Mom’s age old cold remedy of a hot brandy before bed.

So, now I’m on antibiotics for two weeks and am waiting for complete recovery. I’ve been pretty ill for at least 10 days, and am tired of laying around my apartment. For the last few days all I’ve wanted to do is go to the gym and drink a delicious beer that I can actually taste. I think I’ll need to have some sort of celebration when that can finally happen. Soon.

Women in Brewing at Stone

13 Oct

After reading The Beer Wench’s recent blog post about the objectification of women in the beer ad industry, I was put into the super feminist mindset. So I decided it was time to get off my ass and finally get around to writing up my experience at the Stone Brewing Women in Beer class I attended recently. Well it was a month ago, but I was waiting to hear back from someone over at Stone with the answers to a few queries I had, that looks like its not coming so here we go.

This class was great for me because it was a lot of firsts; it was the first time I went up to Stone Bistro and Gardens, and the first time trying quite a few beers. The class was all about the history of women in brewing, and had conversation with women who actually work in the brewing industry today. Turns out that women were the brewmasters from ancient times forward, until about the middle ages when men found out they could make themselves a profit making beer and quickly branded women brewers AKA Brewsters as witches and snagged the market. Jerks. Along the way of our discussion we were given seven beers to try that were all created by female brewers.

We started with Dogfish Head Theobroma. This was part of their Ancient Ale series, I guess they had some archeologists scrape bits of ancient beer residue from recovered artifacts, and recreated the recipes. It was mild, and a little on the sweet side as there were no hops added to beer at this point in history. The addition of cocoa and chili made it a really interesting taste; the cocoa really came through followed by the warmth of the chili that made me think of drinking hot chocolate.

 Next we moved on to Moylan’s Dragoon’s Irish Stout. This looks like the part of the night that I was really paying attention to the speakers, because my notes are a little on the vague side. This beer has a really nice roasted aroma, reminded me of the smell of a BBQ getting started up. Had a nice dry finish and lightly bodied.

After that was Victory’s HopDevil. I liked this IPA a lot, it had a peppery taste with some hop bitterness that was just right to make it drinkable.

Next we cracked open Maui Brewing’s Coconut Porter. This was the one beer that I had tried prior to this class. I had been having a bad night the first time and didn’t really pay attention, so here’s what I noticed the second time around: has a really chocolaty aroma, but is not overwhelming in the taste. I actually get more of a roasted coffee taste than the chocolate, with a little of a coconut sweetness. Tasty!

The fifth beer was St. Feuillien Triple.  I learned something new about Belgians, in that they all use a specific yeast that gives them that distinct “Belgian” taste, and using candy sugar in the secondary ferment is what gives the extra boost of alcohol without extra body. So this one came in at 8.5% ABV, had a clove and a bit of anise taste to it and a nice little tingle.

Next was Allagash Confluence Ale, this was by far the most interesting beer I had that night. Its an American Wild Ale, that I wrote “smells like sugar cookie dough, really floral. Is tingly, grassy, has a bit of spice, and that Brettanomyces funk after.”

We ended the night with Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, A Black IPA that was thought up by one of the ladies right there talking about it. It was tasty, one I’d definitely like to revisit considering I wrote nothing about it besides the fact that they originally wanted the name to be Black Steel. That’s rad.

This was a really well put together event. The ladies who spoke were really interesting, and really personal. It felt like we were all having a nice little chat instead of sitting in a “class.” Good work! I really look forward to the next one.

 And on a related note, I have a pretty big project that’s in the works. I’ll be starting my very own Brewster training. I have been thinking a lot about moving into brewing my own beer as a means to understand more what I’m drinking, and why they taste and smell as they do. This weekend, on a total fluke, I happened to find an AMAZING deal on some homebrewing equipment and have been doing a bit of reading up on the subject. So look forward to the tales of me making some (hopefully) delicious beer right in my own kitchen!