Four Brewers | Pre-Gaming with Session Beers
Season 2, Episode 6 – We’re starting early for this show, eleven in the morning to be exact, and were taking it easy and ramping up to the bourbon barrel-aged blind tasting with session beers from around the world.
It’s all about pacing yourself and easing in. That’s what we’re doing this week. Our blind tasting, bourbon barrel-aged stout series is happening next week, so we decided to do a little beer tour and sample some session-able beers from around the world. We had a really early start for this recording session, so it seemed appropriate.
First up is a classic English bitter from Fuller’s called London Pride. This beer is a really great starter due to it’s caramel, malty flavor that’s balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. It isn’t too harsh, and really wakes up the palate.
Next up is a beer on the other side of the spectrum, Lost Coast Brewery’s Sharkinator white IPA. Described simply as a dry hopped version of Lost Coast’s Great White witbier, the hop aroma of this beer is very much in-your-face, and has a nice, burst of citrus flavor with a malty, wheat finish. We get into a discussion about dry hopping techniques, as well as the effect a bottle label can have on a consumer looking for new beers.
The bottle label discussion brings us to a beer from Green Flash Brewing Co. called Mosaic Session IPA. Green Flash, like many other breweries, jumped on the session IPA bandwagon with this beer, and while the beer has a nice hoppy aroma, the mouthfeel and flavor leave you wanting something more. Session IPAs in general seem to suffer from this as a whole. This is definitely an evolving style that will either find it’s groove, or fall by the wayside like other beer style trends.
The next beer is a great example of why green bottles are so bad for beer. Brasserie Dupont’s Avril is a 3.5% ABV table beer that is normally an outstanding example of a low alcohol, easy drinking, Belgian saison. However, upon pouring this particular bottle of beer, that skunky, stinky smell associated with light struck beers presents itself. Green bottles are just as bad as clear bottles when it comes to blocking ultraviolet light, while brown bottles perform quite well at this task. From a purely aesthetic point of view, this is a very sexy, well designed bottle, but when it comes to beer, the form of the packaging should always follow its function. Consuming this beer fresh is ideal, so be careful when purchasing any beer in a green or clear bottle as it will only accelerate the beer’s deterioration.
We’ll save you the trouble of reading about the next beer. Fürst Wallerstein’s Zwickel is normally a pretty tasty brew, but this bottle has seen better days, and the beer inside simply just fell apart. We found out on the show that this style of beer doesn’t travel very well, and has poor shelf life. It was a bummer for sure, but it happens.
Finally, we end the show on a high note with a favorite of Jason’s, Köstritzer Schwarzbier. This 4.8% ABV black lager is delicious. It was a “craft conversion” beer for Jason, and rightly so. Described by Matt as a “helles with cocoa”, the beer is super-dry, and the style can range from 14-28 IBU. It’s very accessible, so pick up some cans if you see it.
This week’s show was sponsored by the Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Pliny Fights Cancer Charity Raffle, and Firkfest. We’ll be broadcasting the raffle drawing live from Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach on February 23rd. Firkfest is March 21st at Farmers Park in Anaheim, California. Tickets are going fast, so get ’em while you can. Links for both events are below.
BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
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