Barkeep’s Corner is a series of posts discussing equipment, concepts and techniques useful to beer servers and bartenders.
Today we’re talking about a special item: flow-control faucets. You may have seen or worked with them in bars that feature a lot of European (especially Belgian) beer brands or perhaps you’ve noticed them at a newer brewery tasting room. Certain bars that bring in a wide variety of beer styles may also choose to use them. They’re not everywhere, but if you live in a craft beer-loving part of the country you will probably notice them at some point.
This series of articles discusses ingredients other than hops traditionally or contemporarily used in beer that can be grown and/or harvested in the Northern Hemisphere.
A well-known spice in so many cuisines of the world, coriander was and still is an important product of the world spice trade. It’s also an ingredient in certain beer styles and has a long history of use in brewing.
In this series I showcase craft beer under 5% ABV: because life is too short to just have one beer. All posts are uncompensated and opinions are my own.
What I’m drinking today
Da Shootz! American Pilsner is a 4% ABV lager brewed by Deschutes Brewing Co. It’s a very light-bodied beer with lemon-lime notes, a crisp finish and a refreshing carbonation level.
Well, that’s a mouthful. The cake on the other hand is not: it’s light, delicate, crumbly in the best way, tart, sweet, and delightfully beery. This is a simple recipe that makes a not-too-fancy sweet treat to have around the house–or you can definitely dress it up with some add-ons and serve it for dessert, bring it to a BBQ or put it on a brunch platter.
In this series I visit contemporary beer styles and examine where they currently sit in today’s market. Tastes, demands, equipment and supplies change over time, which leads beer styles to adapt and evolve. So, just how did we get from there to here, and why?
Today’s focus is one of my favorite styles. Pilsners have a history rich in human developments–creatively, scientifically and engineering-wise. I could lie and say that’s the reason I love pilsners so much–but really, I can mostly just point to the crisp, clean grain and delicious goodness of a well-made pint.
There’s not really a season to roasting meats, but I do always crave the coziness of a whole roast bird in the cooler months. Holidays aside, it’s a super satisfying way to heat your kitchen up, infuse it with delicious aromas, and have a great feast of a meal. And the bonus, unless you happen to have a very large family, is the leftovers! Cold roast chicken is becoming a favorite of mine. You can dress it up or keep it simple. So what’s my beverage of choice with these divine leftovers? A solid American pale ale. One with a light body, bright, citrusy or piney hops, balanced–not so much an IPA with training wheels on type of pale or a fruit punch type of pale (though experiment on your own!)
In my house, beer is on almost every celebratory table, but for many Americans, Thanksgiving often leans toward wine–red, in particular. Now I have absolutely nothing against a lovely dinner with wine, but I wanted to remind everyone in their Thanksgiving planning that beer also deserves some serious consideration! I’m thankful for beer. Aren’t you?
Pickled herring is a recent favorite of mine, though it’s a not a new idea–it’s a true old-school European staple. Sour, salty, and a bit sweet, the bright cold oceanic flavors of pickled herring make a lot of sense in Seattle’s maritime climate. While a common drink pairing for Scandinavian cultures would often be aquavit or snaps, I also enjoy it with a roasty, balanced porter!
I recently spent two weeks traveling in the lovely country of Belgium, where I dived headfirst into drinking my way through so many delicious beers I’d never heard of and beers I certainly can’t buy at home. I visited breweries, well-known beer cafes, hole-in-the-wall bars, nearly every bottle shop I saw and I also attended a beer festival. I know for a lot of beer lovers and industry pros here in the US Belgian beers are highly regarded and often hyped to extremes. And while I absolutely would rather be drinking Belgian blondes and faro lambics daily, there’s a lot more to the beer culture in Belgium than just hype. There’s a long history and respect for beer and its place in daily life. Here’s my breakdown–I hope it inspires you to travel, or if not, perhaps just incorporate some of the following thoughts into your love of (Belgian) beer.
Unless you’ve been living under a sober rock, you’ve probably noticed a lot of beers focusing on a particular hop varietal: Citra®. Even if you haven’t noticed the hype, you’ve very likely consumed a lot of Citra® anyway. At 10 years on the market, it’s not really a “new” hop, but its quickly-growing popularity with consumers and brewers has influenced hop farmers to plant heavily. In fact, Yakima Chief Hops and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service claim Citra® is the leading variety planted in the Pacific Northwest in 2018! And as you know, Washington state produces 75% of the nation’s hops–meaning that a whole lot of the nation is excited about Citra®. Why exactly has Citra® snagged the hearts and palates of millions?