Month: January 2017
It’s the season of the stout, at least here in the northern US. Chilly weather and dark days just beg for a robust, malty dark beer. There are those of us out there stick with what we like regardless of season, though, and for some, the phrase “I only/don’t drink dark beer” is serious. If you love your porters, stouts and browns, how do you know what you’re getting into when selecting a six-pack or a pint at the bar? Turns out there a huge range of interpretations in each title, and it can be really hard to know how American breweries are defining well, anything. Maybe that’s what makes us such adventurous if not flaky drinkers. If you do want to get more particular, the mainly European inspiration for these dark styles can be segmented and broken down into a dozen more subcategories. Here’s a cheatsheet for buying American styles to help you determine a little more about the beer around here, for the meantime. And for those of you who are adamantly against the darkness, I’m recommending a few great starter choices, in case you decide to branch out. Because you should challenge yourself, dear beer lover. It only makes you better.
Beer, beer, everywhere. And how does it get from here to there? Historically, beer vessels were made out of wood by skilled craftsmen called coopers, but today the vast majority of large-format distributed beer for sale is packaged in kegs. There are however a sparse handful of mostly European breweries that still sell or store some of their beer in wooden casks. Wooden barrels continue to be widely used to age, condition, and store specialty beer, wine, and spirits by the beverage industry as a whole, but even cask-driven UK style beer and “real ales” are more frequently stored in kegs these days for cost, mobility and microbiological reasons.