Category: Style Spotlight
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.
We’re approaching the specialty bottle release season for breweries across the country–from glossy wax-dipped barrel-aged stouts to spiced seasonal strong ales and big barleywines in boxes, it seems everyone is putting out something interesting and shiny. At this point in the industry, aged beer in one or more of its various styles has become practically expected for new breweries. Home cellar collectors have become a larger and larger part of a higher-spending customer base, launching social networks to enable trading, standing for long drizzly hours in lines for limited releases and attending festival after festival. Aged strong ales are not exactly a new concept, but many of today’s breweries are approaching barreling and blending is with huge levels of excitement and innovation. With American craft’s glorious mishmash of inspiration and global focus, who wouldn’t be excited?
It’s nearly that time again, for local Oktoberfest celebrations and packed store shelves showcasing Oktoberfestbiers and Märzens! Most Americans are familiar with the festival as a fantastic excuse to drink German-style beer, but the origins and beer style itself are slightly separate from the huge occasion around the globe today.
Kölsch is a light-bodied, pale malt beer hailing from Köln, Germany, the nation’s fourth-largest city with just over a million inhabitants. Many American breweries produce contemporary versions of the style, especially come summer when drinkers tend to seek out crisp, refreshing sessionable beers. But hardly anyone knows the real background of the style, a beer inseparable from Koln’s history and cultural identity.
Salty, spiced, and sour: you may have heard the hubbub of conjecturing beer writers labeling Gose-style ales the next new trend in craft brewing, or maybe you’ve seen a few on tap nearby in the last year. Where did this seemingly unknown style come from, and why has it been picked up by craft breweries? To find the answers, we’ve got to go back, way back‒1000 years, in fact.