Trends For 2017

A friend of mine sent me a link on craft beer trends for next year. My take on that?

  1. Lagers are due for some attention from craft breweries but I don’t know why they’d show up in fall: seasonally lagers make more sense in summer. That said: lagers don’t get a lot of attention because the macrobreweries have that style on lockdown. I’m not very hopeful for this one.
  2. IPAs as grapefruit juice: is SO 2016. Please no.
  3. Milk stouts…I can’t say that I’d be displeased about those but I’ve already made my own! Multiple times even and again this weekend. So for once, I’m ahead of the curve!
  4. Coffee beers…where has this person been? Coffee stouts have been a staple of the craft brew scene for at least a decade, as far as I can recall. They can’t be a new trend if they’re already there.
  5. Kolsch…you do whatever you want with your kolsch but until it’s better or more interesting than Old Town Brewing’s beer, I’m hard pressed to care. And that style is damned hard to do well, so I don’t expect this one to ring true. Especially with the “experimentation” angle being put forth. Kolsch is so light that adding any flavor will allow that flavor to dominate the beer.
  6. Gose have been on the cusp of making it big for about two years, maybe three. If the GABF has shown the writer that breweries are finding a way to make the style break into the big time, I’m all for it: the style of beer is really interesting and especially refreshing in warm weather.

And that the hot take on…uh, another hot take?

The Respite 8

I don’t know but:

If I bring a 7/8ths full beer back to the bartender-Fremont’s Field to Ferment, in this instance-and say “I don’t want this, it’s got an awful, dirty taste on the back end and can’t drink it.”

and the bartender samples the beer and says “I can see where you’re coming from.”

Then I believe the response should be to offer me a replacement, not the opportunity to purchase another beer.

Common Ales: Rainier Mountain Pale Ale

29345728930_429620d23a_cSo…Rainier did a pale ale. I have thrown myself upon that sword in order to tell you about it.

The Rainier Mountain Ale: nose is sweet, more malt oriented. There’s also a hint of that lager funk that disappears quickly. However, the flavor is…weird. There’s a bitterness on the finish that rises up after a few sips but I’m not getting something to counterbalance it. The midrange is a bit invisible; there just isn’t much there to set this beer up for something good. What is in the midrange: a little bit of banana.

I can’t go for that. Rainier lager I can recommend: it is what it says. This? I feel like it’s a confused statement and it leads me nowhere. Words mean things and pale ales should be hoppy. Somewhere. Somehow.

This isn’t it.

The Respite 7

30239533485_a5ed08d6aa_cStone’s Enjoy By 10.31 has super juicy grapefruit flavors, with a surprisingly restrained bitterness on the finish. There’s also some mango that shows up as the beer warms and that addition is definitely a welcome change to the one-dimensional IPAs I’ve had all year. It’s definitely trying to live up to it’s freshness date and the devil in me wants to try some on 11.14, to see how significantly the beer really changes. As it stands though, it’s pretty good-although the scent qualities are quite restrained. I can still put a few of these down if I want, because there’s enough sweetness to keep the whole thing sticky-ed together.

Which is good, because it’s the only beer I get today. I’ve been sick for 4 out of the past 5 days and when I get sick I quit drinking. Sometimes because I am taking NyQuil, sometimes because I just want to make sure my body recovers as quickly as possible but the specific reasons don’t matter.

The point is: today was the first day when I woke up and could tell I was feeling better, so I’ve gathered the remaining strength to have one beer at Bailey’s. Because I don’t want to push it and get sick again: I’m trying to get well, don’tchaknow.

It’s tempting to pour a lot of meaning into this beer, because it’s the only one for the day. It could be a symbol or “really matter” because of reasons. But when the beer becomes a symbol, how do I pick one? Because now the pressure is to have the¬†perfect beer, instead of the one I have chosen. That’s just too much pressure.

It certainly helps that I picked a good beer. Hell, I chose the Drink By in part because of its reputation and taking a risk on what is my only beer of the day didn’t feel like a wise decision.

However, I choose to look at this moment as a reminder to appreciate what is in front of me. There isn’t the future beer. The beer of the past has been drank and moved on. There is this beer, that I can have because I am not sick anymore. That feels good, after four days of being ill.

Foul Ball

Named because it almost hits, but there are a few errors here.

First, I mixed up the malt extract I meant to purchase, getting Light Malt instead of Extra Light. As a result, the beer has come out darker and a bit sweeter than I meant it to. Another reminder to pay attention to what I’m doing.

When I first opened bottles from this batch, there was a hint of citrus in the nose and the malt kept the finish from being too bitter. That was a good thing.

As time when on though, bottles have been coming up semi-infected, overly foamy and a bit sour on the end. Sometimes I got a proper ale but.. a few more misses than hits. What this experience is reminding me is that once a year, I try to just clean everything with bleach: carboys, racking canes, buckets: everything and I haven’t done that yet. It’s quite likely that some of my beers are suffering because of this.

So it’s time to run bottles through the dishwasher & bleach my carboys. Time to clean everything up so I can get better beers in the future. Maybe even take another crack at this and see what happens when I either mean to make a redder ale or get the correct malt extract.

Brew date: 7.10.16

1 lb carapils
1 lb C 30
1 lb Special roast

Fermentables: 7 lb LME

1 oz Mosaic 1 oz Galaxy @60
1 oz Mosaic 1 oz Galaxy @10

1/4 tsp Gypsum

Yeast: Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale (2nd use)

OG: 1.06

FG: 1.01

Secondary 7/29-added 1oz Galena hops

ABV: 6.8%

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