Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Odyssey Porter (Phillips)

There can never be enough nitrogenated beers. Nitrogen gas adds a creamy mouthfeel and sweet flavour. Since nitrogen is quite insoluble in most liquids, it adds a thicker creamier mouthfeel. When served on draught, nitro beers display that classic bubble cascade associated with a certain Irish stout. Within that fancy nitro beer faucet is a restriction plate (plate with tiny holes). Beer is forced through these narrow openings and nitrogen is forced out of solution, which leads to that large dense head. Nitrogen gas also has a sweetness which contrasts and softens bitter beers like stouts and porters. I have heard of nitro IPAs and hoppy pilsners.  If Clay is reading this, which I doubt, perhaps he would consider a nitro version of Potts Pils? That would be nice.
When nitro beers are available in cans, there is a whole different magic that happens. Read all about it here, because the internet is always true. Regardless, with a quick opening and a hard pour you can enjoy a creamy cascading beer at home.

Odyssey Porter = 8/10

A sweet aroma greets you with an equal mix of light toast, powdered milk and cocoa. The mouthfeel is creamy as expected, but a little thin. This is a straight forward porter with dry cocoa, milk chocolate, toast and slight fruity red apple. It all ends with a whipped cream and chocolate finish. Overall it is very nice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.0%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (Nice art with reasonable description of flavour)

Glassware: Definitely an Irish tulip, for historical effect. Make sure it is the 500ml version

Food Pairings: I would go for a mushroom and beef stew. The chewiness of the stem would mesh well with the creamy mouthfeel of the Odyssey. Generally stews are rich and umami heavy, perfect to balance with a sweet porter. For any veggies reading this, try with a mushroom and red kidney bean pot pie.

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cereal Killer (Phillips)

Rye is the new and trendy grain to brew with these days. It ranks up there with the kettle sour. There is nothing wrong with this trend at all. When in used appropriately, rye adds a pleasant dry cereal and characteristic spiciness to a brew.

Cereal Killer = 5/10

Rye is apparent in the nose with its desired spicy cereal aroma. Not use why I am picking up marshmallow, maybe it is the kidlets hot chocolate. Despite the slightly slick mouthfeel, the Cereal Killer delivers the rye. It has the wet cereal, light spicy rye and chewy red apples you might expect. The only flavour not to fade was the sticky cereal. Tasty for a bottle, but might not buy a second one.

Taste +2
Aftertaste 0 
Alcohol Content +1 7.2%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Any thing clean will do, the shaker pint would do fine

Food Pairings: Indian food or Thai would do nice. The spiciness would blend together while there is enough maltiness to calm the spicy heat. Hello tofu Pad Thai. Even the carnivores don't mind this dish.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Moon Juice Kettle Sour

I love sour beers. The love of sour beers is polarizing in my opinion, you either love or hate. There is no middle ground. I feel this is the same for many culinary delights. Other examples include asparagus, sushi and cilantro. Let it be known; I do not like cilantro. Back to sour beers; I love sour beers. Luckily they do not contain cilantro.
Many fresh agricultural products are paired with bacteria or yeasts that will help ferment them. Grapes are covered in wine producing yeasts, ditto for apples. Barley is covered in Lactobacillus, which if whetted will lead to lactic acid fermentation. Normally wort is boiled to kill off these bacteria so the Saccharomyces yeast can ferment without competition. One exception is kettle souring. This brewing technique gives lactic acid bacteria a head start to produce the desired levels of sourness and attenuation. Once the desired level of sourness is achieved, the wort is boiled to halt the souring process and traditional fermentation proceeds as normal. Or in the case of the Berliner Weisse, the souring process if allowed to run its full course. Think of this as a lambic without atmospheric influence. Brewers might pitch a Lactobacillus culture to speed things along or produce a desired flavour.
Which leads us to the current trend of kettle souring. Many craft breweries are attempting one. Axe and Barrel makes a very nice spruce tip kettle sour.
Moon Juice Kettle Sour = 8/10

The nose is similar to lactic acid fermeneted beverages, think Kefir or yogurt. It also carries a hint of pine and oranges. A pleasant acidic tingle and oddly thick mouthfeel delivers all the sourness. Some felt it was a bit sweet, but I like a sweet beer. There was an equal part cereal, citrus and breadiness mixed together with an approachable yogurt like tartness. If you like your sours, this will make you happy. Sadly due to my lazy attitude this beer is already sold out. However, the Moon's Facebook page mentions another kettle sour release.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 (none mentioned but extra marks for deliciousness)
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Something small. I big glass of this sour might be hard to go through.

Food Pairings: This might be interesting contrast with a sweet dish, perhaps corn chowder. A good pairing would be an arugula salad with tart, salty feta or lightly acidic young goat cheese.

Cellar: I might try cellaring a growler of sour one day.