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A STAR IS BORN AS STELLA ARTOIS® CROWNS AVRIL MAXWELL OF NEW ZEALAND ITS 2009 WORLD DRAUGHT MASTER

Posted by Bob Skilnik on October 30, 2009

After Year-long Global Search, Maxwell Begins Mission of Passion to Teach Bartenders the World Over the Art of the Perfect Pour
 
October 30, 2009 – Now in its 13th year, the annual Stella Artois® World Draught Master competition epitomizes Stella Artois®’ dedication to delivering superior beer experiences the world over.  On Thursday Oct. 29, this year’s competition saw contestants from 26 countries across the globe converge in New York to compete for the coveted title and complete the brand’s time-honored 9-step pouring ritual of perfection. 
 
After a tense semi-final round, which saw the contestants and three competition winner wildcard entries whittled down to a final 10, an enthusiastic audience of Stella Artois® connoisseurs joined the discerning Jury panel to select  only those who could demonstrate true passion and dedication to perfection in pouring in a dramatic “Passion test.”  A tense head-to-head pouring finale followed, before Avril Maxwell was announced the winner and returned to the stage to claim the coveted title.  Maxwell, hailing from New Zealand now begins a global journey to more than 20 different countries across the globe as an ambassador for Stella Artois® and her own quest to ensure every chalice of Stella Artois® is preciously poured and perfectly served the world over.
 
Maxwell was awarded a unique trophy created by New York fashion designer Tim Hamilton as part of a pioneering design collaboration with Stella Artois®, successfully bringing to life his signature style and dedication to quality and craftsmanship within an entirely new design medium.  Hamilton, who introduced his apparel line at the event, also created a limited-edition iconic Stella Artois® Chalice glass in celebration of World Draught Master 2009.
 
Alexander Lambrecht, Global Marketing manager for Stella Artois®, comments:  “The World Draught Master competition is integral to our ongoing quest to deliver superior beer experiences the world over, ensuring that Stella Artois® is served with the same care, consideration and craftsmanship as has gone into more than 600 years of brewing.  We are extremely proud to welcome not only finalists  from around the globe to compete in New York, but also Stella Artois® connoisseurs and pioneering partners, such as Tim Hamilton, who share our ongoing quest for perfection.”
 
Runners up in the competition were Joe Oppedisano of Canada (2nd) and Alexey Shtukarev of Russia (3rd). Remaining contestants came from: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil,China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dubai, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Montenegro, Paraguay, Serbia, Singapore, UK, Ukraine and the United States.
 
In addition, the Stella Artois Online Fans’ Choice went to Oppedisano who was selected by consumers watching the competition streamed live to their computers. 
 
Lambrecht added, “We wanted to create a global conversation about the Stella Artois World Draught Master competition by inviting people into the event via live streaming and providing an opportunity for them to decide on what competitor embodied perfection. “
 

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Appearance, Chicago Beer History Presentation + FREE Tasting Of The Beers That Once Thrilled Local Beer Drinkers (And Why)!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 10, 2009

I’m going to do a tasting theme of old beers that once were popular in
Chicago for various reasons. The formula for Miller Lite, for instance, was
actually purchased by Miller from the Meister Brau Brewing in Chicago when
it was actually marketed under the name of Meister Brau Lite.

Pabst has moved their headquarters to a Chicago suburb in order to be close
to their biggest market — Chicagoland and the Midwest.

Old Style is once again being promoted as “Chicago’s Beer” and now
“krauesend” as it was when it held more than 40% of the Chicago market, and
even Schlitz is back as a retro beer. Find out why.

These will be beers that once touched the lips and pocketbooks of Chicago
beer drinkers. There’s some good beer and marketing stories here. I did this
approach a few years ago at The Map Room on Hoyne Avenue and it was well
received. This will be, of course, on top of my general discussion of
Chicago’s brewing history. Figure 1.5 hours of beer, beer, beer!

Monday, March 16, at 2:30, Mather’s-More Than a Café at 3235
North Central Avenue in Chicago. Suggested donation is $8 and it all goes to the folks at Mather’s,
a meeting place for seniors. It’s either a nice, sedate social center like Mather’s or alternative
Midnight BasketBall Programs. The old-timers prefer a good night’s sleep — and so do I.

Mather’s—More Than a Café • 3235 N. Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634 • (773) 205.3300

 

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Exploring Chicago’s Yeast Side — Beer Tasting/Beer History Boat Tour

Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 20, 2007

berghofffamousbock.jpgFor those of you who have been adding your names to my growing list of “People-Who-Want-To-Do-A-Chicago-Beer-History-Tour,” this might be just the thing to hold you over while we strive for a count of 35 or so participants for our customary 4.5 hour bus tour.                                                                                                                                                                                           

Working in conjunction with the Chicago History Museum, aka, the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago Line Cruises, and The Berghoff, Chicago Beer Tours (that’s me) will be conducting a 2.5 hour cruise on Lake Michigan while I talk about Chicago’s beer history—including The Berghoff—complete with a tasting of Berghoff beer.berghoffcoaster.jpg

This event is being run by the Chicago History Museum. If you have any questions, please contact them. I have nothing to do with ticket purchases. I do know this though…tickets are going fast. There’s talk of doing this tour once again in September.

Exploring Chicago’s Yeast Side: A History of Beer                               

Sunday, July 22; 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Before Milwaukee claimed the title of beer capital of the Midwest, there was Chicago. Discover the city’s golden age of brewing on this sunset tour complete with beer tastings provided by a Chicago staple, the Berghoff Brewery.

Location:
Tours meet at the Chicago Line Cruises dock at North Pier, 465 N. McClurg Court.

Cost:
$45; $40 members.

TICKET INFO

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The Berghoff Is Dead. Long Live The Berghoff!

Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 5, 2007

berghoffcoaster.jpgberghoff-map.jpgI received a telephone call a few weeks ago from Dan Protess of Channel 11, WTTW. Dan’s a producer at the Chicagoland PBS station who works with Geoffrey Baer who’s featured in some great productions that deal with Chicago’s history, broken down into various areas of Chicagoland. We set up a meeting at the Berghoff on Adams in downtown Chicago to film a bit about Germans in Chicago, including the much-fabled Lager Beer Riot of 1855.

OK; before I go any further, I can already hear you saying, “The Berghoff? Didn’t it close awhile back?” If you follow the link to the restaurant and make a cursory look at the home page, you’ll probably see phrases like “…the final month of our operation” and “We thank you for the memories” from former owners Herman, Jan, Peter and Tim Berghoff, and never see the link above the farewell tribute to the newly-named 17 West Chicago.

Well, the bar and restaurant did close for a while, but the bar and some of the adjoining rooms are again wide open and waiting for your return. Apparently the word never got out, or more likely, people have turned a deaf ear to its reopening. As Carlyn Berghoff explained to me, “I’ve done five TV appearances talking about the fact that we’re open, but there was so much reporting of the Berghoff’s closing that no one’s really listening.” Reporting about a 107-year old restaurant makes better copy than running another story about its reopening, I guess.

So here’s the story in a nutshell. The operation is now headed by daughter Carlyn Berghoff, whose specialty is catering events. And while she continues this phase of the Berghoff business, most of the 17 Adams location is still running. In the short time they were closed, the west wall of the bar area was removed to open up the room next door and the floor was replaced with a new one.

So what’s open now? From the website;

The Berghoff Café.  Serving Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., The Berghoff Café is conveniently located in the heart of the Loop at 17/west Adams Street in the lower level of the historic Berghoff building.

Whether you’re in the mood for a hand-carved sandwich, a fresh salad, a Panini, one of our daily specials or other favorites from the Berghoff Café, we know there is something to please everyone at the Café.”

The bar area, now known as “17 West” is also open. From the website;

“We’ve taken the best of the former Berghoff bar and enhanced the environment, décor and created an expanded menu that includes many contemporary dishes that are sure to become future favorites.” And I might add, the corned beef and bratwurst and kraut sandwiches are still served at the bar.

I knew the bar was open, but when I told friends and family I was heading to the Berghoff for an interview, all I heard was, “The Berghoff? Didn’t it close awhile back?” Even one of the TV crew said he had no idea the place was open. The only rooms that are now closed, The Century Room, for instance, are being used for catered events, but I was told by one of the staff that they would reopen all the rooms for the Christmas season.

What’s on the menu?

At the Berghoff Cafe;

Berghoff Classics
________________________________________

Weiner Schnitzel 12.95
Choice of potato, creamed spinach and a pickle

Sauerbraten 11.50
With thinly sliced beef, sweet and sour gravy and mashed potatoes

plus sandwiches, salads, side dishes and desserts.

At 17 West;

Appetizers
___________________________________

Lunch:

Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup 
Sweet Onion and Tart Apples in a rich broth topped with welted Muenster Cheese Crouton

Shrimp & Scallop Strudel 
Flaky Strudel dough rolled w/ sauteed shrimp & scallops, granished w/ petite greens & roasted garlic infused tomato coulis

Soup of the Day
Selection varies on daily basis. Please ask your server for details

Mini Brats & Knockwurst
Two mini sausages with Sauerkraut served on two Soft Buns w/Dusseldorf Mustard & German Potato Salad

Portabella Mushroom
Mushroom cap stuffed w/ wilted spinach, sun-dried tomatoes & kalamata olives, topped w/ herbed bread crumbs & drizzled w/ basil oil

Potato Pierogies
Sauteed dumplings filled w/mashed potatoes & served w/ chive sour cream & sweet potato salad

Dinner:

Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup
Sweet Onion and Trat Apples in a rich broth topped with melted Muenster Cheese Crouton

Mini Brat & Knockwurst
Two Mini Sausages with Sauerkraut served on Soft Buns w/Dusseldorf Mustard & German Potato Salad

Portabella Mushroom
Mushroom cap stuffed w/ wilted spinach, sun-dried tomatoes & kalamata olives, topped w/ herbed bread crumbs & drizzle w/ basil oil 

Shrimp & Scallop Strudel
Flaky strudel dough rolled w/ sauteed shrimp & scallops, garnished w/ petite greens & roasted garlic infused tomato coulis

Soup of the Day
Selection varies on daily basis. Please ask your server for details

Smoked Salmon 
Thinly sliced smoked salmon & herbed cream cheese, stacked between layers of crepes, garnished w/ salmon caviar & mixed greens

Potato Pierogies 
Sauteed dumplings filled w/ mashed potatos & served w/ chive sour cream & sweet potato salad

Chorizo Stuffed Dates
Plump dates filled w/ chorizo sausage, wrapped w/ bacon & served w/ spicy red pepper sauce & petite salad greens 

Bar Special Appetizers ~

Pretzel Nuggets

Onion Rings

Calamari w/ sweet chili sauce

Potato Perogi

Portobello Mushroom

Brat and Knockwurst

17 West Chili and Chips

Smoked Salmon Crepes

Plus;

Lunch:

Wiener Schnitzel (Tradition with a Twist!)
Traditional breaded German Veal Cutlet w/ petite asparagus & Pepper Salad, served w/ Berghoff Chips

Whitefish
Lake Superior Whitefish w/ a fill-caper butter sauce on roasted vegetable napoleon & whipped potatoes

Sausage Trio
Sausage plate featuring grilled Bratwurst, steamed Knockwurst & smoked Thuringer w/marinated artichoke & red potatoes

Sauerbraten (Tradition with a Twist!)
Marinated Roast Sirloin of Beef in a delicious homemade Sweet & Sour Gravy, melange of vegetables and whipped potatoes 

Alantic Salmon
Pan roasted filet of salmon, accompanied w/ a heart of palm, asparagus & watercress salad, sauteed shrimp & organe/vanilla emulsion 

Penne Pasta
Roasted garlic, portabella mushroom & plum tomatoes tossed w/ whole penne & pesto beurre blanc

Alaskan Halibut
Pan seared filet of halibut w/ roasted tomatoes & zucchini, wilted spinach, pine nut relish & crispy pancetta strips

Grilled Hanger Steak 
Sliced Hanger Steak, grilled stack of polenta, portabella mushroom, eggplant, crispy fried leeks and madeira sauce

Barbeque Breast of Chicken
Oven roasted semi bonless breast of chicaken, on a bed of sauteed Savory cabbage, vegetable cousous & Berghoff darl beer barbeque sauce

Quiche of the Day

Deep Dish Quiche and Petit salad of mixed greens and vegetables tossed with Sherry vinaigrette

Veal Ravioli

Egg pasta filled w/fresh herbs & ground veal, sauteed w/ red pearl onions, roasted garlic brown butter & spring peas & prosciutto

Dinner:

Wiener Schnitzel (Tradition with a Twist!)
Traditional breaded German veal cutlet w/petite asparagus & pepper salad, served w/ Berghoff Chips

Veal Ravioli
Egg pasta filled w/fresh herbs & ground veal, sauteed w/ red pearl onions, roasted garlic brown butter, spring peas & prosciutto

Sausage Trio (Tradition with a Twist!)
Sausage plate featuring grilled Bratwurst,steamed Knockwurst & sauteed smoked Thuringer w/marinated artichoke & red potatoes

Sauerbraten (Tradition with a Twist!)
Marinated Roast Sirloin of Beef in a delicious homemade Sweet & Sour Gravy, melange of vegetables & whipped potatoes

Alasken Halibut
Pan seared filet of halibut w/ roasted tomatoes & zucchini, wilted spinach, pine nut relish & crispy pancetta strips

Ahi Tuna & Maine Lobster
Pepper Crusted tuna medallion paired w/ sauteed lobster medallios, accompanied w/ a tender ragout of white beans & lobster cream sauce

Grilled Hanger Steak
Sliced Hanger Steak, grilled stack of Polenta, portabello mushroom, eggplant, cripsy fried leeks and maadeira sauce 

Penne Pasta
Roasted garlic, portabella mushrooms & plum tomatoes tossed w/ whole wheat penne & pesto beurre blanc

Whitefish
Lake Superior Whitefish w/ a dill-caper butter sauce on roasted vegetable napoleon & pommes frites

Atantic Salmon
Pan roasted filet of salmon, accompanied w/ a heart of palm, asparagus & watercress salad, sauteed shrimp & orange/vanilla emulsion

Sides
________________________________________

Mashed Potatoes, Sauerkraut, Berghoff Potato Salad, Creamed Spinach, Red Cabbage, Spaetzles, Cole Slaw, Fresh Vegetable of the Day or Berghoff Potato Chips

17/West Hours: 

Lunch Hours:

                      11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.        10:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.       11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.             

                         Monday – Thursday                    Friday                      Saturday

Dinner Hours:

                       4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.                  4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.              

                         Monday – Friday                         Friday  –  Saturday

Closed Sunday

So let’s say this all together, “The Berghoff/17 West/The Berghoff Cafe is OPEN! Now stop by for a schnitzel and some creamed spinach and a Berghoff dark beer.

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Excuse Me, But This Beer Taste Like Skunk

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 5, 2007


  
Beer is a perishable product than can suffer from negligence at the brewery or abuse by distributors, retailers, and even beer drinkers. With the almost limitless choices of beers on store shelves afforded by the availability of American brews and the importation of beers from Algeria to Zaire, beer drinkers now experience more variety—but face more pitfalls—in their beer purchases today.

   Below are some common flavor problems in beer that every beer drinker should be aware of:rockgreen.jpeg

“Skunky” Beer     

   A study at the University of North Carolina has scientifically confirmed what brewers have known for over a century—light can affect the flavor of beer. Since aluminum cans and draft kegs are impervious to light, this phenomenon is only found in bottled beer. While early American brewers used trial-and-error to determine that brown bottles offered the best protection from light for their products, spectrographic analyses of light wavelength and glass color have concluded that early Braumeisters were correct in their assumptions; brown bottles absorb light and thus protect beer. Green bottles, however, allow some light to pass through, while clear glass offers little protection. Despite this evidence, today’s bottled beer can still be found in clear, green and brown bottles.
  
Scientists at the university subjected isohumulones, a grouping of chemical compounds found in hops, to laser beams in order to simulate what often happens when beer is exposed to visible or ultraviolet light. The result was the formation of a chemical component known as “skunky thiol.” (The term is an accurate one since the same component can also be found in skunk glands.)
   The problem of bottled beer becoming “skunked” is not limited to exposure to sunlight, as was the case during the early years of beer bottling. Probably the greatest incidences today of beer becoming lightstruck occur in the display cases of retailers where fluorescent lights are used to illuminate inventory. 
  
The Miller Brewing Company has gotten around the issue of photodegradation of hops in their clear-bottled Miller High Life brand by using modified hop extract in the beer-making process. Rather than add traditional hop cones or compressed hop pellets to the brewing kettle to balance the flavor of the beer, Miller strips the isohumulones from the hops and reconstitutes the bitter hop properties into a modified extract, leaving the clear-bottled beer immune to the damaging affects of light. More commonly, though, breweries are beginning to ship their bottled beer in sealed cardboard cases in order to avoid skunkiness in their products.
   Makes a beer drinker wonder why breweries package their products in green or clear glass at all.
  
  
“A lot of it is custom and tradition,” says Ron Extract, who heads up Chicagoland beer sales for Boston-based Shelton Brothers Importers. “The British in particular seem to have a certain propensity for flint. It is also the case that certain bottle sizes and shapes may only be available in one color. The champagne-style bottles used for a number of Belgian ales, for example, only come in green.”
   “[They] are used primarily for marketing,” argues Lyn Kruger, president of the Siebel Institute of Technology, a Chicago-based school for brewers. “It is thought that clear and green bottles project a better image than brown bottles and make them more distinctive on the shelf.” Kruger, who worked as a research microbiologist for South African Breweries (SAB) before heading up the local brewers school, doubts if breweries that bottle in green or clear glass would ever switch over to the more protective brown bottles. Many beer drinkers, says Kruger, “have come to expect this flavor. The brewery would not want to change the packaging as the consumer may react negatively to the lack of this flavor.”
   Extract agrees with Kruger’s assessment. “Apparently, many consumers like this [skunky flavor].”
 

Wet Cardboard, Musty  

   Like all foodstuffs, beer has a limited shelf life. Breweries such as Anheuser-Busch or the Boston Brewing Company use “born-on” dating or notched calendar markings on their beers’ containers to alert the consumer to the age of their products. Age can lead to the enhancement of undesirable compounds that might have been lurking in fresh beer, though at levels so low that they were immeasurable at the brewery. Even with shelf-stabilization processes such as pasteurization or micron filtering, beer will eventually deteriorate, especially if stored for extended periods of time at room temperature or warmer.  
  
“Some consumers are not aware that leaving beer in the trunk of their car and driving around for days or storing their beer warm will accelerate oxidation,” says Kruger.
   Aside from warm storage of beer, improperly sealed bottles or cans, referred to in the industry as “leakers,” can cause damaging air to seep into sealed beer, eventually turning fresh beer into an undrinkable product. This same problem can sometimes be found with corks used in the bottling of the more esoteric beers such as Belgian lambics. These beers are bottle-conditioned, similar to the methode champenoise
used to carbonate fine champagnes, with a secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. As with champagne, a deteriorated cork can allow air into the bottle and impart a taste of old cork to the beer.
   Three months is normally the maximum life of a properly sealed beer, especially lagers, though a high-alcohol or highly hopped brew can last for years. As a rule of thumb, however, the hint of any beer tasting or smelling like wet cardboard, dank must, or even old leather, indicates a beer that has reached the end of its life.

Butterscotch Flavor  

   Even after a fresh barrel of draft beer leaves the brewery, is held at a proper temperature by the distributor and rolled gingerly into the beer cooler of a bar, problems can still occur in the beer, especially if the draft lines to the tap are not clean. Without a regular cleaning regime, draft beer lines often build up a coating of yeast, most often when a beer such as a hazy, yeast-laden wheat beer has been run through the tap. Without a thorough cleaning of the draft line after the barrel runs dry, especially if the next beer hooked-up is a clear one, the result can be an unappetizing beer with very apparent chunks of old yeast floating in it.
   A more commonplace defect with beers hooked up to a dirty draft line, however, is the flavor of butterscotch or butter in the beer. Though the taste is not necessarily an unpleasant one, it’s often a sign of a beer gone bad. “This happens either because the draft lines are not cleaned frequently enough or because the beer is on tap for too long,” says Lyn Kruger.
   “We have the draft lines cleaned once a week,” says Chad Wulff, manager of The Map Room, “and run the same style of beers on the same lines to avoid possible flavor or cross-contamination problems. Wheat beers stay on the same tap, for instance.” The bar on Armitage serves up twenty-six draft beers. Noting the importance of keeping more than a score of draft beers fresh, Wulff notes that “If we could have the lines cleaned daily, we would,” but concedes that “it’s just not possible.”
 
  
So what should a beer drinker do to avoid possible problems with their beer purchases?

·         If considering the purchase of bottled beer at the liquor store, stick with a brand that uses brown bottles, sealed cardboard containers, or cans. If your favorite drinking establishment also serves green or clear bottled brands on tap, try to sample these products on draft rather than from their bottle.

·         Put packaged beer into the refrigerator as soon as possible.

·         See a new beer on a tap handle but you’re afraid you might not like it? Ask for a sample. “We’ll always give a customer a sample of any of our beers,” says Map Room bar manager Wulff. “Some of our Belgian beers are sour,” a positive attribute for the style, but one that a less experienced beer drinker might not expect—or enjoy. Brewpubs customarily offer a small multi-glass sampler of their beers. Order one before getting a possible full-sized disappointment.

·         Check the expiration dates on beer containers, just like you would on a gallon of milk before you buy.

·         Whether it’s a six-pack from a liquor store or a draft beer sitting in front of you at a bar, if you think the beer is off in flavor, let the owner or barkeeper know. If they won’t refund your money or let you switch to another beer, take your business elsewhere. Beer is a perishable product and things can go wrong no matter what precautions are taken by brewers, distributors, and retailers.   

Experimenting With Skunky Beer   

   Skunky beer is probably the number one fault in the flavor of beers today. Ironically, many beer drinkers confuse skunkiness as part of a beer’s flavor profile. Here’s a two-phase home experiment that will make you more aware of the characteristics of a lightstruck beer: 

Go to your favorite liquor store and purchase a sealed and chilled six or twelve-pack of either a green or clear-bottled beer. At home, put all the bottles into a refrigerator except one. Put this single bottle on a sunny window sill and let it sit for a day. The next day, put it into the refrigerator with the other bottles, but keep this bottle on a separate shelf so there’s no confusion. When the beer is cold, take out the sun-struck bottle and a control bottle of beer that went directly from the sealed case to your refrigerator. Open up the control bottle and take a sniff. Pour a half-glass of the control beer and taste it.  Now do the same thing with the sun-struck beer. That’s a skunked beer!

For the second phase of this very unscientific home experiment, combine the rest of both half-empty bottles into a third glass and smell and taste the beer. It should taste reminiscent of a clear or green-bottled imported beer. Although this is a taste that most American beer drinkers associate with an import beer, it is not how the beer tasted when it left the brewery.  

More About “Off” Flavors In Beer    

   With a little practice and the guidance of a more knowledgeable beer-drinking friend, you’ll be able to discern what makes a beer off in flavor. There are a myriad of instances, however, when the off flavor found in one beer style is exactly the flavor profile wanted in another.   

Butterscotch, buttery—In a lager beer, this taste is undesirable, sometimes a sign of a too warm fermentation. In draft beers, this common defect can also be triggered by the beer being infected by lactic acid bacteria. This odd flavor can also occur in a draft beer that is old or hooked up to a dirty draft line. A butterscotch flavor, however, is often desirable in certain ales. England’s Whitbread Ale is a good example of an ale with high notes of butterscotch.   

Hot or alcohol/solvent—An especially unwanted flavor in light-bodied, golden-colored lager beers, but desirable in high alcohol beers like Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout or Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot.   Fruity—Another flavor found more often in ester-rich ales, but not wanted in cold-fermented lagers. Three Floyds Brewing Company of Indiana brews the highly hopped Alpha King, an ale, that has a refreshing nose of grapefruit and banana. While this adds to the overall enjoyment of this beer style, it’s not desirable in golden-colored lagers.   

Hazy—In an unfiltered wheat beer, a cloud of yeast lingers throughout the beer, expected in this style of beer. As with most wheat beers, one can also note a distinctive smell and taste of cloves and/or bubble gum. In any brew but a wheat beer, however, these attributes would indicate a beer gone bad.    Sour—A sure sign that a typical lager or ale has been infected by wild yeast rather than fermented by a pure laboratory-cultured strain. In contrast, the fermentation of tart Belgian lambics begins with the deliberate introduction of up to twenty or more different strains of wild yeasts to the beer. Cantillon Gueuze is a good example of a sour but complex blend of lambic beers. The wild yeasts used in this ale are peculiar only to a particular region in Belgium. In the US, Wyeast Laboratories, Inc., actually develops and sells wild yeasts for the brewing of Belgian-styled beer here at home. Lactic acid bacteria is a key component of these blended strains of yeasts.

 

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