Beer: Food or Poison

Of late, I’ve been surprised at how frequently I’ve been told that beer, or any alcohol for that matter, is a poison. In some regards, I am impressed that the general understanding of human metabolism has reached a level that individuals are able to objectively recognize that ethanol can be toxic. As a Food Scientist with a special passion for …

Beer Fast

Forty-six days. Forty-six days is the length of the Lenten Season this year. For most of us, that means nothing. It is simply a time where perhaps the most devout person you know only eats fish on Fridays. For others, it is a test of willpower, and we choose to eliminate some portion of sin from our lives for the …

Terroir in Beer, Part 5

Part 5: Yeast, formerly known as Godisgood Yeast, such a strange and world-changing fungi. Not even known as a thing to exist for thousands of years, up until 1857 thanks to our buddy Louis Pasteur whom I have a very conflicted love/hate relationship with. Yeast has literally shaped humanity, is said to be the creator of culture, the modern civilizations, and …

Terroir in Beer, Part 4

Part 4: Water, Beer’s Saving Grace No other single ingredient has had a bigger impact on the history of beer and greater humanity than water. From literally saving the lives of millions of people through the middle ages by providing safe, delicious, drinkable beer, to shaping the beer styles we know and drink today, water destined to become beer is the …

Terroir in Beer, Part 3

Part 3: Hops, the bitter spice & soul of beer Hops, what a love/hate relationship I have with thee. At the best of times, you are light, floral, fruity, spicy, piney, aromatic and provide balance to an otherwise sweet malty beer. At the worst of times, you are a heavy handed, onion, garlic, cat piss, overly bitter mess that ruin …

Solera Aging

On The Ground Solera aging refers to a method of aging consumable liquids, traditionally liquids such as wine, vinegar, port, and brandy. Simply put, it is an insanely time intensive and inefficient process, generally yielding only 50% of what was put into the process at any one time. In addition to that, it is hugely capital intensive, requiring a large …

Terroir in Beer, Part 2

Malt, the body of a beer Malt, oh glorious malt. Thankfully barley is unsuitable for baking bread of any quality fit for kings (not to mention it would have made the price of bread skyrocket) but it is the perfect ingredient for the brewing of beer! Barley is a unique ingredient when it comes to beer. It is the main …

Beernog: An Epic Holiday Tradition

The holidays are here and bring with them all kinds of holiday cheer: Cold weather (maybe?), coniferous trees decorated in ridiculous ornaments with little meaning remembered after two decades of use, kisses from aunts gussied up and older than the aforementioned tree, and cousins drinking all your eggnog. Which brings us to the point of this rambling—you’re in need of …

Terroir in Beer, Part 1

What is Terroir? Terroir [terˈwär] (yea, I use Bing) is more often than not applied to wines and most of the time people use it to talk about high-end wines or sound sophisticated (Listen to this French Guy babble on near incomprehensibly about terroir, before reading my babblings on about it. The quality will be much the same). Terroir boils …

Enjoying the Tart & Sour Flavors in Beer, Part 2

Sour and tart beers can, especially for the uninitiated, take your palate some warming up to the nuances and bold flavors that are not normally seen in beers of this day and age. There are plenty of sour beer advocates out there that continue to extol the virtues of drinking delicious sour beer. There are some key considerations that those …

Enjoying the Tart & Sour Flavors in Beer, Part 1

Brewer’s Wild Pitch #5 Generally a beer is considered sour if the pH is at or below 3.8. The lower the number the more acidic or sour it will taste. There are plenty of sour and acidic foods in this range at your local grocery store that most people don’t even realize are sour. Lemonade has a pH of 3.8. …

Fresh Hops – The Last True Seasonal

Brewer’s Wild Pitch #4 Ahhh, the sweet cooling end of summer. A time when kids and teachers become restless as school looms ever closer, when the days are still hot & humid but the nights begin to cool, and when the hops growing in fields all over the country start reach full maturity. Hops, as used by brewers, are grown …