May 26, 2018

Beer Break

Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 34
Making a beer wish list

June 6, 2002

There are beers that are special because we've tasted them and look forward to having them again.


Then there are beers that are special because we have tasted them perhaps once or maybe never at all. Often they are beers that we've heard others rave about or that are praised in print.

That may be because they are not sold where we live or because they seem too expensive (though practically speaking, a bottle of beer is never going to be as far out of our price range as a rare bottle of wine or spirits).

There could be other considerations, like if you want to enjoy a properly served pint of cask-conditioned Draught Bass then you must visit a British pub. Sadly, they may be beers that are no longer brewed.

Pretend for a moment that you don't have those concerns, and let us know about what's on your beer wish list. Sorry, this isn't a contest where we magically fulfill your wish. However, if you include your name we may print your response.

We'll go first: The original Ballantine IPA, the one brewed in New Jersey in the 1950s that was 7.5% alcohol by volume and very hoppy (60 IBUs). The brewery distilled its own hop oils and added them to storage tanks made of oak. The beer was aged in wood for a full year. We know that's a wish that won't come true, because the beer is long gone. Occasionally somebody comes up with an old bottle that still has the beer in it - but we suspect it wouldn't be like trying it fresh.

So here's a beer that does exist: Zum Uerige, a classic Dusseldorf Altbier, which Michael Jackson describes as "an aromatic, tawny brew, deep in color and flavor, with a slowly unrolling hop bitterness in its big and sustained finish."

Write us with you choices.

Pairing of the week

This month at World of Beer, Stephen Beaumont writes about a "beer shake":

"I was experimenting with different beer and ice cream combinations for a bi-monthly column I write for a local magazine when I hit the motherload. The beer was McEwan's Scotch Ale, a rich, 8% alcohol beer of some distinction, though by no means the classic of its style. The ice cream was Madagascar Vanilla, a gourmet ice cream from the Toronto-based dairy, Metropolitan. The taste was astounding. I was more than a bit surprised by the match, since I didn't really expect the Scotch ale to take so well to the vanilla flavour. But when the softly molasses-like flavour of the ale met the rich, intense vanilla of the ice cream, a star was born."

Tasting notes

Brewed by Baltimore Brewing in Baltimore
Michael Jackson writes: Theo DeGroen (of the Grolsch family) makes some excellent lagers at his brewpub in Baltimore. This pilsner has a fresh, fragrant hop bouquet; a lovely bloom of foam; a soft, remarkably smooth, malty palate; and a very late, very dry, appetizing finish. By chance, it arrived at my desk on the same day as a famous, supposedly big and bitter pils from the west of Germany. In this tasting, Chesapeake Bay washed away the Rhine.

Brewed by Big Time Brewing in Seattle
Roger Protz writes:
Luscious orange color with a tight head of foam. The color predicts the aroma: big orange jello fruitiness balance by delectable juicy malt. Tart fruit and spicy/peppery hops dominate the palate, while the finish is intensely bitter, with an iron-like hoppiness balance by delicious tart fruit, and mellow malt. A quenching beer, with a skilful balance of malt, hops and fruit.

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