Last week we covered some fine examples of recently released hoppy session lagers and ales. This week we're adding 5 favorites that rely more on yeast and malt and don't lean quite as heavily on the hops. Though some are a little above 5% ABV, we'd still consider them easy-drinking.
'craft beer' on Serious Eats
Barleywines, even in a field of brews with ever-increasing ABVs, are among the biggest of the bunch. They're characterized by their strength, depth, and complexity. Barleywines fall into two categories: English and American. The original English interpretations place a greater emphasis on rich malt and can be darker and fruitier. American barleywines dial up the hop intensity but the best still maintain balance. The significant malt character in a proper American barleywine, often equal to or greater than the hop presence, is what distinguishes it from an imperial IPA.
As demand for craft beer continues to grow, Seattle's Elysian Brewing has expanded by opening a 35,000 square foot production facility in south Seattle. I had the opportunity to stop by the new space, located in Georgetown, on the day they were brewing their first batch.
Each year around this time, Bailey's Taproom in Portland, Oregon hauls a dizzying array of vintage ales from its basement and presents them to the public in the form of CellarFest. The 2011 edition occurred this past Saturday, and featured noteworthy examples both of cellar achievers and cellar nightmares.
Serious Eats sat down with Samuel Adams' founder and brewer Jim Koch to talkabout their new collaboration beer, their place in the craft brewing scene, and much more.
For many of us on the East Coast, Smuttynose beer is a standby. Dave Yarrington and his crew make dependably delicious beers in a number of different styles. I'm thrilled to welcome Dave to Serious Eats—he's got some wise things to say about craft beer and some exciting news about some possible new large-format beer releases!
Ever wonder who decides what beers go on the menu at your favorite restaurant or watering hole? We did too, and then we met David Flaherty and found out all about it. (We also found out about his first time...drinking craft beer, that is.)
If you live in the New York area, you may have spotted Captain Lawrence beers on tap at restaurants around town. We highly recommend you give them a try—next thing you know it, you may find yourself on the Metro-North train at an ungodly hour making your way the brewery for a special limited-edition beer release. We caught up with Captain Lawrence's owner and head brewer Scott Vaccaro for the latest in our brewmaster interview series.
IPAs from Oregon lean more toward mandarin orange and grapefruit flavors than lemon, more fruity than dry, and more resiny than malty. We tasted nineteen of them to give you our reviews.
Don't let anyone tell you there's a "West Coast" beer style—California does India Pale Ale its own way. We tasted 30 IPAs (yes, 30!) from Cali so we could recommend the best and the brightest.
We tasted eight Imperial Porters brewed by American craft breweries and found quite a few delicious examples of this potent style.
Of course, the best way to get a sense of the brewery is to do some tasting, and taster trays are a pretty great deal: for $6.50, you get six four-ounce tasting glasses. You can choose Deschutes' flagship brews or almost any of the cask pours and special seasonal beers that are available.
'Tis the season for warming beers—for velvety barrel-aged stouts and serious brews from Belgium. Over the last few weeks, we've also been sampling winter warmers and other winter seasonals: beers released specifically for Christmas and for sipping over the cold months ahead.
Shane Welch founded Sixpoint Craft Ales in 2004 and has been brewing some of our favorite beers ever since. We chatted with Welch about his sources of inspiration, the beers he loves, his place in the craft brewing scene, and the ups and downs of running a small brewery in New York City.
We tasted ten brown ales—from bright, hoppy ones to the sweet and pruney. Whether you're looking for something bitter to see you through the World Series or a more warming, chocolately beer on a rainy night, we have favorites for both.