Two German brewers will maintain possession of the Duff Beer trademark (as if one Simpson beer wasn’t enough)
On Thursday, a popular German brewing company that gets its notoriety from Homer Simpson’s favorite beer was denied the sole right of producing Duff beer. The company, Duff Beer UG, fought to have a southern German brewing company’s Duff beer trademark declared invalid by the courts, to make them the only Duff beer producers. Unfortunately for Duff Beer UG, which has grown in success over the past few years, the courts denied the suit and ruled in favor of the two competing Duff beers.
This isn’t the only legal tangle for Duff Beer UG has been involved with recently, although the company was often on the receiving end of the legal battles instead. Twentieth Century Fox, producers of the show “The Simpsons,” has prevented many companies from creating beers with the Duff name, including one Colombian brewery earlier this year. Though Duff Beer UG thrives in Europe, Twentieth Century Fox has legally prevented the company from becoming too widespread; the two companies are currently in a separate battle over the disputed territory of the beer.
It certainly is a whole lot of controversy over a cartoon, fictional beer. We’re not so sure the beer’s original proponent, the infamously lazy Homer Simpson, would even fight this adamantly for his drink.
10 Best Breweries in Berlin | Top Beer Halls
Visiting Berlin and thirsty? You’re in luck, Berlin features a number of classic German beer halls as well as local craft beer options. Berlin holds and provides ample great and wonderful tourist attractions that give breathtaking and picturesque sceneries that create an unforgettable trip in Berlin.
But you can make a much more memorable trip in Berlin not only through checking out its lovely attraction but also when hitting its great pub and breweries.
Drinking freshly brewed classic German beer and blending with the locals in Berlin’s best beer halls gives a wonderful experience of traveling in the lovely city of Berlin.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Brewing in Canada
A package arrived from Canada this week. Inside was a book. It had taken so long to arrive, I'd forgotten I'd ordered it. I checked my AbeBook account to make sure I had. In case you haven't already guessed from the title of this post,it's "Brewing in Canada".
It's a bit off theme, I know. I usually limit myself to European beer. Even then, I'm drowning in a sea of material. But it is handy to have statistics from elsewhere for comparison purposes. And "Brewing in Canada" is full of those. A great buy. Now I recall why I bought it: it was dirt cheap.
"That's a boring cover." Andrew commented when I showed him the book. "It's what's inside that counts." He edged nervously away when I tried showing him some of the lovely tables. "Look, sales of beer by province 1952 - 1962. Andrew was by now nearly at the stairs. I followed him "Andrew, this one's brilliant - Number of Breweries and Production per Brewery"
Andrew was upstairs behind his computer before I got to Taxes. Don't know what's wrong with him. He has absolutely no interest in brewing statistics. Unlike his dad.
10 Oktoberfest Beers Worth Celebrating
NEW YORK (MainStreet) – It isn&apost quite October yet, but beer geeks know that it&aposs been Oktoberfest for more than a week now.
The official Oktoberfest proceedings in Munich kicked off September 20 and aren&apost slated to end until Sunday. Meanwhile, Oktoberfest celebrations in Cincinnati Denver, New Ulm, Minn., LaCrosse, Wisc. Mount Angel, Ore., Levenworth, Wash. Torrance, Calif. Hermann, Mo., and elsewhere have either come and gone or have just begun.
While the German celebration dates back to 1810 and the wedding of King Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, it is connected to various festivals celebrated by 46 million U.S. citizens of German descent by a thin river of beer. Adolphus Busch, Joseph Schlitz, Frederick Pabst and Frederick Miller, August Schell, David Jüngling (later Yuengling) -- all those pioneering brewers draw their lines back to the tide of German immigrants who entered the U.S. in the 19th Century. They brought a brewing tradition with them, but they&aposd also bring the Oktoberfest lager known as Märzen.
By their most stringent definition, Oktoberfest beers are supposed to be brewed according to the German Reinheitsgebot law of beer purity -- which dictates that only hops, malted barley and water (and, eventually, yeast) can be used to brew beer. Also, those beers are supposed to be brewed within Munich, which meant only Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner-Bräu, Hofbräu-München, Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewed “official” Oktoberfest beers.
However, that doesn&apost mean those beers were brewed with any consistency. Though they&aposre still brewed in March and are left to ferment in cold storage through the summer, today&aposs Oktoberfest bears little resemblance to the dark or even amber Märzen of years past. If you see photos of waitresses at Oktoberfest carrying mugs of frothy, golden beer, that&aposs pretty much what Märzen looks like today.
That isn&apost necessarily true in the U.S., however, where both traditional and craft brewers have experimented with original recipes and tinkered with Märzen to their taste throughout the years. Märzen, or Oktoberfest, is now part of a seasonal beer slate that makes up 15% to 25% of the more than $19.6 billion in annual craft beer sales, according to market research firm IRI.
With Oktoberfest upon us and more than 3,700 U.S. brewers producing hundreds of takes on the Märzen style, we&aposve selected just ten to get you started:
Various Hofbräuhaus locations
Alcohol by volume: 6.3%
Of all the Munich breweries that produce Märzen, only one decided to franchise itself throughout the United States. Back in 2003, Hofbräu M࿌hen decided to open its first Hofbräuhaus location in the U.S. in Newport, Ky. -- a city with a deep German brewing heritage located right over the Ohio River from Cincinnati and its Over-the-Rhine brewing district. Franchises followed in Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus -- not including a beer garden in Panama City, Fla., and the Bierhaus pub in New York. As for the beer itself? Well, let&aposs just say it&aposs true to the modern Munich interpretation: crisp, mild and on the lighter side. That isn&apost necessarily a bad thing when you&aposre drinking it a liter at a time.
August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, Minn.
Alcohol by volume: 5.5%
Schell brewer David Berg gets surly and downright defensive about his lager, and who can blame him? Since 2006, he&aposs made beer for a brewery whose founder not only co-founded the city it&aposs based in with a whole lot of other recent German immigrants in 1856, but brewed its first batch of beer in 1860. Despite this, the Brewers Association craft beer industry group declared his brewery “not craft” until just last year, when it finally changed its mind about what constituted “traditional” ingredients.
You&aposd think a brewery that coasted through Prohibition on low-alcohol beer, soda and candy production would know a little bit about that, but they never aged a triple IPA in a sherry barrel, so what do they know? Well, it turns out that they know how to brew an amazing copper Märzen with just the right biscuit-and-baguette mix of Pale, Munich, and Cara Pils malt to compliment the subtle peppery spice of Liberty and Perle hops. If you&aposre in the area on October 10, stop in for the Oktoberfest festivities, listen to the brewery&aposs Hobo Band that&aposs been around in one form or another since 1948 and enjoy the newest 155-year-old craft beer in the country.
D.G. Yuengling & Sons, Pottsville, Pa.
Alcohol by volume: 5.4%
This brewery has been brewing in Pottsville, Pa., for more than 185 years. It survived Prohibition by turning itself into a dairy and is the fourth-largest brewer in the nation even though it&apossistributed in only 15 states and Washington, D.C. However, despite all of that, the Brewers Association only got around to considering it a 𠇌raft brewer” last year.
At some point, if you&aposre a pre-Prohibition brewer of German heritage, you start to take this kind of thing personally. Grated, Yuengling doesn&apost do a whole lot of things that 𠇌raft” folks like. It has two light beers in its portfolio and its year-round beers -- with the exception of its Chesterfield Ale, Porter and Black & Tan -- consist primarily of light lagers.
However, in recent years, the folks at Yuengling have branched out a bit and dove into their brewing heritage. Oktoberfest was introduced in 2011 and doesn&apost stray that far from the company&aposs core offerings. It&aposs darker and way more biscuity than Yuengling Lager, as Märzen tends to be, but it&aposs still in keeping with the rest of the brewery&aposs offerings.
Yuengling has compiled nearly two centuries of history without drifting on whim. It&aposs embracing seasonal beers on its own terms, which means lagering, darker Oktoberfest beers and a return to traditions that 𠇌raft” is just getting around to embracing.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, Calif.
Alcohol by volume: 6%
Ken Grossman and his team at Sierra have been big into lagering of late. Their Nooner low-alcohol session beer is a pilsner. Their summer seasonals included a Summerfest lager and a Kolsch. However, their biggest surprise of all was this year&aposs ridiculous Oktoberfest collaboration with Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg. A light base of bready pale and pilsner malt joins German Steffi malt and a biscuity Munich to blend nicely with the slight bite of German Magnum hops and the spicy finish of German Tettnanger, Spalter and Select hops. The result is a golden-copper dream of an Oktoberfest that hits the sweet spot between the modern pale Märzen and the darker, sweeter version that too many other brewers turn syrupy sweet. We&aposve been hard on craft brewers throughout this list, but this is evidence of what they can do when they hew to tradition and actually consult the Germans.
Boston Beer Company, Boston
Alcohol by volume:
A whole lot has changed since this beer was first brewed in 1989.
Boston Beer Company is best known for its Samuel Adams line of beers, but it&aposs now an umbrella for multiple operations. Beer only accounts for about 2.9 million barrels of Boston Beer&aposs overall production, with its Angry Orchard cider line taking up much of the rest. The company also drifts into the flavored-malt-beverage portion of the beer aisle with its Twisted Tea products and recently started producing a line of beer-and-soda shandies under its Traveler brand. Even Samuel Adams itself drifted from its Boston Lager and more Teutonic styles and into a line of IPAs.
However, this beer serves as a reminder of Boston Beer&aposs deep roots in German brewing. Boston Beer once swore by the Reinheitsgebot. Since 1985, Boston Beer founder Jim Koch has teamed with the world&aposs oldest brewery, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, on the champagne-style Infinium beer and has maintained a decades-long business relationship with German and hop suppliers to procure German heirloom hops (at one point, Boston Beer was the largest buyer of Hallertau Mittelfreuh hops and helped revive the variety). Just last year, he was awarded the Bavarian Order of Beer at the Brau Beviale global beer trade show: Making him the first non-German to receive the award in its 35-year history.
Because of all of the above, and in deference to the German tradition of reserving the Oktoberfest title for Munich beers, Octoberfest dropped the k for the c and went a bit maltier with its formula. That&aposs allowed Octoberfest to hold its own as a fragrant, flavorful fall favorite whose caramel-and-biscuit aroma hangs in the air during tours at the Samuel Adams research and development brewery in Boston around this time each year. Since this beer was first brewed, other craft brewers took it as their cue to ratchet up the sweetness on their own Märzens. However, this balance of sweet Caramel and Munich malts with spicy Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittlefruh hops may be the last time a brewer tried to find some middle ground between this style&aposs tradition and modern tastes.
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, San Jose, Calif.
Alcohol by volume: 5.6%
Gordon Biersch head brewer Dan Gordon knows just a little bit about German brewing tradition. While studying in the German town of Gottingen, he toured the nearby Einbecker brewery on several occasions and greatly enjoyed the Maibock it first made in the 14th Century. That experience led him to his graduate studies at the Technical University of Munich and inspired him to found Gordon Biersch with a business partner.
As a result, he&aposs also aware that Munich&aposs Oktoberfest was held in the middle of October. However, Munich&aposs brewers got it in their heads that if they moved the date to the last week of September through the first week of October, they could sell more beer in the warmer weather. When they reached that realization they also created the modern Oktoberfest beer with its lighter body -- unlike the somewhat fuller Märzens. They also gave it a bit more hop character, which Gordon attempted to recreate by combining dark-roasted Munich malt and pilsner malt with Hallertau and Tettnang aroma hops. The hop scent is faint, but the Munich malt makes this just a shade darker and a touch sweeter than the lighter Festbiers Gordon was shooting for. That isn&apost necessarily a bad thing.
Spoetzl Brewing, Shiner, Texas
Alcohol by volume: 5.7%
Brewed in the 105-year-old Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, and distributed in 48 states, Shiner has grown astronomically since Carlos Alvarez brought the brewery into San Antonio-based Gambrinus in 1989 and started trading in on its boots-and-barbecue Texas ties. While the flagship Shiner Bock is still what many beer drinkers outside of Texas think of when they hear the Shiner name, Shiner&aposs Oktoberfest Marzen has held its own since 1996 and was featured as a limited-release beer to celebrate Spoetzl Brewery&aposs 96th anniversary in 2005.
It&aposs a faithful representation of the copper, biscuity Märzens of yore. In fact, the judges at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival in Denver thought highly enough of it to award it a gold medal in the German-Style Marzen category. That&aposs a testament to Spoetzl&aposs German brewing heritage and to Shiner&aposs unwaveringly traditional take on seasonal beer. Don&apost put a pumpkin or a cinnamon shaker anywhere near this one.
High Point Brewing Company, Butler, N.J.
Alcohol by volume: 6%
New Jersey&aposs craft beer is a mess. Its number of breweries (less than 40) is woefully inadequate for the most densely populated state in the union, ranking it 48th among all states in breweries per capita. Its draconian, slowly evolving beer laws have made it a blend of &apos90s-era brewpubs and production brewers and recent upstarts including Carton, Kane and Forgotten Boardwalk.
Friday, 16 December 2011
A Point of View
I was out delivering our CAMRA Branch magazine (which I edit) today. As always I try and have a quick word with the licensee, just to see how things are. Maybe its different elsewhere or maybe we just have a better relationship with ours, but I always find them keen to talk to CAMRA. At one pub the licensee was bemoaning his limited cask guest beer list - a common complaint. He was also denied for reasons of which he was unsure, to a more wide ranging list which the PubCo also runs. I cooed sympathetically and asked "Is it Enterprise?" - as it usually is in such cases. "No" quoth he, I wish it was. It's Heineken. Bastards!".
The licensee also tells me things have got a lot worse since they took over from Scottish and Newcastle. So there. Enterprise aren't, in some eyes at least, as bad as Heineken. That should cheer old Tough Ted Tuppen up.
For all PubCos say about how things are much better for their tenants, I can tell you that's not what they tell me.
At least the pub was busy when I called at lunchtime, so that's something.
A Day in the Life with Bob
Robert (Bob) Bolden at WineStyles in Omaha
Looking into Robert (Bob) Bolden’s typical week at his WineStyles Tasting Station store in Omaha, Nebraska, you may think this man is an embodiment of the Energizer® bunny! But as you dig in you’ll see that’s because being a WineStyles business owner is, well, ENERGIZING!
Of course, Bob does go above and beyond with his typical 5:30am rise time. This businessman fits in a good workout every morning as part of a balanced lifestyle. Bob knows the balancing act of business ownership and one’s health and personal life is important to maintain.
What happens next? He’s off to networking events over coffee and breakfast. Building a business is just one part of the “job”. Building a community is another important aspect of being a business owner. Not only do you want your fellow community members to know who you are and what your business offers, but you also want to know them and how your ongoing relationship can be mutually beneficial.
“The great part about networking on behalf of WineStyles is that nearly everyone drinks wine!” says Bob, enthusiastic about getting out and networking in his community.
Bob behind his “Chocolate Station” at WineStyles Tasting Station, Omaha
Handmade Chocolate Truffles at WineStyles Tasting Station, Omaha
Bob Bolden’s WineStyles store front in Omaha
When working at his WineStyles Tasting Station store, Bob enjoys the many aspects of putting together a well-rounded wine shop – including tasting new wines and craft beers with local distributors, choosing accessories from catalogs to sell in the store, prepping his gift basket station with goodies, and furthering his own personal wine and craft beer knowledge.
It doesn’t stop there though – Bob manages a staff of about 13 part-time workers, all thirsty for continuing their own education in wine and craft beer. When something new comes in, or Bob gains a bit of new info, he gladly shares his findings with his staff. Education is a huge part of what makes WineStyles customers enjoy their experience with his shop so much. They know that Bob and his staff will point them in the right direction depending on their own personal tastes.
Engaging with his customers is Bob’s favorite part of his business, “just outside of being my own boss, which comes in a strong first place” he affirms. Bob enjoys adding value to his customers’ lives by means of helping them find the perfect wine, craft beer, or gift, yes, but also by way of being a positive community member whom they can rely on.
Through his WineStyles store, Bob finds countless ways to give back to his community. He sponsors wine tastings at various events, holds free-will offerings for national causes, hosts events for charity, and more.
“When you put your mind to it, and you have fellow community members working on the same project, there are so many different ways we can all help our community prosper. This is just another side-benefit of being your own boss – you can decide which causes are important to you and really make a difference in your own community. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.”
Venturing outside his community to wine attractions around the country is yet another side-benefit of being a WineStyles franchisee.
“I love working with like-minded wine-o’s!” Bob jests.
The WineStyles Corporate Team puts on an Annual Franchisee Convention, which is held in a different wine, craft beer, or “foodie”-centric location each year. Bob’s favorite Convention locations so far have been Woodinville, Washington and Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Bob signing the annual Convention poster
“Convention gives us the opportunity to meet up with fellow WineStyles business owners, learn from the Corporate Team, and bounce ideas off one another. I always walk away jazzed for my business and excited to implement new ideas in my store.”
Learn more about Bob’s journey at his next Open House, the event is free to attend.
Franchising Open House Event: Thursday, March 29, 2018 6:00pm
WineStyles – Pacific 1006 S. 74th Plaza Omaha, NE 68114
Please call Bob at (402) 884-6696 to RSVP.
Area Developer for Nebraska market and Proprietor of WineStyles in Omaha.
BREWING UP DISRUPTION
Level 350 Brewing Company™ Pronounced (three-five-zero) not Three Fifty comes from a flight level commonly used in commercial aviation. Once you fly above 18,000 feet the term feet transitions to Level so 35,000 feet is now Level 350. When we were coming up with our name our attorney did all the trademark searches for each name we choose and many times he said this name won’t be approved so we kept looking. Level 350 Brewing was one of the names chosen on the list of many and cleared by the attorney’s office, so we let it simmer for a while. That same evening we did our trademark searches I flew a trip and the first flight level given was FL 350 and that was it. I took a picture of the current altitude and this became our name Level 350 Brewing Company™ When we set out on this journey Quality and Authenticity were immediately decided as the first two of our core values. Quality has become such a generic word in the brewing industry and in business in general. Everyone says our product is quality our beer is quality our food is quality. So, when we set up our values, we said what does Quality really mean to us because at Level 350 Brewing Company™ “We Don’t Just Brew Beer We Brew Bier”. ™
Quality Without Compromise™
Quality is a word that represents our People, Process, Product, Equipment, Consistency, Brand Design, Grain Selection year after year from top German companies, Hops are hand selected from old world farms in German Hallertau region, Brewery Design and Layout, Brewery Theme, Food, Entertainment and the Overall Experience the moment you pull up to our brewery. So as you see the word Quality is not generic to us, but defined and we can keep going with words here, but we won’t and will only tell you with pure authenticity that we will deliver a consistent bier that gets better each and every time you drink one.
Authenticity is OUR STORY and told in the bier we make. Ladies and Gentlemen this is your Captain speaking.
Level 350 Brewing Co was started by Brian Nastovski Founder and 35 year airline pilot. Brian was one of the youngest EVER Boeing 747 Captain’s in the world at 30 years of age with Evergreen International Airlines. He tackled the world on many trips and flying yes rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong and got to experience first-hand what the world had to offer in bier. Evergreen International Airlines is where Brian got to know the world flying all over the globe. While at Evergreen around mid 90’s Brian was able to work in other capacities training him for today’s role as Founder and CEO of Level 350® Brewing Company. Brian also worked in the Evergreen Security division tackling theft issues and personal issues against the owner Delford M. Smith. Brian at the age of 27 also negotiated and won a multiyear multi-million dollar contract providing aircraft services to Korean Airlines out of Anchorage Alaska that led to other foreign airline contracts. Working in the high pressure field of aviation is like an operational pipeline of fire all the time that has you moving and making decisions quickly regarding the operation based on what you currently see and hear from your surroundings and the TEAM then you quickly make a decision that will totally impact the outcome and failure is NOT an option. As airline pilots you become very pragmatic in your approach to life and your own success dealing with the issue at hand other than what should or even could be. When issues arise in the aircraft or a training scenario in the simulator, we use what is called a QRH (Quick Reference Handbook) combined with SOP and team work to bring a successful outcome 100% of the time to the current problem. When we are landing in 1/2, 1/4 mile or even zero visibility with our auto-land system enabled or the HUD (Heads up Display) we use what is called an ILS approach (Instrument Landing System) that uses a ground-based antenna for the guidance to the runway. With a full load of passengers onboard and armed with great training, years of experience (60) combined between Brian and David, trust in the equipment and complete concentration we continuously achieve 100% successful outcomes ALL the time as failure is NOT an option. This concentration and ILS type laser focused guidance is what we have to bring this amazing world class bier company to LIFE.
After years in aviation,Brian achieved what’s considered the highest role you can achieve as a line pilot called a Check Airman. Brian’s determination has led him to serve as a Lead check airman managing the core group of check airman (pilot instructors) which are the guys and gals qualifying new hire pilots and new Captains on the actual aircraft during revenue flights. Brian has taken on ENORMOUS responsibilities in his career as check airman and air line Captain for most of his life. This daily role as Captain and Check Airman has groomed him for what he has embarked on creating a world class Bier company today. Brian has navigated difficulties in his life for sure, but in a manner most do not seem to survive well in as each time they may have had a personal failure NON aircraft related they would just navigate around it evaluate, grow and move on treating each experience more of a circumstance rather a failure. We are all going to fall at some point so it’s how you get up that matters.
When Brian began the search for the foundation in the style of beer, he kept landing on German Bavarian style. German was a beer he knew well since spending a lot of time of his aviation career in the country. So with Quality and Authenticity as their first two core values Germany it was and operating in the Reinheitsgebot German Purity Law was ONLY a natural choice for them embracing “Quality Without Compromise”™. Germany just kept offering us what we were after all along REAL Bier. With Authenticity we will brew Biers of Germany, Belgium, England and Scotland and for other world biers we will travel to and then in Bier and photos tell you the story and let you live that experience through us into you.
So It Starts
Once he decided on the foundation for the style of bier, he then began writing a business plan doing a SWOT analysis ( Strength, Weakness, Opportunity,Threats.) and reading, reading, reading. First, we became a licensed Virginia distributor under the name 39 North Distribution DBA Level 350 Brewing Company to allow our self to brew the bier in Virginia. We are starting out by contract brewing because I felt it was a way to keep huge capital expenses down as we are looking to build a 60 barrel fully automated system using Germanys finest equipment and that my friends is around 2.5 Million dollars and oh that KHS fully automated canning line YUP 1 million. So, you see just in this alone we felt we were to contract brew to keep initial cost down and to earn and learn our industry both here in the US and parts of the world. I set out here at home to find a contract brewery that we fit in with and also didn’t want 1-200 barrel minimum. Oh, and while I visited with 5 breweries, I was building our brands look and feel. I thought we found the one that was pretty close to us until our consulting German brew master and I visited with them after my initial visits alone. Did I mention I was also designing our amazing custom tap-handle for our Windsock IPA while this was going on? So we spent about 2 hours at this first brewery and decided after the meeting it wasn’t to be and we had the plan to start brewing beer that next month and this was March 2018 and now at this writing of our story its Jan 2019 as I add to our story. So, going back to that exercise of looking for the right brewing partner I started to tell you about. Quality Without Compromise® is what Level 350 Brewing Company stands for and delays were taken because we were NOT going to compromise on quality just because we wanted to brew beer. I continued the search and thought we had our place a second time. Then the long-standing brew master quite to start his own venture and good on him. Because of his departure communications all but fell apart and when we finally were able to speak with the new incoming well he was their head brewer so not that incoming anyways he took over he said sorry never got the pass down and we have NO room for you now. Boom STRIKE 2 and Shietz I SAID LOUDLYYYYYY. The calendar kept turning its monthly pages and so I kept the search on heading up to the Great Lakes area and found an amazing contact brewery for us in our canning needs. Ok so now we were making progress, but still haven’t found my main brewer yet. As summer of 2019 set in BOOM we found the partner. Part of my quest was for a brewery using exact German brewing equipment as we were going to buy because one I knew the quality that could turn out and ONLY breweries in business for long time had them and their experience level was such that exceeded what I was after. Once we have our brewery built and running, we simply are able to take those exact recipes and duplicate without cause to keep our consistent quality brewing. So now that we landed who we were going to use to get our Windsock IPA flying it was time to schedule a brew date. That date was set and August 16th 2019 was Windsock IPA’s Birthday. As we look back almost 2 years of 4 1/2 in our creation of Level 350 Brewing Co and 39 North Distribution the quest to find a brewing partner was one we stayed TRUE to on utilizing our values to guide us. One of those values is Quality and that guiding value kept us from making the wrong choice early on and developed what we call “Quality Without Compromise”™ today. We didn’t just set out to make crappy beer I callWeasel Piss by just going through the motions, but we made Bier Real Authentic Bier on August 16,2019. We are looking to be a FULL commercial production brewer by beginning of second quarter 2020 utilizing our contract brewery located in Chicago for kegs and our canning needs and really looking forward to this stage and sharing this entire story with those wanting to hear it. Pause with me a moment while I take a breath here —— All of this was going on while maintaining our flying job shuttling folks back and forth across the country. So fast forwarding a bit we are done with all that’s required to begin brewing and start the process of developing recipes and looking for an Interim Brew master with credentials we are looking for. Now that we have found our brew master who comes with a PhD in brewing and trained in Germany also living there for several years and other parts of Europe and still reside there. He learned and trained in all other beers we will produce as I mentioned above. Now we finally get to begin developing authentic German recipes we will distribute with initially earning our place on the shelf and quality restaurants and hotel bars. Once we open our doors to the brewery, we will have developed many recipes including our German lineup, Belgium, English and Scottish to name a few all in the name of Authenticity. I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read our story and look forward to sharing with you more of our story and what our future destination brewery will look and feel like as we meet you at future gatherings that will be posted on our event calendar located on our website.
We are kindly asking that distributors inquiring information regarding our bier to please email us at
We are extremely excited to begin conversations with future distributors and share with you our plan of support for our bier and how we can benefit you and your portfolio of the mass amount of sku’s you may currently hold. We understand the industry more than most newcomers and honestly do not feel that new to the brewing business.
Now we invite you to Sit back relax have a pint or two and enjoy what life has brought us together for not just Beer, but Bier.
Festival der Dortmunder Bierkultur
Less than 24 hours before showing up at Bergmann, I’d never heard of it. The tip came from a couple of employees at Dortmund’s local tourism bureau, raving about the new Stehbierhalle outside of the city center.
The actual purpose of my visit was to check out the ongoing beer festival, now at the tail-end of its five-day run. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating, spitting out November temperatures and damp, bone-stabbing winds on the first weekend of May. That meant lighter crowds for an otherwise sizeable beer festival featuring 30-plus breweries and a healthy helping of street food vendors.
Marcus from Dortmund Tourism joined me for a drink, starting naturally at Bergmann.
“Do you want an Export or Maibock?” he asked.
“Maibock is basically an Export, but stronger,” he explained.
“Stronger” in this case meant “more alcohol.” I’d been battling a nasty cold for going on a week, so I thought a strong dose of old-fashioned medicine might help me get some sleep. “Stronger” sounded solid.
We clinked our official beer fest glasses and grabbed a standing spot alongside Bergmann’s booth. The Maibock had a rich amber body and the flavor to match. It was a delicious, drinkable beer – the kind you could come back to time and time again when you’re feeling indecisive and want something reliable.
Increasingly I’ve come to better appreciate Germany’s brewing tradition. I arrived with the false presumption that the only beer I was interested in was craft beer as if throwing that one word in front of a product somehow made it better, like “organic” or “FDA approved.” (Okay, some labels mean something.)
I thought Germany’s reputation for brewing was overblown by Americans only familiar with its Hefeweizens and that the country’s younger brewers were unnecessarily hampered by the (in)famous Rheinheitsgebot – the 1516 law that stipulates the ingredients of different German beer styles, a framework brewers have to adhere to in order to call their product a beer.
The truth, as it usually is, isn’t so black and white. Some German brewers wanting to push the boundaries have found ways around the Rheinheitsgebot (like calling it “brew” instead of beer) and others have found ways to update traditional recipes for contemporary drinkers expecting stronger flavor profiles.
In Dortmund, Bergmann has found their place in Germany’s evolving beer story by linking the past with the present.
Beer is a tiny industry. Even stretching across oceans, the traveling lot of brewers and salespeople (like Paul), and writers, strategists, and brand folks (like myself), are seemingly hovering in the air at all times, touching down for moments at a time in bars and breweries to conduct our business around a fantastic pint or two. Thankfully, we're never truly alone.
On a recent stretch in San Francisco, working to launch a start-up in the East Bay area, I discovered that one of the more interesting UK brewers was bellied up to the bar at Magnolia's new brewpub space in the Dog Patch, drinking his way through their English-inspired Milds and Bitters, one of the only breweries in the U.S. to make such beers on the regular. And they make them very, very well.
So why are we at Magnolia in San Francisco drinking a lot of English style beers right now?
I’ve been asking myself this same question all the way down the coast. What I found so far is European beer styles made on the West Coast are fairly true to style. I don’t tend to find a lot of innovation in European styles on the West Coast so far. At first, especially in Portland, which is kind of like the Northwest Mecca, [it was like] why am I not finding mind-blowing variants of Saison or darker styles? A lot of the Porters up there were very clean and precise, and Belgian styles like spot-on versions of traditional European beers. I would scratch my head and wonder why that’s the case. Then it struck me it’s the same reason why we try and brew palate-wrecking, hoppy beers in the UK, because that’s what we didn’t have before. The IPAs are modern tradition versus the bitters and porters that are much older. If you want them fresh and here, someone’s gotta be brewing them. These are the beer styles that, at least from what I read, make a big impact on modern U.S. breweries. It’s easy to hear a story about “I went to the UK and I had a pint of Bitter, or a pint of Mild, and it really impressed me. It was more flavorful than what I was drinking in the States at that time, and that made me brew a Triple IPA the next year that ripped everyone’s face off!"
So many of our first-wave brewers were inspired by English breweries, Goose Island among them. Fullers ESB, that was the beer that started Goose Island. And breweries like Boulevard, Sprecher, so many in the Midwest especially, brought back a European inspiration that lead to great things.
It’s not difficult to understand those traditional English beers when you have maybe a more timid backdrop of watered-down Germanic Lagers, like generations after folks were brewing them here and making them mass-market. That makes a lot of sense. I think the fact we’re sitting in San Fran and I’ve started off with a Bitter flight.
. because there’s more than one on draft!
Yeah, there is. And they have a cask list with a Bitter on it as well. It makes sense that people here are no different than people anywhere else. They want something exotic. The exotic thing, given that people here are surrounded by some of the best modern beer in the world, is traditional stuff from somewhere else. And traditional stuff from a country that inspired a lot of modern American breweries makes sense.
Are people in the UK brewing proper IPAs? When they set out to brew an American IPA, are they able to do that, in your opinion?
Pretty much. I think we probably get, in terms of hops, the rejects. [laughs]
Well, brewers here are struggling to get the rejects, too! It’s what makes me ask the question. How are they pulling it off, and can they continue to pull it off long-term?
There’s a hop merch in the UK, Charles Faram. They’re the guys we work with. They contract a lot of hops, and even as a brand-new brewery, our head brewer has been working with Charles Faram for 15 or 20 years. He used to use his own salary to buy interesting hops and sneak them into one of his first brewing jobs because the company was like, “Don’t you dare make really flavorful beer. Fuggles and Goldings are all that’s allowed.” [laughs] So he would work with Charles Faram to sneak hops into the beer. There is some good stuff that comes over. At Cloudwater, we get multiple, different crops. For example, Centennial is a hop that we created different batches with. One of them was great, one of them was just good, and the other was absolutely fantastic. We were lucky as a new brewery, because of James’ 20-year relationship with Charles Faram, that we could choose the batch that we felt was most flavorful. So we have some pretty good hops, and people can make some very, very good hoppy beer. I have to be honest, BrewDog just put out their version of Stone’s Enjoy By and that was absolutely fantastic. Breweries near us that are very West Coast leaning, like Magic Rock and some of Buxton’s line, they end up coming out really, really nice. Now, the biggest difference between these hoppy beers it he UK and here in the U.S. Northwest I think, so far, has not been this hoppiness of the beer. It’s more, well, like I’ve had only one beer that’s been flawed on my whole trip! I’ve been drinking a lot of small, measured tasters, which isn’t the best. I prefer to drink half or third pints if I can because I like that experience down the glass, but I want to try a good number of different beers because I’m not going to get that chance again.
That speaks to another challenge of brewing. If you’re excited about making American or West Coast style IPAs in the UK, what are you tasting on a daily basis that helps you make those beers in the proper way versus something that’s a few months old?
We scramble. When a bottle shop or bar says we’ve got some fresh, home-shipped American beer, we’re like, “We’ve gotta get there!” We tend to sort of scramble over those experiences because that’s what give us an impression of what it’s actually like.
The same thing happens to me in Chicago. The West Coast IPAs that end up on our shelves are usually a couple months old by the time they get to us. They’re still much bigger, cleaner, drier, bolder than most of what we would get in the Midwest or on the East Coast, but when I go to San Diego and drink those things fresh? There’s just no comparison. It’s a totally different beer!
I’m looking forward to that! [laughs] I’m there in a few days' time.
I came back from San Diego, I think it was last October. I went into that experience thinking that I was the kind of guy that wasn’t really into IPAs, like hops weren’t my biggest attraction. I came out of there thinking, “No, that’s just the only place I’ll allow myself to drink them from now on because, holy shit, I’m just going to drink all of them." It was mind-blowing how different an IPA is when it’s a few days fresh from a local on the West Coast than it is when we finally get it in package on a shelf, warm in Chicago. It’s a different beer. Even with everyone’s lab work and shelf-life improvements, I just find it to be a shade of the real thing with only a few exceptions.
I think what a lot of the brewers in the UK are doing is we scramble over the freshest stuff we can get ahold of, and everyone’s constantly trying to up the game. Everyone’s looking to see what they can do to improve the freshness of their beer, how much dry-hopping can be done before it’s not so good anymore. People are making some very bold, hoppy beer. I can’t tell you at all how that compares because from the sound of it I’m going to have a very different experience in San Diego than what I’ve had anywhere else in the world.
You’re going to meet a dozen cab drivers that will tell you they came there for a visit once and then just didn’t leave. You’re going to start racking your brain for how you can pull that off yourself. "I’ve got a brewery in England, but maybe it’s still possible,” you’ll think. So what inspired you to start Cloudwater? Tell me what it is and what it’s about.
We are pretty much in the city-center of Manchester, in an old neighborhood called Ancoats. It’s a very industrial city. It’s touted as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and there are some nice mill buildings and factory buildings left over from that period. We try to position ourselves close to the city-center so we can be accessible to folk. We’ve been running about five months now production-wise, so brand-new, very embryonic. Cloudwater came about for a number of different reasons. I used to work in some very primitive food environments years ago. Loved serving people. Loved making nice, honest, flavorful things for people to consume. So I’ve been craving for a long time to get back into the food and drink industry. My background was in music technology. Essentially, you get trained to operate and record in the studio. I got trained in composition and a whole bunch of stuff. For the past couple years, I had aspirations that I would start a mastering studio, right before I opened the brewery, because I really loved audio production. But I was also looking around for a nice building to put a cool venture in. There was a sub-station and a couple of semi-detached houses in Ancoats—such a beautiful building. I could see the potential in the space even though I had no idea how the hell I’d make it come to fruition. I knew I wanted to do something, and during that time, James Campbell—now my co-founding partner and head brewer at Cloudwater—was getting pretty sick of his job in his previous brewery. He decided to leave, and he and I started talking about what we could do.
Tell me about that first conversation. Where was it and what was it like?
Fruity/estery is a characteristic found in a lot of ales but not so much in lagers. It can create aromas and flavors such as banana, clove, pineapple and other such spicy, fruity styles. The type of yeast strain plays a major role in the production of these esters along with the temperature of fermentation. Higher temps create more esters, while lower temps inhibit their formation.
Diacetyl is a buttery/butter-scotch flavor that is leftover when yeast sediments. If the yeast sediments too fast a lot of diacetyl will be left behind. Again the strain of yeast plays a major role in the production of diacetyls.
ADELAIDE SPARKLING ALE
This is a style of ale from Adelaide, Australia. It should be cloudy and have a heavy sediment from a strong secondary fermentation in the bottle. This creates an almost brutally rugged carbonation and fruitiness. Its flavor profile is sharp, robust, sherberty and intense. These beers were sometimes called "Sugar Beer" due to the strong dosage needed for the secondary fermentation. It is gold to amber-red in color.
Commercial examples: Coopers Sparkling Ale, Kent Town Real Ale, Lion's Sparkling Bitter Ale.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.050 Alcohol: 5 - 6% IBU's: 25 - 26 SRM: 5 - 10.
German ale associated with the city of Düsseldorf. "Alt" is the German word for old. The Alt style uses a top-fermenting ale yeast, but then is cold-aged. Lacks hop aroma, low hop flavor but has medium to high bitterness, especially in the finish. Restrained fruitiness, dry, clean, bittersweet flavor. Rounded maltiness that is medium to high but not overpowering. Light to medium body. Cleaner, smoother palate, less fruitiness, less yeastiness and less acidity than a classic British ale. Very low diacetyl is OK. The color is bronze to dark brown.
Commercial examples: Widmer, Zum Uerige.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 40 - 65 SRM: 10 - 19.
This is a form of Altbier that the brewpubs of Düsseldorf brew once or twice a year for their loyal patrons. It is released without much advertisement, hence the word "sticke" which means "secret" in German. Sticke has a higher starting gravity then the traditional, resulting in a stronger, maltier more robust version. It is often dryhopped, creating low to medium hop aroma and low to medium hop flavor. Hop bitterness is on the high end.
Commercial examples: Zum Uerige Sticke, Latzenbier.
OG: 1045-1055 Alcohol: 5 - 6% IBU's: 45 - 55 SRM: 11 - 19.
A light, pale, less bitter version of Altbier. A significant portion of wheat is used which adds a wheaty flavor. Low to medium malt flavor. No hop aroma, low hop flavor. Hop bitterness is low. Pale to light amber in color. Some examples have a lactic sourness.
Commercial examples: Pinkus Mueller, Otter Creek Helles Alt.
O.G.: 1.040 -1.055 Alcohol: 4.5 -5.5% IBU's: 12 - 25 SRM: 3 - 8
Northern German Altbier
Lighter, less robust and less bitter than Düsseldorf Altbier. Medium malt flavor. No hop aroma, low hop flavor. Hop bitterness is low to medium, but usually in the medium range. Amber to brown in color. Most Alts produced in countries other then Germany are of this style. Some ales called Amber are actually in this Alt style.
Commercial examples: DAB Dark, Broyhan Alt, Alaskan Amber, Grolsch Autumn Amber, Kirin's Alt, Sapporo Alt, Harpoon Alt, New Ulm Schmaltz Alt.
O.G.: 1.040 -1.057 Alcohol: 4.5 -5.5% IBU's: 25 - 40 SRM: 8 - 15
In the US, the legal meaning for this is a beer with 1/3 less calories then regular beer. In most commercial brands, enzymes are added to break down more sugar into alcohol. Another method is to brew a beer with 1/3 less malt. Low in body, light beer also has low or no malt taste and is effervescent. Hop bitterness is usually below the threshold of taste and no flavor or aroma is detected. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Light DMS flavor and aroma OK. Very pale to golden color.
Commercial examples: Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light, Stroh's Light.
OG: 1.024 - 1.035 Alcohol: 2.5 - 4.5% IBU's: 5 - 15 SRM: 2 - 4.
The standard American, Canadian, Japanese, and Australian beer style. Brewed with 25 to 40% rice, corn and/or wheat. This style runs the gamut from sweet to dry. Lightly hopped, light-bodied and effervescent. This style has low malt aroma and flavor. Hop bitterness is barely noticeable with very low flavor and aroma. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Light DMS flavor and aroma OK. Light acetaldehyde aroma OK. Pale straw to deep gold.
Commercial examples: Budweiser, Coors, Stroh's, Corona, Fosters, Molson Golden, Miller High Life, Moosehead.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.045 Alcohol: 3.5 - 5% IBU's: 5 - 17 SRM: 2 - 6.
The profile for this style is very similar to that of the American standard style, except that there are usually fewer adjuncts or it is all-malt. The body is light, with low malt flavor and aroma. Bitterness is low to medium from American hops, but generally the hops are barely detectable. Low hop flavor and aroma is OK. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Light DMS flavor and aroma OK. Color is very pale to deep gold.
Commercial examples: Michelob, Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve, Red Dog, Coors Herman Joseph's, Coor's Extra Gold.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5% IBU's: 13 - 23 SRM: 2 - 7.
This is a style of lager that all but died out during prohibition. It was found that American six-row barley had excessive protein levels, so 20% corn (or rice) was usually added along with the malt to dilute the protein. The limited amount of adjuncts does very little to change the malt flavor. It gives the beer a slight sweetness that is usually offset by good hop levels which are light to medium in flavor, aroma and bitterness. It has medium to high malt flavor and aroma. Body is medium to as full as a light colored lager can be. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Light DMS flavor and aroma should be apparent but not overpowering. Color is light gold to deep gold. The style is starting to make a comeback with the American micro-brewery and homebrew movement.
Commercial example: None.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070 Alcohol: 5 - 6% IBU's: 25 - 40 SRM: 3 - 6.
Colored versions of American standard or premium with little or no dark malts used. Color can be artificially derived from the addition of caramel syrup. Deep copper to dark brown. Light to medium body. Low bitterness. Low malt aroma and/or flavor is OK. Low hop aroma and/or flavor is OK. Effervescent. No fruitiness or esters. Very low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Henry Weinhard's Special Dark Reserve, Michelob Classic Dark.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4 - 5.5% IBU's: 14 - 20 SRM: 10 - 20.
American Malt Liquor
Roughly similar to other American lagers but higher in alcohol. The name "malt liquor" is a designation based on the fact that these brews quite often exceed the legal alcohol level defined for beers by some states. Usually very pale in color although some amber colored versions do exist. Light to no hop bitterness, flavor and/or aroma. Light DMS flavor and aroma should be apparent but not overpowering.
Commercial examples: Molson Brador, Colt 45.
O.G.: 1.048 - 1.064 Alcohol: 5 - 8% IBU's: 5 - 22 SRM: 1 - 8.
The name given to any top-fermented beer of unusually high, wine-like alcohol content. The richest and strongest of British ales. Alcoholic, malty, heavy and full-bodied, usually balanced with a high rate of hop bitterness and low aroma, both of which may diminish during aging. The aroma includes esters, and there can be low to medium diacetyl. American versions of Barley Wine tend to have more hop aroma then the traditional English versions and can reach high hop aroma. May possess a residual flavor of unfermented sugar. Well aged examples may also show oxidative flavors. Barley Wines are usually darker (copper to medium brown) then Strong Ales though there are some golden versions. Traditionally, they were matured in the cask, which was rolled round the brewery yard once a week to rouse the yeast in its secondary fermentation. The commercial brewers do not use wine yeast. The effect of extremely high gravitates on a top-fermenting yeast can make for a very estery, winy-tasting brew. Barley wines often have little head retention.
Commercial examples: Goldie, Gold Label, Fuller's Golden Pride, Old Foghorn, Bass No. 1 Barley Wine, Big Foot, Young's Old Nick.
O.G.: 1.090 - 1.120 Alcohol: 8.4 - 12% IBU's: 50 - 100 SRM: 6 - 22.
Belgian Pale Ale
The pale ales of Belgium span a broad spectrum of characteristics. They share the general characteristics of the English pale ales, however, they are more aromatic and spicy in both malt and yeast character. These beers may be called spècials belges, or just belges, in the French-speaking regions of Belgium. They are golden to copper in color. These ales may include candy sugar or other aromatics. They are light to medium in body, with low to medium malt aroma, and usually have low carbonation. Fruity, spicy and soft. Slight acidity OK. No diacetyl. Low caramel or toasted malt flavor OK. Hop character is usually medium though the range can reach high bitterness.
Commercial examples: De Koninck, Op-Ale, Vieux Temps, Horse Ale, Ginder Ale, Palm, Spèciale Palm, Dobbel Palm, Aerts 1900, Spèciale Aerts, Ster Ale, Fat Tire.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 20 - 40 SRM: 3.5 - 12.
Flemish Brown Ale (Oud Bruins)
Blend of slight vinegarlike or lactic sourness, spicy, dry, richness of brown malts and fruitiness of ale. Sweet-and-sour character with the sweetness coming from the addition of sugar to sweeten the beer prior to pasteurization. Very complex caramel/nutty/slight chocolate malt character, with flavors sometimes reminiscent of olives, raisins and spices. Complex combinations of malts water high in sodium bicarbonate long boiling times, creating a hint of caramelization. Multistrain yeast pitching, sometimes with a lactic character and the blending of "young" and "old" beers, make for a truly teasing style. No diacetyl. There is no hop aroma and low to medium bitterness. Low roasted malt character is OK. Deep copper to brown.
Commercial examples: Liefmans Oud Bruin, Felix, Cnudde, Dobbelen Bruinen, Oudenaards, Ichtegems Bruin, Bruynen.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055 Alcohol: 4 - 6.5% IBU's: 15 - 25 SRM: 10 - 18.
Belgian Red Ale
A sharp and sour red beer of light to medium body, it contains up to twenty strains of yeast. The taste is tart with a wide range of fruitiness. The red color comes, in part, from the use of Vienna malt, but also is derived from aging in the brewery's uncoated oak tuns, which also creates the flavors of caramels, tannins and acidity. This is not a hoppy beer. Very refreshing.
Commercial examples: Rodenbach, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Ouden Tripel, Petrus, Paulus, Bacchus, Pandoer, La Duchesse de Bourgogne, Vlaamse Bourgogne.
O.G.: 1.052 - 1.056 Alcohol: 5.5 - 6% IBU's: 10 - 25 SRM: 10 - 18.
Brewed in France and Belgium during the spring for the summer. It is often only 50% attenuated (fermented). Fermentation is inhibited by the use of multiple strains of yeast that work quickly but not thoroughly. Hard water may have helped provide the body, mouth-feel and extraction of flavors from the grains. Brewed predominantly from pale malt, gaining color through a lengthy boil. Sometimes a small portion of spelt (a variety of wheat) , or raw oats or raw rice was used. Fruity with a pungent sourness and hop aroma, they are often dry-hopped. Low malt aroma. The style is crisp, tart, and refreshing. Distinctively bitter but not assertive. Bottled-conditioned with additional yeast added to the bottle. The profile includes a thick, dense, rocky head on a fairly well-carbonated beer with a palate of some tart, citric notes. Light to medium body. Slight acidity and low diacetyl are OK.
Commercial examples: Saison Dupont, Saison Silly, Saison Enghien, Saison Regal, Saison de Pipaix, Saison 1900.
O.G.: 1.048 - 1.080 Alcohol: 5.5 - 7.5% IBU's: 20 - 40 SRM: 3.5 - 10.
Belgian Strong Golden Ales
References to the devil are often a trademark of these beers. These beers are pale to golden in color. The light color and relatively light body for a beer of this OG are the results of very pale malt and judicious additions of refined candi sugar. Full of fruity, hoppy, alcoholic complexity. Can be vinous. Low hop flavor and aroma. Top-fermented and cold-conditioned. Usually very effervescent.
Commercial examples: Duvel, Lucifer, Teutenbier, Deugniet, Sloeber, Judas.
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.070 Alcohol: 6.5 - 8% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 3 - 6.
Belgian Strong Dark Ales
There are many variations of this Belgian style which is characterized by full body and a deep burgundy to dark brown color. Rich, creamy, and usually sweet, these ales are malty but some examples do have high hop bitterness. Colored with candy sugar and not so much dark malt. Low hop flavor and aroma.
Commercial examples: Pawel Kwak, Bush (Scaldis), Liefmans Goudenband, Gouden Carolus.
O.G.: 1.070 - 1.096 Alcohol: 8 - 11% IBU's: 25 - 50 SRM: 15 - 25.
BIÈRE DE GARDE
The name means "beer to keep," implying that it was laid down as a provision to be drawn upon during the summer. The style belongs to northern France. Typically made with several malts, this is a strong, top-fermenting, laying-down beer, quite commonly corked not capped. Bière de Garde is full gold to a dark reddish-brown. They have a medium to high malt flavor accent and a light to medium ale-like fruitiness, often with spicy notes, and are medium to strong in alcohol. Often they have a mild phenolic/clovey character and many are slightly sweet. Light to medium body, medium hop bitterness and light to medium hop flavor and aroma. It has a malty and fruity aroma. Lager yeast fermenting at higher temperatures is being employed in some examples today. Earthy, cellarlike, musty aromas OK. Light diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: 3 Monts, Jenlain, Bière des Sans Culottes, Saint Leonard, Lutèce, Pot Flamand, Pastor Ale, Cuvée des Jonquilles, Saison Saint Médard, Ch'ti Brune, Cuvée de Noël, Ch'ti Blonde, Ch'ti Ambrée, La Choulette, Brassin Robespierre, Septante 5 ("75"), Vieille Garde (Old Garde), La Bavaisienne, Réserve du Brasseur.
OG: 1.060 - 1.080 Alcohol: 5 - 8% IBU's: 25 - 30 SRM: 8 - 15.
A very strong lager originally from Einbeck, Germany. Strong in alcohol with a clean, smooth, malty-sweet character. The idea is to balance the big, warming, alcohol with a quenching touch. It is the water and the malt that give this style some special characteristics. The Bock beer is medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness in aroma and flavor that can include some toasted chocolate-like undertones. The dark flavors of chocolate and black malt is not appropriate for Bocks. They get their color and flavor from dark Munich malts. It is traditionally dark amber to dark brown and uses just enough "noble-type" hop flavor (low) to balance the malt. Bitterness is low. There is no fruitiness or esters and there should not be any diacetyl. No hop aroma. Until recently, German law stated that all Bocks had to have an original gravity of at least 16 Plato (1.064).
Commercial examples: Aass Bock, Frankenmuth Bock.
O.G.: 1.064 - 1.074 Alcohol: 6 - 7.5% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 20 - 30.
Helles Bock / Maibock
These Bocks possess the same characteristics as traditional Bock except for the toasted chocolate character and they are lighter in color, gold to light amber. Medium to full bodied, it has predominantly malty taste. Hop bitterness is usually low and just balances the malt sweetness. Low "noble-type" hop flavor is OK. No hop aroma, fruitiness or esters and there should not be any diacetyl.
Commercial examples: Ayinger Mai Bock, Pschorr Marzenbock, Wurzburger Maibock, Hacker-Pschorr Maibock, Einbecker Mai Ur-Bock, Augustiner Hellerbock, Fieders Bock Im Stein, Forschungs St. Jakobus Bock.
O.G.: 1.064 - 1.068 Alcohol: 6 - 7% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 4.5 - 10.
Stronger version of Bock which must have a gravity of at least 18 Plato (1.072). Any beer with a starting gravity of over 18 Plato must, by German law, be called a Doppelbock regardless of any character the beer may have. Doppelbock was invented in Munich by the brothers of Saint Francis of Paula. They named their strong beer Salvator. By tradition, and in deference to Salvator, Doppelbock names end in "ator". They are very full bodied. Can be dark gold to very dark brown, very sweet or balanced with bitterness. The malty sweetness that is evident in aroma and flavor can be intense. High alcohol flavor. Some esters and fruitiness may be detectable, but are not very desirable. Low hop flavor from "noble-types" is OK. No hop aroma. There should not be any diacetyl.
Commercial examples: Paulaner's Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Augustiner Maximator, Kulminator EKU 28, Samichlaus, Löwenbräu Triumphator, Hacker Pschorr Animator, Old Dominion Dominator.
O.G.: 1.072 - 1.120 Alcohol: 7.5 - 14% IBU's: 17 - 40 SRM: 6 - 30.
The strongest type of Bock. Very alcoholic. A Doppelbock is chilled till ice is formed. The ice is removed, leaving behind a beer with a higher concentration of alcohol. The beer is very full bodied with increased sweetness and warmth. Color is amber to black. The detectable bitterness is low.
Commercial examples: Kulmbacher Reichelbräu Eisbock Bayrisch G'frorns.
O.G.: 1.092 - 1.116 Alcohol: 10 - 14.5% IBU's: 26 - 33 SRM: 10 - 40.
Originating in coal mining areas of England and Wales, this was a low-alcohol beer designed for generous consumption by manual laborers. The name "Mild" refers to the lack of hop bitterness. The style is sweeter and paler than porter, and the body is light but as malty as is possible in a low gravity beer. Mild is gentle, with a soft body and may have a very lightly nutty flavor. The color is light amber to very dark brown, and is derived from a mixture of malts. There is very little hop flavor and aroma. The hop bitterness can be undetectable to low. Low esters.
Commercial example: McMullen's AK, Fuller's Hock, Highgate Mild, Bank's Mild.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.038 Alcohol: 2.5 - 3.5% IBU's: 10 - 24 SRM: 8 - 34.
English Brown Ale
A British ale that is sweeter, fuller bodied and stronger then mild ales. Some have nutty characters. Low bitterness. The style splits along geographic lines.
Southern Brown Ale
Southern brown ales are darker (dark brown and almost opaque), sweeter from the use of caramel malts and are made from lower gravities. They have a medium body. Some fruitiness and esters are present. They have low hop flavor, aroma and bitterness. Low diacetyl OK.
Commercial example: Mann's Brown Ale.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.045 Alcohol: 3.5 - 5% IBU's: 15 - 20 SRM: 20 - 34.
Northern Brown Ale
Northern varieties, though still medium-bodied, are less sweet, dryer, have a "nuttier" malt flavor with a pale copper to dark brown color. Some esters and fruitiness are present, and the hop flavor, aroma and bitterness is usually in the low range but can approach medium. Usually have a higher alcohol level. Low diacetyl OK.
Commercial examples: High Level, Newcastle Brown Ale, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Double Maxim, Oregon Original Nut Brown Ale.
OG.: 1.040 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4.5 - 6.5% IBU's: 15 - 30 SRM: 12 - 30.
American Brown Ale
An adaptation by American homebrewers desiring higher alcohol and hop bittering levels to go along with the malty richness characteristic of all brown ales. A drier and more bitter style of English brown ale. Medium maltiness is present in a medium body. Hops are American varieties and can be assertive in bitterness, flavor and aroma (medium to high). Dark amber to dark brown. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Cooper Smith's Dunraven Ale, Hart's Pacific Crest Ale, Pete's Wicked Ale, Brooklyn Brown, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.055 Alcohol: 4 - 6% IBU's: 25 - 60 SRM: 15 - 22.
CALIFORNIA COMMON BEER (STEAM BEER)
A California creation. Legend has it that Steam Beer was named for the hiss of carbon dioxide that accompanied the tapping of a keg. The Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco holds a registered trademark on the words "Steam Beer" meaning no other beer can use that term. This style is fermented with lager yeast at ale temperatures then aged cold. It is fermented in wide, shallow fermenters. This increases surface area and promotes cooling. It also influences yeast behavior. It is made from pale and crystal malt and usually hopped with Northern Brewer. It has the roundness and cleanness of a lager, with some of the complexity of an ale. A very light phenolic character that has been described as "thick, muddy" and "milk-like" may be detectable but should be light at most. May have a slight residual sweetness but finish very dry. The style has a medium body and a hint of toasted or caramel-like maltiness in aroma and flavor. The color is light amber to brown. Hops are medium to high in bitterness and flavor, and low to medium in aroma. Fruitiness and esters are low. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Anchor Steam, New England Atlantic Amber.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.055 Alcohol: 3 - 5% IBU's: 35 - 45 SRM: 8 - 17.
Cider comes from apple juice and optional ingredients such as fruits and spices and comes in a variety of styles. It can be fermented by wine, Champagne, ale, lager or wild yeast. There are several types of ciders.
As the name implies, not effervescent. Still cider has a light body and crisp apple flavor. Under 7% alcohol, it can be dry to sweet and is a pale yellow color. It must be clear and brilliant with an apple aroma. Sugar adjuncts may be used.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.053 Alcohol: 5.5 - 7%.
Sparkling cider has many of the same traits as the still variety with the addition of effervescence. There should be no head or foam. It may be force-carbonated. It may be dry to sweet and light to medium in body with a crisp apple taste. The color is clear pale yellow, and must be clear and brilliant. Sugar adjuncts may be used.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.061 Alcohol: 5.5 - 8%.
New England-Style Cider
This cider has a strong, pronounced apple aroma and a higher level of alcohol, at 8 to 14%. They can be still or sparkling but are usually dry. Carbonation must be natural. Medium to full bodied with some tannins, but no "hot" alcohol taste. The color is pale to medium yellow. Adjuncts may include white and brown sugars, molasses, and/or raisins. Should use wild or wine yeasts only.
O.G.: 1.061 - 1.105 Alcohol: 8 - 14%.
At least 75% apple juice, with the remainder made from any variety of adjuncts. The alcohol content must be below 14%, but any type of yeast can be used in the production.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.105 Alcohol: 5.5 - 14%.
Scrumpy is a low-grade cider traditionally made in small quantities in rural areas by farmers who use ordinary scruffy apples and crush and usually ferment in the pulp without separation of the juice. The apples are usually high in tannin. Traditional country English cider is often called scrumpy. Supposedly it traditionally had meat in it. The flavor is typically lactic, acetic, cloudy, appley and strong flavored due to the natural mix of wild yeast and bacteria which ferment the pomace. It has a higher amount of methanol in it than quality cider made from clear juice due to the action of the pectin methyl esterase on the pomace. It is usually served from casks flat and cloudy without aging at regional rural pubs, etc.
An American beer that may employ the use of either ale or lager yeast, or a combination of both. The beer is usually fermented as an ale followed by a period of cold conditioning. Can be hoppier, stronger and fruitier than standard American light lagers. Often brewed with corn or rice. The profile is light to medium body with high effervescence. The color is pale. Some low fruitiness/esters may be detectable. Hop bitterness is low to medium. Low hop aroma and flavor are OK. Light DMS flavor and aroma are OK.
Commercial examples: Genesee Cream Ale, Little Kings Cream Ale, Weinhard's Light American Ale.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.055 Alcohol: 4.5 - 7% IBU's: 10 - 22 SRM: 2 - 4.
A product of the German brewing tradition. Distinctly toasted (not burnt), nutty chocolate-like malt sweetness in aroma and flavor. The dark flavors of chocolate and black malt is not appropriate in Dunkel lagers. They get their color and flavor from dark Munich malts. Low to medium hop bitterness. Low hop flavor and aroma from "noble-types" is OK. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK. Low to moderate alcohol and medium body. Color ranges from dark amber to dark brown. At its most sophisticated, this style combines the dryish, nutty, chocolate notes of toasted malts with the roundness and cleanness imparted by a lager yeast. The best examples have a spicy maltiness that is neither sweet nor roasty dry.
Commercial examples: König Ludwig Dunkel, Spaten Dunkel Export, Paulaner, Franz Joseph Jubelbier, Frankenmuth Bavarian Dark, Ayinger Alt-Bairisch Dunkel, Wurzburger Hofbrau Bavarian Dark, Dinkel Acker Dark.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.058 Alcohol: 4.5 - 6% IBU's: 16 - 30 SRM: 15 - 23.
A general term for dark lagers from Europe which don't fit the Munich Dark profile. Generally a bit drier in flavor and lighter in body than the Munich style. The nutty chocolate-like malt sweetness in aroma and flavor is more subdued then in the Munich Dunkel. Low hop bitterness. Low hop flavor and aroma from "noble-types" is OK. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK. Color ranges from dark amber to dark brown.
Commercial examples: Beck's Dark, Grolsch Dark.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055 Alcohol: 4 - 5.5% IBU's: 16 - 25 SRM: 15 - 23.
DORTMUNDER / EXPORT
Strong pale lager from Dortmunder, Germany brewed a bit stronger than other light lagers in order to travel well for export. Characterized by more bitterness and less maltiness then Helles, but less bitterness, sweeter, stronger and more malt body than German Pilsners. Neither malt or hops are distinctive, but both are medium in flavor and in good balance with a touch of sweetness, providing a smooth yet crisply refreshing beer. The very low hop aroma and flavor that is present is from "noble-types". The water in Dortmunder is quite hard containing both calcium carbonate and sulfate. This, combined with a special malting process which results in increased enzyme power, contributes to the final unique taste. The mash for Dortmunder typically leaves sufficient unfermentables in the brew to provide that firmness of body. Alcoholic warmth can be evident. Straw to medium gold with medium body. There are no traces of diacetyl or esters.
Commercial examples: DAB Export, Thier's Export, Ritter Export, Kronen Export, Dortmunder Union Export, Newman's Brand Saratoga Lager, Yebisu.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.060 Alcohol: 5 - 6% IBU's: 23 - 30 SRM: 4 - 6.
Any lager and ale with fruit or fruit juice in it for flavor, color and/or aroma. Fruit was once a common seasoning in beer, especially before hops became universally used. The quenching quality of fruit beers makes them very well suited to hot summers. Cherries and raspberries are the most popular additives. Raspberry Wheat Beer, Cherry Stout, Blueberry Ale, and Lemon Lager are but a few of the fruit beer styles made. The particular fruit qualities of the beer should be distinctive in color, flavor and aroma, yet harmonious with the total flavor profile. Body, color, hop character and strength can very greatly. If the base beer is a classic-style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. The fruit should complement the original style and not overpower it.
Commercial examples: Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale, Oregon Original Raspberry Wheat, Saranac Mountain Berry Ale, Pete's Wicked Summer Brew, Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic, Boston Beer Works Blueberry Ale.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.110 Alcohol: 2.5 - 12% IBU's: 5 - 70 SRM: 5 - 50.
In the mid-to-late 1800's, American brewers were making golden lagers that were lightened in body and flavor by reducing the traditional barley-malt content and using cheaper, more readily available materials such as corn and rice. In response, the ale-brewers gave a similar treatment to their products. Today, Golden Ales still tend to be very similar to an American Standard Lager but perhaps with a little more hop flavor. Most of the Mega-Brewed Canadian Ales are of this style. Brewed with 25 to 40% rice or corn. This style runs the gamut from sweet to dry. Lightly hopped, light-bodied and effervescent. This style has low malt aroma and flavor. Hop bitterness is barely noticeable with low flavor and aroma. Very little fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Light DMS flavor and aroma OK. Pale straw to deep gold.
Commercial examples: Labatt's 50/50.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.045 Alcohol: 3.5 - 5% IBU's: 5 - 20 SRM: 2 - 6.
This is the type of Golden Ale being brewed by the microbreweries and brewpubs. It is usually an all-malt brew as opposed to the Golden Ale. It is likely to have a pleasant hop bouquet, a soft, lightly malty palate, and some fruitiness. It has an apparent light to medium malt aroma and flavor but should not have a syrupy flavor. They are usually balanced with light to medium hop bitterness though the accent should remain with the malt. The bitterness may come out more in the aftertaste creating a very dry sensation. Hop aroma may be medium to non-existent. There are a few versions of this style with very restrained use of hops, making the beer sweet in character. Fruitiness may be light to medium. Light diacetyl and DMS is OK.
Commercial examples: Sea Dog Windjammer, Mill City Spring Fever Blonde Ale, Catamount Gold, Goose Island Blonde Ale.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.060 Alcohol: 4 - 6.5% IBU's: 15 - 33 SRM: 4 - 7.
Mildly hopped, malty beer from Munich, Germany. The medium malt sweetness, often described as almost a caramel, is the mark of this beer. Part of the malty flavor comes from the unique Munich style of malting which involves "curing" the malt at temperatures of 212 to 225 °F. The medium body is a bit heavier than a Bohemian pils due to being less attenuated then a pils. Pleasingly low bitterness that does not linger at all. The very low hop aroma and flavor, if present, are from "noble-types". No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Color is very pale yellow to golden.
Commercial Examples: Altenmunster, Ayinger Jahrhundert, Lowenbrau (Munich) Helles, Augustiner Helles, Spaten Helles, Paulaner Helles, Hacker-Pschorr Helles.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 18 - 25 SRM: 2 - 5.
Any lager or ale with unusual herbs in it for aroma, flavor and/or color. Herbs and spices were once common seasonings in beer, especially before hops became universally used. Commonly used spices include marjoram, cinnamon, garlic, peppers, spruce, juniper, cloves, anise, nutmeg, coriander, caraway, ginger, etc.. Body, color, hop character and strength can very greatly. If the base beer is a classic-style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. The spices should complement the original style and not overpower it.
Commercial Examples: Harpoon Winter Warmer, Ed's Chili Beer, New England Brewing Co. Holiday Ale, Anchor Our Special Ale.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.110 Alcohol: 2.5 - 12% IBU's: 5 - 70 SRM: 5 - 50.
Malt-accented ales, often with a buttery note, rounded, and with a soft but notable fruitiness and reddish tinge. This style was more than likely influenced by the success of some malty, but tawnier, Scottish brews. During the 1960's, the last independent ale brewery in Ireland closed. Today all ale breweries are owned by Guinness. Pale ale malt is the main ingredient, with crystal malt and roasted barley also being used. In today's Irish ales, corn has found its way in. In the United States, lager yeast is used in most commercial examples and the beers are far more highly carbonated than typical Irish Ales. Very light hop aroma and flavor is OK. Hop bitterness is usually low.
Commercial Examples: Phoenix Beer, George Killian's Irish Red, Macardle Ale, Michael Shea's Irish Amber, McNally's Extra, Smithwick's Ale, Kilkenny Irish Beer, Kilkenny Strong, Magic Hat Ale.
O.G.: 1.036 - 1.064 Alcohol: 4 - 7% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 7 - 14.
Technically, this style can only be brewed in the area of Köln (Cologne), Germany. The Kölsch Convention, signed in 1985, protects the definition of Kölsch and designates the shape of a glass and the region in which the beer may be produced. Kölsch is a light to dark gold beer with a light to medium body. Light, fruity, acidic, wine like brew. Some are dryish others are slightly sweet. One distinctive note of the better Koelsches is that they have a very grainy nose, almost like the smell of spent grain. Low hop flavor and aroma and low to medium bitterness. Has a soft palate and a delicate finish that can be dry or sweet. Can be as pale as a Pilsner, but with a light fruitiness of an ale. Kölsch is noted for its delicacy rather than for any robust distinctiveness. Kölsch has a conventional gravity and strength, a fine bead, and is clean-tasting (all-malt), very well attenuated, soft and drinkable, only faintly fruity (often in the aroma and the beginning of the palate), with a slight acidity and a restrained but definite hoppy dryness, often slightly herbal-tasting in the finish. Can use ale or lager yeast or both. Sometimes up to 15% wheat is used to give added complexity to the fruitiness, to provide paleness of color, and to enhance head-retention and lacework. Bottle conditioned examples may be called "wiess".
Commercial Examples: Küppers, Früh, Sion, Gaffel Kölsch, Muhler, Gilden, Dom Kölsch, Garde, Gereons, Kurfursten, Reissdorf, Sester, Zunft, Long Trail Kölsch.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.048 Alcohol: 4 - 5% IBU's: 16 - 30 SRM: 3.5 - 6.
LAMBIC (LAMBIK or LAMBIEK)
Lambic (Lambik or Lambiek)
A sour wheat beer made from the wild yeasts of the Senne Valley in Belgium, a region south and west of Brussels. The wort will sit overnight, exposed to the outside air so that it can be visited by the wild yeasts. The beer will spend the next three years in wooden barrels, undergoing different stages of fermentation. Over 70 microorganisms are involved in fermenting Lambic beers. Brettanomyces is the type of yeast that gives these beers their leathery, horse-blanket flavors and aromas. Four oxidative yeast strains give Lambics sherry-like flavors. The proportion of wheat to be used in Lambic, and the use of spontaneous fermentation, are set by a Royal Decree of 1965. Lambic and Gueuze are protected as exclusively Belgian terms under a European Community ordinance of 1992. 30 to 40% unmalted wheat is used. The unmalted wheat produces a milky-white mash that requires a boil of three hours or longer. Aged hops are also used but they create no hop flavor or aroma. Assertive hop flavors do not blend well with the tart, sour characteristics of Lambic beers. The hop bitterness can be undetectable to very low. Pungently sour, almost still, earthy, "horsey", and "mousy" aromas, fruity complexity including rhubarb-like flavors, peculiarly aromatic and aged for years. Some acetic character is acceptable, but excessive amounts are undesirable. Light to medium bodied. "Young" Lambic or vos (less then 1 year old) has a hazy, rusty color. It can be quite sharp and lactic. "Old" Lambic (2 or 3 years old) becomes clearer, pinkish and more complex. Basically, color is light gold to amber. Unblended Lambic is hard to find.
Commercial examples: Boon Lambic, Cantillon Lambic, Girardin's Unblended Lambic.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4 - 6% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: 4 - 13.
Combination of young Lambic with old Lambic to create a bottle-conditioned beer without sugar or yeast being added. A Gueuze may contain as little as 15% young Lambic, conferring freshness and life, while the older portion brings depth, length, and aroma. Noticeably sharp, very dry or mildly sweet, usually very effervescent, toasty aroma, tart, and intense sour and acidic flavor. The carbonation level may drop due to leaking cork caps. Fruity-estery, "horsey", and "mousy" aromas and light body. The hop bitterness can be undetectable to very low. Some acetic character is acceptable, but excessive amounts are undesirable. Should age in the bottle from several months to several years. Diacetyl very low. Color is light gold to amber. Some commercial examples that are available today are very sweet and are considered "Out Of Style" by many.
Commercial examples: Cantillon Gueuze, Geuze Boon, Mort Subite, De Troch Gueuze, Boon Mariage Parfait, Girardin's Classic Gueuze, Timmermans Gueuze (Sweet), Timmermans Caveau, Lindemans Gueuze (Sweet), Lindemans Fond Gueuze.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4 - 6% IBU's: 3 - 23 SRM: 4 - 13.
Lambic to which sugar and sometimes caramel or molasses are added. A Faro will have a sweet, fruity and complex flavor. A true faro is a cask product, sweetened in the brewery and then sent to the cafe. There, the faro will dry out as it ages and as the sugars are eaten up. When bottled, they are pasteurized so that the sugar will not ferment. The hop bitterness can be undetectable to very low. Color is light gold to amber.
Commercial examples: Boon Faro Pertotale, Vander Linden "Double" Faro, Cantillon Faro, Lindemans Faro Lambic, Vander Linden Faro.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4 - 6% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: 4 - 13.
A version of Faro that has been diluted with water or made from the second runnings of the mash to make everyday, easy-drinking beers. Commercially, it vanished some years ago.
Close Commercial example: Lembeek's 2%.
Cherries are combined with young Lambic. Fermentation eats the flesh of the fruit until the stone is exposed, adding the almond notes that make Kriek especially complex. Kriek is made with small, dark, bitter cherries grown in the village of Schaarbeek, immediately north of Brussels, and to the west toward Ninove. As the Schaarbeek cherry has become harder to obtain, brewers have gravitated toward the northern variety grown in the province of Limburg, and in Germany and Denmark. This cherry is larger and possesses a less intense dryness.
Commercial examples: Lindeman's Kriek, Cantillon Kriek Lambic, Girardin's Kriek, Mort Subite Kriek.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.072 Alcohol: 4 - 7% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: red.
Raspberries are combined with young Lambic.
Commercial examples: Timmerman's Framboise, Cantillon's Rose De Gambrinus, Framboise Boon.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.072 Alcohol: 4 - 7% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: red.
Peaches are combined with young Lambic.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.072 Alcohol: 4 - 7% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: 4 - 15.
Black currant is combined with young Lambic.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.072 Alcohol: 4 - 7% IBU's: 3 - 22 SRM: 4 - 15.
MÄRZEN / OKTOBERFEST
A lager produced in Munich, Germany with a slight to strong malt sweetness, toasted malt aroma and flavor. Origin credited to the famous brewer Gabriel Sedelmayr of the Spaten Brewery in Munich. The style is an adaptation of Vienna Lager. It was found to better suit the Munich water then Vienna Lager. The body is medium. Hop bitterness, which is low to medium, may be sharp but does not linger. The balance is decidedly towards maltiness with just enough bitterness to keep the beer from tasting too sweet. Low hop flavor and aroma from "noble-type" hops is OK. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Can be quite strong in alcohol. The color is amber to deep copper or light brown.
Commercial examples: Paulaner Oktoberfest, Harpoon Oktoberfest, Gosser, Spaten Ur-Marzen Oktoberfest, Ayinger Fest Marzen, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Catamount Octoberfest.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.065 Alcohol: 4.5 - 6.5% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 7 - 14.
Meads are produced from honey, yeast, water, and in subcategorizes, by the addition of herbs and fruits. Wine, Champagne, sherry, mead, ale or lager yeast may be used. It is likely that Mead was made even before the wheel was invented. Cave paintings have been found depicting the making of Mead. Honey is made from the nectar of flowers, and is named according to the type of blossom from which the nectar is collected by the bees. There are a few plants whose nectar is toxic to man. Rhododendron nectar has long been under suspicion in this respect. Clover is the largest single source of nectar. Mead in its matured state is very much like a good white wine, and may reach full maturity within two or three years. Mead made from stronger flavored honeys may taste unbalanced unless it is matured for perhaps as long as eight years. Meads are usually made from single-blossom honeys such as clover, acacia, orange, rose, wild-rose and rosemary. Eucalyptus blossom honey has a peculiar bitter flavor and shouldn't be used to make Mead. Some honey is light in color and some dark. With a few exceptions the darker honey is more strongly flavored. The lighter and milder honeys are usually more suitable for Mead. Good Mead demands good honey. Some Mead makers do not boil or brew their product as this has a tendency to drive off the light flavors. Instead they use sulfites to protect their product. This fact should be noted by anyone that has a problem with sulfite intake.
Very pale to deep yellow. Lighter color honey is used in dry types while darker honey is used for sweet styles. It can be dry, medium, or sweet to very sweet with a light to full body. The final gravity determines how the mead is classified: dry at 0.996-1.009, medium at 1.010-1.019, and sweet from 1.020-1.050.
Commercial example: Merrydown Mead.
O.G.: 1.090 - 1.140 Alcohol: 11 - 15% IBU's: 0 SRM: 1 - 5.
Sparkling Traditional Mead
Sparkling mead is effervescent and can be of dry to medium sweetness. There is honey character in the flavor and aroma. Body is light to medium. No flavors other then honey. Honey is the predominate flavor and aroma. There may be some low to fruity acidity, but there should be no harsh and/or stale flavors.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.090 Alcohol: 5 - 11% IBU's: 0 SRM: 1 - 4.
May be still or effervescent. Still types may be light to full bodied, dry to very sweet, while the sparkling examples are light to medium bodied and dry to sweet. The flavor and aroma should reflect the ingredients used, but the honey character should also be apparent. The color should represent the ingredients. There should be no harsh and/or stale flavors. Original gravities and such are basically the same as their Traditional counterpart, be it still or sparkling. For Flavored Meads, darker and stronger honeys may sometimes be preferable. Like other wines, they benefit from maturing, but they can often be drunk as young as a few months with great satisfaction and reach their maximum maturity after about two years.
Made with fruits other than apples or grapes. Melomels utilize less honey per gallon than Mead.
Flavored from the use of apples or apple juice. A mixture of cooking, cider and crab apples tends to produce a drink with more character than if dessert apples are used alone.
Produced with the additions of grapes. Ferments to a higher strength then just grapes alone would.
A variation of Pyment that includes spices. It was named after Hippocrates and was a typical product of Greek civilization.
Ingredients are honey, herbs, and spices. Taken from the Welsh word Medclyglin meaning medicine. One of the problems in making Metheglin is that of obtaining a balanced flavor. A great deal of time may be required to achieve the balance. A second problem is that of hazes caused by the herbs.
Braggot or Bracket
A Braggot is typically made with most of its fermentable sugars coming from honey and 25 to 50% from malted barley. The flavor should reflect both of these ingredients. Hops may or may not be used. Original gravity is usually not over 1.070 and may go as low as 1.040.
PALE ALE / BITTER
In Britain, there are no rules as to what a brewer must name his beer. As a result many brewers use the words "Bitter" and "Pale Ale" interchangeably. Traditionally, Pale Ale was a bottled product while Bitters were in casks or kegs. Now, even this separation is no longer in use. Today, the major difference between a Pale Ale and a Bitter is the name. They are light to full-bodied, have medium to high hop bitterness with good support from the low to medium maltiness and are well-attenuated. Some are dry and others are sweet. They have medium to high hop flavor and aroma. The styles vary along geographic lines, with the northern type being maltier, stronger and usually has a lower hop bitterness, while the southern type is more aggressively hopped and carbonated. They are fruity and estery and they can have low to medium diacetyl. Low caramel character is OK. Pale ale malts are the principal grist if crystal is used at all, it is employed with great restraint. The pale ale malts used may impart a light nuttiness to the flavor. The essential ingredient is the hearty smack of hops. Dry hopping is common, creating a fine hop aroma with malt for balance. English hops such as Fuggles and Goldings are usually used, though there are a very limited amount of examples using German hops for flavor and aroma. They are brewed with water that is extraordinarily hard. The calcium content makes for a firmness of body, while the sulfate will increase the perception of bitterness and will give the beer a long, lingering dry finish. The "Bitters" are generally available in three strengths (Ordinary, Special and Extra Special). The "Pale Ales" are usually around the ESB strength though some fall into the area of Special Bitter.
Mildest form of Bitter. Dark gold to medium copper-brown. Grain and malt tend to predominate over hop flavor and bitterness (although there are exceptions) with enough hop aroma to balance and add interest. Light to medium body. Low diacetyl and fruity-esters.
Commercial examples: Brakspear Ordinary Bitter, Young's Bitter, Fuller's Chiswick.
O.G.: 1.033 - 1.038 Alcohol: 3 - 3.5% IBU's: 20 - 35 SRM: 8 - 12.
Moderate strength. Similar to an ordinary bitter, but stronger and more robust with a more evident malt flavor and hop character.
Commercial examples: Sheffield Best Bitter, Theakston's Best, Fuller's London Pride, Tom Sheimo's Favourite.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.045 Alcohol: 3.5 - 4.5% IBU's: 28 - 46 SRM: 12 - 14.
Extra Special Bitter
A full-bodied, robust copper colored beer with a maltier, more complex flavor than either the ordinary or special bitter. Maltiness should be evident with medium to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma.
Commercial examples: Young's Special, Adnams' Extra, Red Hook ESB, Fullers ESB, Mitchell's ESB, Theakston's XB, Belk's ESB.
O.G.: 1.046 - 1.060 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 30 - 55 SRM: 12 - 14.
Commercial examples of other various Bitters: Shepherd Neame's Masterbrew Bitter, Ind Coope Burton Ale, Marston's Pedigree, Timothy Taylor's Landlord.
English Pale Ale
If a brewery produces both a Pale Ale and a Bitter, the Pale Ale will have the higher gravity. The Pale Ale may be less obviously hoppy than the Bitter. The colors range from light to pale amber with many as deep as copper. They are light to medium body, have medium to high hop bitterness and medium hop flavor and aroma.
Commercial examples: Worthington White Shield, Bass Ale, Royal Oak, Whitbread Pale Ale.
O.G.: 1.043 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 20 - 40 SRM: 6 - 12.
American Pale Ale
In comparison to its English counterpart, it is slightly less malty, in the range of low to medium. It is fruity and estery with some crystal malt providing a bit of residual sweetness. A distinction of the American version is the high hopping of American varieties. Dry hopping is appropriate. Stock ale is generally in the pale ale style, and is a slightly stronger version meant for longer storage. Pale to deep amber/red/copper. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Geary's Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Shoals Pale Ale, Hopland Red Tail Ale, Red Hook Ale, Long Trail Ale, Samuel Adams Boston Ale, Carrabassett Pale Ale, Harpoon Ale.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 20 - 40 SRM: 4 - 11.
India Pale Ale
A special style of pale ale that has high hop bitterness, medium to high hop flavor and aroma and a higher alcohol content. Originally brewed in England for the long trip to India. High hop rates were used for preservation. The beers continued to ferment during the journey, coming into peak condition at arrival. The effects of this heavy hopping might not be quite as severe as it seems. Hops were not as high in alpha acids as today, and they may have been aged to reduce bitterness. An IPA should have a medium body, medium maltiness with evident alcohol, though the finest examples tend to mask the alcohol well. It can have fruity or estery notes, yet the diacetyl should be low. Often paler than that of classic British Pale Ale, being a full gold to light orange-copper/deep amber. Oak flavor from aging in oak is not appropriate in traditional IPA's, but has shown up in American versions. Traditionally, English hops such as Fuggles and Goldings were usually used, but today Willamette, Cascade and other American varieties are catching on.
Commercial examples: Ballantine's Old India Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Anchor Liberty Ale, Harpoon IPA, Tupper's Hop Pocket, Oregon Original IPA, Sea Dog Old East India.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070 Alcohol: 5.5 - 7% IBU's: 30 - 60 SRM: 6 - 18.
This beer originated in Plzen, Czechoslovakia in 1842, and quickly gained popularity in other brewing countries. Light to medium bodied and medium attenuation which leaves behind some malt body and sweetness. This beer benefits from extremely soft water. Creamy dense head and well-carbonated. Low to medium accent of rich, sweet malt in aroma and flavor. The hop bitterness is medium to high. The hop flavor and aroma from the Saaz hop is very noticeable at a level of medium to high. One key factor in Bohemian Pilsners is that the bitterness, although high, does not linger in the finish and ends rather abruptly, thanks to the very soft water. Clean, crisp, hop-spicy bitter with malty overtones. Esters and fruitiness are not appropriate in Pilsners, but, in some of the classic renditions, such as Pilsner Urquell, low diacetyl adds a complexity. The color should be light gold to medium gold.
Commercial examples: Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser Budvar, Gambrinus, Staropramen, Branik, Velké Popovice, Kru&scaronovice, Cristal.
OG: 1.044 - 1.056 Alcohol: 4 - 5.5% IBU's: 25 - 45 SRM: 2 - 5.
More bitter, drier, less malty, simpler, cleaner and from a lower extract then Bohemian Pilsner. The distinctive characteristic is the flowery, medium hop bouquet and flavor from "noble" hops and its dry finish from a more thorough fermentation. The color should be light gold to medium gold. Crisp flavor with prominent high hop bitterness. A higher level of perceived bitterness is achieved through the use of water that is harder and higher in sulfates than that of Czechoslovakia. Low to medium maltiness in aroma and flavor, but the balance is decidedly towards bitterness throughout the palate. No fruitiness or esters. Very low diacetyl is OK. Light to medium in body.
Commercial examples: Warsteiner, Becks, Aass Pilsner, Pinkus Ur-Pils, Bitburger, Radeberger-Pils, Wernesgrüner, Jever, König, Veltins, Holsten's Diat Pils.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4 - 5% IBU's: 30 - 45 SRM: 2.5 - 4.5.
Scandinavian - Dutch Pilsner
Similar to German Pilsners but with somewhat lower original gravity's, lighter palate (light body), a much lower bitterness and they are typically sweetish throughout the palate. Hop bitterness is usually low but can make it up to medium. The hop character in flavor and aroma is low and is, therefore, considerably lower. Usually paler than German Pilsners at a color of yellow to light gold. Rice or corn may be used as adjuncts.
Commercial examples: Carlsberg, Grolsch, Heineken, Brand-Up, Christoffel, Plzen.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050 Alcohol: 3.5 - 5% IBU's: 25 - 35 SRM: 2 - 4.
A medium to full body in a balanced beer that has a noticeably coffee-like dryness, and may have a malty sweet flavor that comes through in the finish. Chocolate and black malts add a sharp bitterness, but do so without adding roasted or charcoal notes. There can be a little roast barley character or none at all. Hop bitterness is medium to high. Hop flavor and aroma is none to medium. Fruitiness, esters and low diacetyl are OK. The color is deep brown with red hues to black. Some versions are made with lager yeast.
Commercial examples: Anchor Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Black Hook Porter.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.058 Alcohol: 4.5 - 6% IBU's: 25 - 40 SRM: 25 - 35.
A bit lighter than the robust, with light to medium body and generally lower in alcohol. The malt sweetness is low to medium and well-balanced with the medium hop bitterness. No strong roast barley or burnt malt character. Color is medium to dark brown with reddish tones. None to medium hop aroma and flavor. Fruitiness, esters and low diacetyl are OK. Some versions are made with lager yeast.
Commercial examples: Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter, Young's London Porter, Yuengling Porter, Stegmeter Porter, Pickwick's Porter, Essex Porter, Burton Porter, Pimlico Porter, Catamount Porter, Whitbread Porter.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050 Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5% IBU's: 20 - 30 SRM: 20 - 35.
Smoked-flavored beer in the tradition of Bamberg, Germany. Basically in the Oktoberfest/Vienna style made with malts that have been dried over moist beechwood log embers to give this beer its sweet smoky aroma and flavor. The beer presents a medium to full body and a generally medium, sweet, malty flavor beneath the smoke. The color
Bodegas Lopez Morenas Spain
Imported from Spain. Sangria in a 3 liter BIB. Limited distribution so ask for it by name.