Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beer - Winter Ratings

I have a box in a corner of my workshop which contains my beer stock. Right now, the box is empty, except for the forlorn empty six pack boxes. What better blog topic than to inventory the boxes and write about the beer I have been imbibing over the last three months. I did the requisite Google search on my favorite beers before I wrote this post and quickly realized I am not an expert. I can't wax lyrical about hoppiness, yeast, malts, heavy, light .... I just like what tastes good to my palate.

The explosion of microbrewerys has put a ton of diverse beers out there. It helps that three of my favorite microbrewers, Victory, Troeg Brothers, and Lancaster are more or less local, located in the state of Pennsylvania.

I like dark beers and this winter was one for Stouts.

Top of the list for the last two years has been Brooklyn Brewery's Black Chocolate Stout ..... one very dark beer and very smooth. Not far behind is Victory Brewery's Storm King Stout.

Another perennial favorite is the Troeg Brothers, Troeganator Double Bock.

For my Ale, I have returned to a British brew, Old Speckled Hen, which I first tasted in a North Yorkshire pub several years ago. Here is how one expert, Mr Beerhunter described Old Speckled Hen;

Yeast produces different flavours according to the density of sugars with which it is required to work. At this gravity it creates a beer with a complexity of gently pear-like fruitiness and dryish, nutty maltiness. The hop bitterness in the finish is relatively restrained.

Whew! .... and to me it just tastes good.

And last, my wife bought some TommyKnocker's Nut Brown Ale which came highly recommended. Very drinkable but a little too sweet to be one of my top picks.

I just bought some Pilsner which was a mistake as I always consider that a hot summer drink (when I do like our custom of very chilled beer .... though my winter drinking has been at the cool temperature of the workshop) I have occassionally committed heresy and mixed my Pilsner or IPA 50/50 with orange juice as another summer drink.

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