Sometimes, complexity isn’t the name of the game when it comes to selecting a beer. Sometimes, you want a beverage that meets your expectations and satisfies your palate every time. Now, I’m not talking about one-note, one-dimensional drinks here. There are times, however, where a drinker is looking for one facet, one quality, that sings loud and proud. Nowhere is that more visible than in Indian Pale Ale.
Here’s how beer gets made: dried grains get boiled in hot water, strained out, hops are added, yeast is introduced and the product ferments. Sounds simple, right? Not so. It all begins with the grain and choosing which one to use is more difficult than it seems.
I don’t mind mentioning that I’ve been drinking beer for a very long time now. What most people don’t know about me is that it was a beverage of a different sort that put me upon my path – the analyzing, considering, pondering and examining road of culinary, travel and beverage writing – and that is wine.
So far this very young winter we’ve seen some nice seasonal brews come along but I can’t help but notice that they miss the mark when it comes to living up to their winter warmer status. Tasty beers, to be sure, but most breweries this year have tended to continue with the notion that more hops are the only way to go. They are forgetting to boost malt’s importance for cold-weather ale.