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Tap List (10/18/2010)

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Rohit Naimpally

Pol Sci, Econ and Cricket geek who loves a good pint

As part of Chicago Beer Travelers 2.0, I'm going to regularly post a set of links that I found interesting and that other beer aficionados might consider checking out. While the idea is used by many bloggers, the short summary format is something that I am shamelessly plagiarizing from Ezra Klein's Wonkbook. This week we have:

1. The Mad Fermentationist does a Leipziger Gose.

"Gose is another example of a beer style that is largely ignored brewers.  It is one of those grand historic beers that was popular in its day (~1900), but these days doesn't receive as much attention as its close cousins.  A tart, salt and coriander laced wheat beer is something you'd expect to taste from Belgium, not Germany (which I suspect is part of the reason it hasn't benefited from the same boost other sour beers have gotten).  As the Gose style stands today it falls roughly between Berliner Weisse and Belgian Wit, but with a salinity that adds to its unique character and quaffability on a warm day.
Gose production ceased for a couple decades after the end of WWII, but has since been revived in its adopted hometown of Leipzig, as well as more recently in the USA..."

Incidentally, that blog should be required reading for all aspiring homebrewers. He tries anything and everything, from sorgum beer to a Veritas clone.

2. Martyn Cornell on the evolving usage of the term "ale".

"So with "ale", a word derived from the Old English alu, which once meant "unhopped malt liquor", in contrast to the continental hopped bere that arrived in Britain in the 15th century. By the 18th century, brewers were adding at least some hops to everything, so that "ale" now meant "malt liquor that is hopped, but not as much as beer is". Thus the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1773 defined the word "ale" as "a fermented liquor obtained from an infusion of malt and differing only from beer in having a less proportion of hops.""

While I don't agree with Cornell's linguistic absolutism (after all, semantic drift gets accepted for a reason), the history is pretty fascinating.

3. Since none of us could make it to the Great American Beer Festival, we didn't cover it. Probably an oversight on our part. Anyway, here's Andy Crouch with a quick summary from the perspective of an attendee.

"Beer education at the Great American Beer Festival needs to be about more than just token displays of beer education. And I certainly understand that there may be some reluctance to require brewers to attend all four sessions. And I also appreciate that hard-working brewers view the festival as a camaraderic opportunity to relax and enjoy beers with their brewer friends from around the country. Despite these concerns, the Brewers Association can still encourage brewers to spend more time during the sessions at their booths interacting with the attendees. The association can also ask the attending brewers to educate the volunteers working their booths or at least provide them with some information and promotional literature about the beers. Each brewer (or the association itself) should also be required to provide a laminated sheet identifying and describing the beers on offer for attendees. The brewers who presently provide these services are rewarded by more engaged volunteers and better informed attendees, many of whom tend to linger a little longer at the booth and thus develop some connection to the brewery and its beers."

4. Apropos of Matt T's post on harvest ales last week, here's Draft Magazine's list of the top 10 Harvest Beers (note, these aren't harvest ales, but beers for the harvest season). Some interesting picks there.

5. While we're on the subject of Draft Magazine, how about this lip-smacking recipe for "Beery, Oregon-style braised ribs"? Hair of the Dog's Adam is available just across the border in Indiana (why not club it with a visit to Three Floyds' brewpub?) but one could substitute in other tasty alternatives as well. I imagine Great Divide's Hibernation Ale would slot in rather nicely for this recipe, and it's available at most Binny's outlets in the city.

I'm off to a Founders Brewing event in New York on Wednesday, a little reminder of how much I miss one of my favorite breweries.   

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