Extra Special Bitter, aka ESB

Bitter is a relative term. The classic Bitters are downright malty when compared to today’s hop-bombs. However, they were quite bitter when compared to the Milds, Browns and Porters popular in England when Bitters stormed onto the seen. Compared to modern bitter American ales, ESBs are well balanced, with a strong malt backbone supporting the … Read more…

Beer Festivals Are Not Created Equal

Recently our good friends at Yazoo Brewing got called on the carpet for not bringing enough beer to a festival. (Names have been redacted to protect the innocent.) The problem is, Yazoo had nothing to do with the festival. The festival organizers bought Yazoo beer from the distributor, just as any special event, bar or … Read more…

American Amber Ale

Let’s look at a classic American style, Amber Ale, aka Red Ale. And by classic, I mean the craft beer awakening of the 1990’s, not the historic styles of the 1800’s. In the mid-90s you could count on nearly every brewpub and “microbrewery” to have Amber or Red ale on tap. Amber ales are not … Read more…

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Green Beer

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. The Irish people are passionate, proud, and some would say, a bit stubborn. I’m grateful to have Irish blood flowing through my veins. But everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Pat’s. Spring is in the air, the Earth is getting greener and it’s a great time … Read more…

Kristallweizen, AKA filtered Hefe

We recently took a look at Dunkelweizen, a dark German wheat ale (weissbier) with traditional weizen (wheat) yeast flavors. There’s another weissbier with similar flavors at the other end of the color scale, Kristallweizen. You don’t have to be a German language expert to guess that Kristall mean a lighter colored beer, but it’s more … Read more…