November 06, 2007

Brilliantly unusual beer

My library does not include any books on beer, but newspaper articles keep me well read in this subject. Here are two recent articles about beer; one is about fresh hop beers, the other is about cask-conditioned beers.

Neither of the beers pictured is fresh hops or cask-conditioned.

  • Fresh hops

  • With fresh hop beers, whole unkilned hops are used - another similarity to Beaujolais Nouveau, which uses whole clusters of grapes in fermentation. When brewing with the whole, fresh hop cones, subtle herbal, vegetal and earthy aromas and flavors are extracted that can't be produced any other way (Jay R. Brooks, San Francisco Chronicle).

    Fresh hop brews in season

  • Cask-conditioned

  • She pulled down on the tap, then pushed back, pulled down and pushed up, in rhythmic repetition like a farmhand at a well. The ale poured slowly into a mug, at first all foam, then turning translucent before suddenly clarifying into a brilliant suds-topped amber (Eric Asimov, New York Times.

    The Power in the Cask: Old Ways, New Beer

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