Black beer or Black sheep…

Following my last post about hops, I thought it fitting to consider a relatively new trend in brewing – the Black IPA.  This style falls somewhere between Porter and Stout and strives for IPA like qualities.  The fact that it is called an IPA may speak more to the marketing draw associated with ‘IPA’ than to the style itself.  These brews typically show less body and less oomph than a stout (coffee and other nuances in stouts are often not included here either) as well as more hops and more bitterness than a porter.  It is a roasty, toasty brew showing the character of dark malts.  There is often a solid dry-hopping and, needless to say, the color is dark.  Although some come out a little more brown than black, the appealing, opaque, blackness of the beer is really the signature. Continue reading Black beer or Black sheep…

Challenge accepted!

I have been taunting my hoppy colleague, Tim for quite some time about the ‘overuse’ of hops (particularly in American brews).  Playing devil’s advocate, I’ve compared their use with the excessive use of oak in the wine world.  My suggestion wasn’t merely a simple taunt.  I was (and remain) curious over the role of hops in brew, particularly in American ones and how they compare with the use of oak in wine.  Some may find it silly to compare the two, but I really don’t think so.

Now just a little about myself for you brew folks… Continue reading Challenge accepted!

Are hops overused?

Are hops overused?

Whoa, perhaps this is an incendiary question.  Why, then, am I posing it? Well, I am doing so indirectly, as it was posed to me by our friend, the famous oenophile, Nic Haegeli.  Nic knows what he is talking about, for sure.  Nic also enjoys challenging the practices of modern wine makers and brewers.  He is an old world wine man through and through.  So what drove him to push my hop shrouded button? He slyly prodded me under the guise of the new world use (or over use) of oak in wine making. Continue reading Are hops overused?