A recent article by Jason Wilson in the SF Gate called, “In search of great session beers” had this little tidbit hidden in the middle.
“In December, Todd Alstrom announced the launch of an Extreme Session Beer Project.
The Extreme Session Beer Project sets 5 percent as its limit, but exhorts brewers to “Be extreme! As in using creative brewing methods and/or ingredients.” Alstrom and Calagione suggested ideas such as brewing with orange pekoe, lemon zest and the “the same yeast and bacteria found in kombucha.”
I say hear hear to any attention brought to sessionable beers. Creativity and high ABV don’t always have to stick together.
Earlier today, I dove into the master Best of List from Beer Advocate and I found it left out 99% of the beer styles in existence. Nary a Zwickelbier or Saison in sight. Now I go through the Alstrom brothers list.
Wow! What a difference. I know that they probably get many a beer that us normal beer geeks don’t get but wish we could. So they are working from a whole different list. But I am struck by the variety of styles that was missing from the other list. Sours, English pale ales, small beers and even a pilsner! A pilsner would NEVER make the main ranking. NEVER. This list would be the variety pack from the Beer Gods. And I am going to boast that I sampled 4 of them. I was especially glad to see Avery’s Rumpkin on the list. They make some tremendous rum beers. I was glad to see a Cascadian dark on the list as well as two other Oregon IPA’s.
Click on the image below to get a good look at what you should try to find this year:
When I saw that issue # 48 of Beer Advocate had the tally of Top 25 Beers of 2010, I had to say that I braced myself for mostly monster stouts. And yes there are 5 in the top 10 alone and 10 overall (not counting the 5 strong ales, which fall under the same BIG BEER rubric for me). What surprised me was the strong showing of # 2 for the Kern River Citra DIPA one of my favorite beers of 2010 and I had only a teeny glass of one. The second surprise was 2 rye beers making the cut, one from Summit and one from Boulevard (granted in the 20-25 section).
SO I am pleased that anything broke through the Stout barrier of the top 10 and I like that rye is gaining acceptance. But still the list is tremendously one sided. Nothing in the top 10 is below 8% abv. Amazingly all but 2 beers are above that 8% mark and 14 of 25 beers are above 10% abv. It is almost as if a beer geek can take most of the year off and come cold weather time start drinking because that is where the great beers are apparently. No session beers to be seen. No brown ales. No hefeweizen. It’s really a turn off.
Click on the image below to see the full list and let me know what you think of the group. By the way, not to boast, but I sampled 7 of the top 25.
You should check out the print edition (I know…I know. I’m old fashioned) because there are some cool articles on Hair of the Dog, English IPA’s and Crafstman Brewing.
or you can see what the beer geeks are ranting about HERE
All About Beer, in cooperation with BeerAdvocate.com, created the Denver Rare Beer Tasting as a benefit event for the Pints for Prostates campaign. More than 20 of America’s finest craft breweries have already committed to attend this event. They will be pouring some truly one-of-a-kind brews on Friday, Sept. 25th, from 1-4 p.m. at the Wynkoop Brewery at 1634 18th Street in LoDo. What’s more is that the legendary brewers who created these phenomenal beers will be on hand to answer your questions.
There are just 450 tickets available for this event. When they are gone, they are gone and so is the chance to say you had a Stone 2008 Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Red Wine Barrels poured by Greg Koch or a Stoudt 2007 Old Abominable Barleywine served by Carol Stoudt. You just will not find most of the beers at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting at the GABF, or elsewhere in Denver for that matter. We’re talking about beers like New Glarus Golden Ale, the Belgian-style Trappist Ale Dan Carey is bringing from his Wisconsin brewery’s first batch in its new R&D series.
These are just three of the great beers slated to be served to the lucky guests at the Denver Rare Beer Tasting. Other breweries expected at the event include Allagash, Alaskan, Avery, Boston Beer, Bison, Dogfish Head, Foothills, Harpoon, Jolly Pumpkin, New Belgium, Pizza Port, Rogue, Saranac, Victory, Wynkoop and more! This event will be the talk of Denver during the 2009 GABF and you can be a part of it by buying a ticket today.
All proceeds from the Denver Rare Beer Tasting go to support the Pints for Prostates campaign ( http://www.ustoo.org/pints ) in its efforts fight prostate cancer. Please help us in reaching men through the universal language of beer!
Beer usually does not get enough press outside the outstanding beer publications (that you should subscribe to like Celebrator, All About Beer, Imbibe and Beer Advocate). So it is good to see that the New York Times talked about beer & food and that the Los Angeles Times had a great piece on Sour Beers by Joshua Lurie of Food GPS.