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Beer 101: The Fundamental Steps of Brewing

Malt
Brewing begins with raw barley, wheat, oats or rye that has germinated in a malt house. The grain is then dried in a kiln and sometimes roasted, a process that usually takes place in a separate location from the brewery. At the brewery, the malt is sent through a grist mill, cracking open the husks of the kernels, which helps expose the starches during the mashing process. The process of steep milling, or soaking the grain before milling, is also an option for large-scale brewers.

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Summer 2015, Issue 19


IN THIS ISSUE


 

 FIRST RUNNINGS

From the Editor

Issue 19 Contributors

Issue 19 News

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Beer 101: Temperature, Pour, and Glassware

When it comes to beer’s temperature, the common belief is “the colder the better.” This is not always sound advice. Beers served too cold can numb the tongue and deaden the taste buds to the delightful flavors within. Letting a beer warm up just a bit can unlock the flavors and enliven the character of a well-crafted beer. The temperature at which you serve different beers is often a matter of personal taste, but if you are seeking guidance, here are some serving suggestions that may bring out the individuality of certain types of beer.

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New Belgium Completes East Coast Distribution Center

In advance of its brewing operations, New Belgium Brewing has completed its distribution center in Asheville, North Carolina. The facility is poised to start distributing beers to the East Coast by the end of 2015. Progress continues on the company's new brewery on the French Broad River, which is expected to come on line in the spring of 2016.

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Beer 101: Storage

When you resist the urge to crack open a beer instantaneously, magic can happen. Storing or cellaring beer allows a number of internal and external factors to add character to it, often for the better.

Certain kinds of beer are ideal for cellaring, while others are meant to be enjoyed immediately. There are a few general rules to abide by, and a few exceptions to those rules.

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Tom Cannon's picture

Nut Brown Ale

This beer accentuates the malt by presenting a complex blend of brown sugar, biscuit, chocolate, caramel and toasted cracker with a bit of latte thrown in.

The beer shows itself as mahogany brown with a bright orange/red hue and a just off-white head that provides nice lacing on the glass. The flavor is semi-sweet chocolate, but not as sweet as the aroma -- with touches of coffee leading to a mocha-like sensation. A beer like this could almost across as cloying if it weren't for the smooth, nearly crisp dry finish.

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Starr Hill The Love

Bright aromatics of citrus, pear and apple marry with a light grainy note and a faint hint of spice. Although commonly associated with the Hefeweizen style, banana and clove characteristics were nearly completely absent. This is clearly more of an American Wheat than a German one. There is tartness up front with a slight spiciness and light lemon flavor before giving way to a huge sweetness in the finish, which nears cloying. It seems like the low carbonation enhances this sweetness. The wheat character in this beer is quite pleasant.

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Brewers Association Reports Continued Craft Beer Growth

The Brewers Association has released its mid-year report on the state of craft brewing, and once again, the numbers are good for craft. 

The number of barrels sold in the first half of 2015 rose to 12.2 million, a 16 percent increase from the 10.6 million barrels in 2014.

As of June 30, there were 3,739 operating craft breweries in the U.S. with an additional 1,755 in the planning stages.

Here is the release from the BA:

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Beer Here: Sudwerk Rye Of The Lager

 

After a year of experimentation, Cali-based Sudwerk Brewing Company is rising up/back on the street with its Rye Of The Lager, a 7% ABV Imperial Pale Lager. 

"It's the first rye India Pale Lager available at stores on the West Coast that I'm aware of," said Trent Yackzan, co-owner of Sudwerk.

The use of lager yeast creates a clean palette for the Simcoe and Amarillo hops' lemon, pepper and stone fruit flavors, along with added rye spice.

The 70 IBU Rye Of The Lager will be available in 22-ounce bombers and on draft beginning in early August.

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Style Studies: American Wheat Beer, Baltic Porter

For those who love the American Wheat Beer style that has become such an engaging counterpoint to the wheat beers produced in Europe, Owen has the background on how the Widmer brothers created the American version by simply applying some practical knowledge to meet demand for more fresh beer.

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