What delectably bitter libations! liquid grass for some, but the freshness…ahhh! Some like the hops on top, nosey, and some like the peppery undertones with citrusy implications. One of the best moves of microbreweries these days is to make a delectable session IPA. Keep the bigness, but have two (or three). I love the anticipation of beer-thirty when I know I have a home-brewed IPA in the fridge. It is a type of peace that is rarely found anywhere else. Big grain bottom with the heaven of nature: all in one glass. Try some of Great Divide’s offerings, but if you can find it, Hall’s Farmhouse IPA is the way to go!
- Pale Ales
These often looked to ales are the base for so many others. The lowly Pale often plays second partner to the more speciality brews, but if one takes time, better yet: brew your own, the Pale is a patient partner. Be picky here as these brews range from “meh…” to “Why! WHY!?” When that sweet taste of liquid gold is needed the Pale will come through. Malty with numerous levels of moderate hops are the basis’ of many a fine glass. Again, Hall’s makes a great Red Ale (a Pale of a different color). Experiment with these, they are patient and often very satisfying basic beers.
While the Pale Ale is a basic beer, its grandfather is probably the ESB. Ah, what malty goodness awaits anyone with an Extra Special Bitter in mind. Beside the IPA, I would probably cozy up to one of our home-brewed ESB’s. Not too cold! Let the malty goodness speak volumes and it will, especially when shared with friends!
- Porters and Stouts
Oh these black beauties… often mistaken for being heavy handed and alcoholic. Not so! Smoky characters they are, and perhaps they take time to get to know. But once a true friend is made, you will have a friend for life. I don’t cotton to the coffee varieties, pure malty black magic for me. Also, keep the vanilla in the ice-cream. Although these beautiful and mystical beers can hold up to the adjuncts that we often add, it is a shame to miss out on their simple goodness. Equally good on a hot summer’s day or cold winter’s night.
Cold-hearted as they may be, lagers are the fresh morning dew on the grass; early in the morning just as the birds are beginning to wake. You might not want to drink one at that time, but the freshness of a good lager is bound to quench the thirst of anyone after a hard day of simple living. Clear, with nothing to hide, sometimes wheat-natured and often abused by the industrial-aged beer magnates. Don’t bother, there are much, much better beers to be found if you look around. Oskar Blues’ Mama’s Little Yella Pilsner is a good one. Better yet, brew your own, but make sure to have a cool place to let it get going. It’ll put a smile on your face and ideas in your head if you’re not careful!
- Drinking beer?
In my humble opinion, beer is a nectar that is too often diluted by adjuncts: water, grain, yeast and hops are all that is needed. Savor the taste of the beer you drink; like life, the bottom of the glass comes sooner than you think. Don’t complicate things, keep your thoughts pure and your wants simple. Take pleasure in picking the beer you will drink and drink the beer you pick with a conscious and deliberate state of mind. Smile and nod, but don’t always listen. This is your time, and your beer will draw those precious seconds out just a little longer!