Craft Beer Blast
The craft beer industry has been steadily growing for years. Some breweries have become nation - wide and would be difficult to call micro breweries. The definition of the size of craft brewers, by the Brewers Association, was upped from 2 million barrels to 6 million. There was no brewery that size, but several were getting close. There have been other tweaks to that definition over the years. The big brewers of industrial lagers have several locations and want to make the beer the same no matter where it was brewed. This way if you buy a beer in Seattle it will be the same as one bought in Atlanta. Several craft brewers are now experiencing this and are having to flavor match so the brews are consistent wherever brewed. Sierra Nevada is one of these and their new North Carolina brewery is up and running for this type of testing. The biggest issue is the house yeast which has been propagated for 33 years at their Chico plant. They can't just go buy more as it wouldn't have the years of subtle changes that happen as brewers yeast evolves. So, the yeast was brought in from out west and all the ingredients are split between the 2 breweries so the comparisons will be accurate. This is a long and tedious process but will yield the same beer from either location. There is more about the flavor matching and on opening a second brewery on SNB's blog. It is a two part article; it will be interesting when the process is completed and the various beers hit the market. If all goes well, no one will be able to tell which brewery the beer was brewed at. I look forward to trying some of the NC beer sometime soon.
The "Style of the Month" for April is Imperial or Double India Pale Ale. It's an American interpretation of the IPA style that is bigger, bolder and more flavorful than a regular IPA. The intent of Double IPAs is usually to exhibit fresh hop flavors and aromas. DIPAs should be consumed as fresh as possible; no cellaring for these tasty hoppy, bitter ales.
The Brewery of the Month of April is Cycle Brewing of St. Pete, FL. Cycle is a cool storefront brewery in the up and coming downtown area of St. Pete. They have 12 or more brews available at any time. They also are barrel aging some brews and have them available in limited batches.
All back issues of The Blast are available on the Media / Archive page.
Enjoy the spring seasonal brews that are everywhere and support local breweries whenever possible.