Friday, April 30, 2010

Beer and a movie.

Or a movie about beer. Specifically the brewing industry and what it means to you!
Beer Wars: Brewed in America
A film by Anat Baron.
I suggest everyone who drinks beer take a look at this. It's streaming instantly on Netflix and is worth sitting through for an hour and half. It's a telling expose on the beer industry in America. Quite informative and not at all preachy or dry. You get a good sense of what the good people are doing, ie. the Microbrewers and what the bad folks at big beer are doing, ie. Anhueser Busch. A true David v. Goliath in 12oz portions. Beer Wars does a good job exposing the "Big 3" for what they are, advertising giants with little personality and creativity. It's not preachy, just exposing. I found it to be eyeopening and entertaining. Make no mistake, it's a documentary but it's not dry nor is it inflammatory a la Michael Moore. It's just good stuff. It helps to watch while drinking some of your favorite microbrews and celebrating the efforts of the little guys out there trying to change the profile of American beer.

Heads up!

I know, it's been a month. But I have good reason! I started working out? My carbonated carbohydrate intake has reduced significantly...barring a trip to the Bier Garden. I was enjoying myself so much that I didn't even take a second to fully critique what I was drinking. In fact, I just drank. And it was delightful. In any case, I owe here it goes...
Brewery: Full Sail Brewing Co.
Location: Hood River, OR
Name: Session Lager
Beer: I think it's best described as "lager."
Don't let the little bottle fool you. This isn't Red Stripe, regardless of your first bottle impressions. Points go to the brewery for having a picture of a rock on the underside of the cap. Not sure why it's there, but I like it. I gave it to Tessa...she is a geologist after all. This little lager pours a rich, golden color unlike most "American lagers," which seem to be pretty pale in comparison. It is fairly easy to see through, but that doesn't mean it's a weak beer by any means. Some nice foam action on the head, however, it does come up a little thin. Nice splash of yeasty, tang on first drink which allows for a crisp, clean finish. ABV is a solid 5.1% and I can fully understand ones want to drink several of these on a hot summer day. In fact, I would say that this beer would be perfect with something like Buffalo wings. This 11oz. hand-grenade gets right to the point and doesn't really mix its message. If you like shitty American "cold filtered, triple hopped, fresh from the Rockies, etc." then I implore you, find this beer and drink immediately. I realize that you might not be too familiar with the concept of taste, so take it easy at first. And if you cannot fully appreciate what this beer does to your tastebuds, then by all means, go back to your swill.

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Location: Petaluma, CA
Name: The Hairy case you were wondering, the definition of a "hairy eyeball" is: a glance made with partially lowered eyelids. This usually indicates suspicion or hostility but may signal other emotions too.
Beer: Ale
I'm going to go ahead and say it, I bought this because of the name. I had no intention of not buying this beer. In fact, this probably could have been a lambic and I still would have purchased it. Thankfully, it was delicious! One of the nice things about Lagunitas is that on every label it clearly tells you how to pronounce the brewery, lest you sound like a fool the next time you order. The pour gives you the color of rich mahogany. And leather bound books. The head vanished quickly, seems to be the case with all of the beers I've reviewed so far. But worry not, the juggernaut (Beerishnakov) is coming! Your nose is quickly filled with a strong malt fragrance. Pure delight! Diving right in you'll pick up on that malt flavor with a quick rush of dark chocolate to follow. Once ingested, one might pick up on a toasty, roasted flavor that brings the sensation of caramel forward. I could describe the flavor profile as complex and deep...instead I'll call it damn fantastic. Mild carbonation leaves a smooth mouthfeel without it feeling like it has been coated with paraffin wax. The 8.8% ABV and warm feelings this beer leaves you with is probably best enjoyed during colder months or whenever you want a really good American strong ale.