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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good old beers and dinner

From Eric Asimov, wine editor for the New York Times, but also a beer enthusiast, comes this story about a beer dinner featuring vintage beers.

Beers Worth Waiting For

The concept of vintage beers often confuses beer novices, and often more knowledgeble beer enthusiasts as well.

It did so last evening at the beer tasting I co-hosted with Taste DC. "Didn't you just say that fresh beer is the best beer?", I was asked.

Well, yes.

Beer is best fresh; that is its intrinsic nature. Compare it to a fine meal served fresh at a restaurant. You wouldn't wait four months, let alone four days, to enjoy that! Freshness is the point.

However, as with any man-made rules and things, there are exceptions. And some beers can be cellared and will change, wonderfully, as they age. Barleywines, malty strong ales (of usually alcohol greater than 9% by volume), have caramel/toffee flavors, and madeirize as they age, gaining flavors similar to those of sherry and port.

The article above features a favorite barleywine of mine : J.W. Lees Harvest Ale.

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