Brew News

By Kristin Donnelly Posted March 05, 2007

The latest issue of Imbibe, a new magazine dedicated to all things thirst-quenching, has a fascinating article by Joshua M. Bernstein about the American beer movement. It's no secret that American beers now go way beyond Bud Light, but even after sipping more exotic beers like Clipper City's rich Peg Leg Stout and Sea Dog's fruity Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale, I didn't realize how wildly experimental brewers have become. Just like mixologists looking at cocktail history for new inspiration, beer makers are reviving techniques that monk brewers used in the Middle Ages, like barrel aging and flavoring with herbs instead of hops. One of the most obsessive (and quotable!) brewers, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, has gone way back into history to find new brews. Dogfish Head's Midas Touch, a barley elixer scented with saffron, honey and white Muscat grapes, is based on a 3,000-year-old beverage found in the tomb of King Midas. Not all of his crazy concoctions are successful, he says. He described a too-perfumey lavender brew with what I think is the quote of the week: like "tongue-kissing Laura Ashley."

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