Friday, May 04, 2007


i'd thought about racing lodi this weekend, since i can't do the 24 hours of conyers, but in the end i decided against it. i've never had good luck at lodi, but that's something i've blogged about before. truth is there are just too many things i want to get done around the house. chores that have been lingering since we moved in and have already been put of for racing.

enough of that joe, time to get on to the beer...

thursday night we went down to the national geographic headquarters on 16th street for one of their national geographic live events. this was actually the 2nd we've been to. the first was on cheese and was a lot of fun, but this one was on beer and was, not surprisingly, even better.

garrett oliver, brewmaster of brooklyn brewery and author of the brewmaster's table, led us through 12 beers, all fully refermented (often called "bottle-conditioned" or "cask-conditioned"). refermentation refers to letting the beer ferment a 2nd time to develop carbonation naturally, rather than being force carbonated with pressurized CO2. bottle conditioning lets the beers mature with age, and also captures more of the tastes and odors of fermentation, generally making for more complex tasting beers.

here's a quick rundown of what we tasted, with as much commentary as i can make out in my notes.

New Glarus Copper Tank Weissbier (New Glarus, Wisconsin) - warm copper color, warm & round mouthfeel. strong caramelized bananna with hints of chocolate and vanilla...

Mahr's Ungespudetsbier (Bamburg, Germany) - strong honey aroma; honey flavor but more subdued than expected, slightly yeasty and floury. low carbonation: ungespundetsbier literally means "un-bunged" as the casks are opened after refermentation and much of the carbonation is lost.

Schneider Wiesen Edel-Weiss (Munich, Germany) - light and fruity aroma; low phenols, hoppy for a weissbier (uses american cascade hops). lighter, sharper, and crisper tasting that most weissbiers.

1809 Berliner Weiss (Weihestaphen, Germany) - yikes! sour and sharp, lemony. based on a recipe from 1809 this is much less sour than contemporary berliner weiss and this beer is not flavored with any syrup, as most others are. tart and refreshing.

Saison D'Epautre (Blaugies, Belgium) - slightly sour with fruity aroma, earty, malty, dry

Thirez Blonde (Esquelbecq, France - herbal, fruity, dry. apples

Brooklyn Local 1 (Brooklyn, New York) - light sparkly fruit aroma, brewed with pilsner malt and sugar from mauritius. light and slightly spicy but watch out it's a belgian strong golden ale and packs at punch at 9% abv

DeuS (Buggenhout, Belgium) - very little aroma, but what's there is slightly spicy/herby. meaty apple-y, super ultra dry. cherry and ginger aftertaste. made in the methode champenoise.

Russian River Supplication (Santa Rosa, California) - alcohol and fruit aroma. soured with bretanomyces and lactobaccilus and more, aged in pinot barrels. very sour and fruity, sour cherries, very pleasant.

Trappist Achel Extra (Achel, Belguim) - deep flavor, malty w/fruity notes. coffee, fig, raisins. dry.

Scires (Montegioco, Italy) - deep red color, 40 lbs/cherries per 2 kegs. mild sourness, very easy to drink.

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (Ashford in the Water, England) - hoppy aroma, mild flavor. sweet, delicate, flowery, hoppy body.

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