Let’s start off with a short anecdote that doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with beer. It does, sort of.
One of the perks of attending college in Colorado is that you get to bike your brains out. During my sophomore year a Swedish friend settled a debt by mailing me a crappy bike with a decent frame, which I made every blasted effort to ride into the ground. I wore out every component and replaced it with pretty-good stuff that I found used, rode off cliffs and into trees and somehow the frame (big, fat, heavy cromoly tubes if anybody cares) survived. I got pretty good after a while. I could descend most stuff that I felt like descending, I weaved through traffic without hands and I could bike when I was too drunk to walk. People said that I should race, but then I started talking to people who did race and I realized that they didn’t seem like they were having that much fun. It seemed like you reach a certain level of seriousness where the fun seat-of-the-pants part of the sport becomes a worry about shaving ounces and shaving legs. I liked my heavy frame because it could land upside-down on a rock and I didn’t have to buy another one. But that’s just my personality. If I wrote professionally I’d be the old coot column at the world’s coolest mountain bike magazine, Dirt Rag.
Right, beer. I don’t actually know that much about beer. It’s true that I have a pretty good grasp of how it’s made, and I can name maybe half of the varieties that you find in civilized parts of the world, not counting crazy regional stuff like chicha. But when it comes to knowing beer like I wanted to know that redheaded track star in tenth grade I’m a total piker. However, there are guys who truly know their beer, some of whom happen to maintain very good blogs. Without further ado, here are some blogs run by true beer nerds. I’ve added an asterisk to the guys who keep a blogroll.
Pictures of the kids
Beer is beautiful. At least it should be.
Whether it’s the tiny bubbles settling in a well-poured Irish stout, Belgian lace coating the inside of a glass in snowflake-like patterns, or merely the the rich pallete of beer colors: obsidian, caramel, amber, red, gold, and straw–beer should be a feast for all your senses (I like the way it sounds, too).
So I thought I’d snap a few pictures of some brews near and dear to my heart while working on bottling this weekend.
Mole Porter, v. 3.0. Though beers tend to look darker in large volumes, this one is just as black in the glass.
Wow. Deep red mahogony under a light mocha head that resolves to a rim. The heat is constrained by masses of malt skillfully cut by the hop selection. What fruit and flavour is not in this ale? Plum, chocolate, pear, black cherry can all be coaxed out if you put your mind to it. All in waves of grain, early on the silk of oats but then, later, a hard grainy crust of pale malt, too. The subdued hops also play out in order: lime citrus followed by twig then on to green. The finish has a cheeky black malt note that peeks and then is gone. Really amazing.
Beerinator, a cool community site from North Carolina.
Gay Orbit* writes about beer about as often as I do, only they’re one step ahead of me with the indexing. Well-informed and worth a read. Their review of Maudite confirms my opinion that Celine Dion is only the second-best thing to come out of Canada since its colonization by Eurasian settlers between fourteen and sixty thousand years ago. [Update: Kidding about that last part. But Maudite is pretty damned good.]
Bad Ben’s Brewing Blog* ought to appeal to John’s fondness for ornery cranks. His review of a TGI Friday’s-style “microbrewery” is worth a read if you like bad reviews, which both John and I think are usually much more entertaining than the positive kind.
The Brewing Network is nice if you enjoy listening to people talk about beer.
Of course, the Beer Advocate. The Daily Kos of beer, this community can pick every other beer community out of the gaps between its teeth. Find out what people who know more than you do think about every beer you have ever tasted.
Michael Jackson. Not that other guy who used to make music, this Michael Jackson is the go-to guy for beer knowledge and has the bibliography to prove it. Call him the King of Suds.
We plan to kick off a ‘beer’ category in the blogroll just as soon as John manages to find the coder. If you write about beer and want in, be sure to drop a line in the comments.
Today’s non-beer alternative was released a day early. Cheers to Canada’s posh white wines.