Beer of the Week: Sam Adams Octoberfest

Posted on September 29th, 2011

Sam Adams Octoberfest

About the beer: Ah yes, the crisp air of the fall season can only mean two things for beer lovers: 1. Pumpkin flavored everything & 2. Oktoberfest style beers! Being a native New Englander means being lucky enough to experience all four seasons, but it also comes with the unapologetic love for all of the Sam Adams seasonal varietals. And what’s not to love about a new beer for every season?

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Beer of the Week: Bruery Hottenroth

Posted on November 30th, 2010

About the beer:

As we’ve discussed before, Berliner Weisse is a tart wheat beer that was popular in Germany up through the 19th century. Today this style is actually pretty rare, but Southern California’s The Bruery gives us a great example in the Hottenroth. This unusual breed is known for its tart flavor and is commonly served with a fruit syrup to add some sweet to the the sourness caused by fermentation processes or (as in most cases today) the addition of natural bacteria into the brew. Coming in at around 3.1%, this brew is pretty typical to its style – light, mild, tart, and refreshing.

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Style Profile: Berliner Weisse

Posted on May 25th, 2010

Now that the warmer weather is finally here it’s a great time to start drinking wheat beers. The light, yet full-bodied flavor of most wheat brews make it the perfect way to chill out on a hot day. While most fans of craft beer are familiar with hefeweizen and other popular wheat styles, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Berliner weisse, an oft over looked wheat beer. Today we take a quick look at this tasty brew.

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Style Profile: Oktoberfest

Posted on October 15th, 2009

Oktoberfest

Although Oktoberfest in Munich ended last Sunday, there’s no reason why we can’t continue to enjoy all the great Oktoberfest beer that’s produced every year. Today we’re going to take a look at the history and characteristics of this wonderful German style of beer.

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Reinheitsgebot: The 16th Century German Beer Purity Law

Posted on September 24th, 2009

A copy of the 1516 Germa beer purity law, the Reinheitsgebot

A copy of the 1516 German beer purity law, the Reinheitsgebot

Today beer is commonly defined as containing four main ingredients: Water, barley, yeast and hops, but  there are plenty of exceptions to this definition.  There are the folks at Dogfish Head Brewery who have been known to throw everything from juniper to strawberries into their world class beers, and on the other end macro-brewers like Anheuser-Busch who use corn and rice to make their cheap lagers even cheaper. Despite these outliers beer has generally stuck to these basic four ingredients. Although there are many contributing factors, beer’s adherence to these rules can largely be traced back to the Reinheitsgebot, the German law enacted by Wilhelm IV of Bavaria on April 23, 1516 stating:

The only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops and water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

The wording of this law of course omits the all-important ingredient of yeast, but that was because folks at the time weren’t aware of its existence. Yeast as well as wheat were later added to the list of acceptable ingredients and the law remained in effect until 1987. Because this rule applied to not only beer made in Germany but beer sold there as well the law ended up dictating the habits of brewers not just in Germany but all across Europe as no one wanted to be excluded from the profitable German market.

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