Thursday, September 15, 2011

"...the very basic function of a Bitter"

Fantastic post by Chris Lohring of The Notch today, about brewing a batch of cask bitter. It's long, and detailed, but it's a great look into why "contract brewing" shouldn't be a bad word. This guy busted his hump to get a batch of beer brewed, fought problems both under and out of his control, and won through to a batch of German-malt, German-hopped bitter, under 4% and subtly dry...and there are some great bits of insight here.
  • "’s the hard reality of brewing in too many places with too many variables and not enough time, resources or money."
  • "Bitter is a subtle but beautiful beer style, and the subtlety is the key. The beer’s elements must line up in a way that is balanced, yet interesting enough to draw you in for another sip." 
  • "The subtle complexity of Burton Bitter is something which is certainly out of favor in modern US craft brewing. And this subtle complexity is regularly bashed by beer snobs who like the opposite. As if it’s a binary option, and one can not exist with the other"
  • "...with session beer, there is not a lot of time to set the bed, as the malt mill runs dry pretty quick."
  • "Plan B Bitter would have been a good name for the beer, but I don’t really give Notch beers fanciful names. It seems silly for session beers, which are modest by definition."
  • "The whereabouts of my Firkins are still unknown, and this is part of the cask game I loathe. Some brewers use other brewers casks without guilt. Maybe they think they are lost? Surrendered? Cast off? Who knows, but if a Notch cask is filled with another beer, that cask has been stolen. It’s that simple."
  • "Two ounces of hops per cask, just for a bit of subtlety. More would have been fun, but a little predictable and it would have masked some of the delicate malt characteristics."
  • " was at this point I knew Notch Bitter was the beer of the damned."
  • "Notch Bitter fits the very basic function of a Bitter, which is to not get in the way of the conversation, or be the conversation. It’s simply a delicious session beer that can be the backbone for a fun afternoon or evening at your local. If you can’t get your head around that, you’ll never get your head around session beer."
Go read it. Thanks for all the hard work, Chris.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lew, Thanks for the shout. This post was more of a vent than anything else, as this beer beat me up. Not sure it was of interest to anyone, not even my wife! Thanks, Chris


Comments welcome: please stay on topic. Spam will not be posted; don't bother.