Over on RateBeer’s Hop Press, I go on a bit of a ramble this week about what gives beer it’s beeriness.
Despite the range of flavors you can find in the multitudinous (over 80, according to RateBeer) styles that exist, I still expect a certain beeriness from my beers. What do I mean by that totally improvised word, you ask? Well, I expect what pretty much everyone expects – some malt sweetness, some hop bitterness, and maybe some esters from the yeast.
I’m not picky. These simple factors cover a rainbow of flavors. The malt can taste like coffee, chocolate, bread, biscuit, oatmeal, roast grain… you guys know how much the grain bill can cover. Similarly, hops range from the grassy varieties of the UK to the spicy Czech families, from citrusy Cascade hops of the American Northwest to the strawberry taste of Pacific Gem hops. Yeast, the oft-unpredictable loose cousin of the other ingredients, produces everything from buttery notes (Ringwood) to George Clinton-level funk (Brettanomyces).
Check out my full thoughts over on my weekly column.