Last Friday with Mark

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Beer Blog | 0 comments

Fin Du Monde
Chambly, Canada
From the very beginning, Unibroue has carved out a special niche in the beer world with top quality products and a brand rooted deep in Quebec culture. It made history by becoming the first North American beer maker to use a brewing method inspired by the two-centuries-old tradition developed by Trappist monks in Europe—particularly in Belgium. Over the years, Unibroue has remained faithful to its origins even as it has grown to become an icon of the brewing world. Unibroue products take you on a journey filled with legends and fabulous tales.

The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.” Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish. Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well.


Ruination IPA
Stone Brewing Company
Escondido, California
Stone Brewing Co. was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in San Marcos, CA. It’s most popular brand; Arrogant Bastard Ale was unleashed upon the world in November 1997.

They moved to their current facility in Escondido, CA, in December 2005. Beer Advocate named them “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” in 2008 and “the most popular and highest rated brewery – ever!” in 2009.

American Double/Imperial IPA
Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.


Mystic Brewing Company
Chelsea, MA
Many people believe that the best known person or thing ever to come out of Chelsea was Horatio Alger (apologies to Howie Long and Albert DeSalvo). For me, it was, and maybe still is Chick Corea. Having tasted the beers of Mystic Brewing Company, Chick may have found some competition.

The company was founded by MIT trained fermentation scientists Dr. Bryan Greenhagen, Ph.D, his wife Emily Greenhagen and professional brewer James Nicholson. Their focus is specialty beers such as saisons and barrel aged beers made with regional and exotic fruits as well as finely crafted after-dinner “malt cordials.”.

Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there’s been a massive revival; especially in the US.

This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.


Lost Sailor IPA
Berkshire Brewing Company
South Deerfield, MA
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. is a regional brewery located in South Deerfield, MA, established in 1994 by Christopher T. Lalli and Gary A. Bogoff, a pair of homebrewers with the vision of being Massachusetts’ local brewery. Their goal is to produce clean, fresh, well-balanced ales & lagers in small batches. At the present time they are capable of producing 580 barrels (17,980 gallons) of fresh beer each week. All of their beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized and contains no chemical additives or preservatives. As craft brewers, they are now producing nine styles of beer year round and seven seasonals.

English IPA
First brewed in England and exported for the British troops in India during the late 1700s. To withstand the voyage, IPA’s were basically tweaked Pale Ales that were, in comparison, much more malty, boasted a higher alcohol content and were well-hopped, as hops are a natural preservative. Historians believe that an IPA was then watered down for the troops, while officers and the elite would savor the beer at full strength. The English IPA has a lower alcohol due to taxation over the decades. The leaner the brew the less amount of malt there is and less need for a strong hop presence which would easily put the brew out of balance. Some brewers have tried to recreate the original IPA with strengths close to 8-9% abv.


Dark Element
Element Brewing Company
Millers Falls, MA
Element Brewing Company believes firmly in the fusion of art, science, and beer. Their hand-crafted, bottle conditioned ales don’t fit neatly into any box and their size allows them to be innovative in their brewing techniques. They have created hybrids of styles that test the flavors, dimensions, and boundaries of beer. The highest-quality ingredients are used, including heirloom grains from Europe, domestic and international hops, and their own specially developed signature yeast.

Their beers attempt to hit the “sweet spot”; that point that gives you a gentle warming sensation of alcohol without the shock value and booziness of more extreme styles.

American Black IPA
This new American Black Ale style has the malt profile of an Imperial Schwartz Beer and the floral characteristics of an American IPA. Saturated in hops, this intrepid style offers smooth dark toffee and chocolate flavors without the roasted bitterness found in many “dark” beers.


Nut Brown Ale
Samuel Smith
Tadcaster, England
The old brewery in Tadcaster was established in 1758. It is the oldest brewery in Yorkshire. The brewing water comes from an 85 foot well that was dug in 1758. The brewery has its own cooper on staff who makes and repairs all the oak casks. The little town of Tadcaster is home to three breweries. Samuel Smith’s is a small brewery producing less than 5% of the beer brewed in the town.

English Brown Ale
Spawned from the Mild Ale, Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter on the palate, with a fuller body. Color can range from reddish brown to dark brown. Some versions will lean towards fruity esters, while others tend to be drier with nutty characters. All seem to have a low hop aroma and bitterness.


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