Friday, June 3, 2011

Light and Dark

Sierra Nevada’s Best of Beer Camp #8 is a California Common (6.5% ABV).  Beer Advocate describes the California Common or Steam Beer style as, is a unique 100% American style lager. It's usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800's in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today's examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.  #8 pours a straw orange with a nice two finger head.  There is very good carbonation with #8 and a pleasant aroma of malt, grain and fruit.  Taste is nicely balanced between the malt sweetness and hop bitterness – very drinkable.  I need to do a side-by-side comparison with Anchor Steam.

Twisted Pine’s Pearl Street Porter (6.7% ABV and 23 IBU) is a Winter Seasonal offering.  Beer Advocate describes Porter as, “Inspired from the now wavering English Porter, the American Porter is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew, using smoked malts, or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the burnt flavor associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session porters as well.  Pearl Street pours very dark with a small head that quickly dissipates. The nose has malt and slight chocolate hints.  Twisted Pine brewed this beer for the 150th anniversary of Boulder, CO.  This is a very nice beer with a classic porter taste and chocolate / mocha hints.  Pearl Street Porter would be a great beer to introduce someone to dark beers.  

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