A Reader Replied! Awesome!

A few days ago, a reader of my blog replied to one of my more recent posts, the one with the provocative title.  The reader sent me a link to an article that discussed how people in the beer world (and other arenas) are appropriating the phrase “black lives matter.”  The reader also explained that while they routinely enjoy my content, they felt uneasy about my choice of titles.  It gave me pause, and I understand and acknowledge their opinion.  This is why I’m a little slow in posting.  However, I will not be changing the title of my blog post.  What I will do however, is explain my views of the preciousness of life, briefly.

It’s not often that I delve into political issues on this blog.  Afterall, it’s about beer.  But, I do want to go on the record and detail my stance on a few things.

All lives matter:  regardless of color, creed, religion, race, age, and lifestyle preference- unless that preference happens to be in the pursuit of causing carnage, fear, and mass casualty.  At that point, I feel your life is forfeit.  On the flip-side of the spectrum, I wholeheartedly believe that unborn lives matter.  My belief that unborn life matters is so strong that this first determines whom I vote for in races for public office.

So, why exactly would I title what most people consider a trivial subject (beer) with such a lightning-rod of a phrase?

Actual black lagers, properly named schwarzbiers, are a German style that receives little consideration outside the world of craft aficionados (and inside the world of craft aficionados for that matter).  They’re not usually brewed with weird ingredients, barrel-aged, or possess double-digit abv.  But, when properly executed, they are flavorful, sessionable, unique beers that show a) dark doesn’t have to mean heavy AND b) all lagers aren’t boring, pale, rice/corn laden cans of swill.  For this reason, I wanted people to sit up and take notice of one of my favorite styles.

Perhaps this attitude is changing, albeit slowly.  A week ago I got an email message that Barley Creek Brewing took first place for their Angler in the black lager category at the United States Beer Tasting Championship.  For those of you lucky enough to have tasted it, you understand why.

The attitude toward black lagers may also be changing in the macro-beer world as well.  Not long ago Sapporo put out a black lager to add to their lighter lager options.  Pleasantly surprised this happened, I bought can consumed a few can just satisfy my curiosity.  Smooth, crisp, and easy to drink, I must say.

Appreciate lagers and share my belief that all life matters?  Let me know.  Your comments will be moderated to keep things friendly.

Advertisements

Black Lagers Matter: 100th Blog Post!

To my devoted fans, my new fans, and future fans, welcome to my 100th blog post.  You didn’t think I’d make it here, did you?  Well, I’m happy to say, the time has arrived.  In honor of such a momentous occasion (in my head at least), I felt it only right and proper to do a beer review.  This one is partially in honor of my heritage, my fondness for dark beer, and of course, because my freakin’ awesome wife bought not just the beer, but the container in which this marvelous libation dwells (though soon, it will have a new home, in my stomach).  As her Valentine’s gift to me, she bought me a ceramic, 64 ounce growler from Barley Creek Brewing Co. and filled it with one of their year-round favorites of mine:  Angler Black Lager.  Below is the review:

barley_creek_angler_black_lager

Angler Black Lager

On the docket:  Barley Creek Brewing Co.’s Angler Black Lager

Growler filled:  2/13/17

Poured into:  Lone Eagle Brewing Co. craft glass

Sight:  From a long way off, you’d swear the glass held the darkest stout in the world.  But come closer.  A more attentive inspection screams walnut hardwood or if you want to get esoteric, bistre (sooty brown) with reddish-orange highlights.  The head, though short lived is a quick-forming beige cap.  Lacing is braille-like and delicate.  The cap recedes into a swirl of suds and a small conclave of bubbles on one side of the glass.  The body is dark enough to prohibit the detection of bubbles rising to the surface.

Aroma:  Malt is definitely the star here, as this beer yields an aroma of darkish baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder.  There’s a slight suggestion of roasted coffee, and an earthiness that reminds me of either tobacco or leather.  Either is fine.

Taste:  Closely mirroring the aroma, is a malt-driven brew.  Chocolate, sweetish malt and a hint of brown or pumpernickel bread.  The slightest trace of caramel.  There’s a roundness here that’s appealing.  Only on the end do the hops make an appearance in the bitter balance to all the smooth, dark malt flavors.

Mouthfeel:  The commonly held misconception is that dark beers are heavy.  Well, some are.  But this?  This is light, elegant, and dances on the tongue, a medium- on the body.  Fine carbonation.  Crisp, smooth finish– just like a lager should have.

Overall:  Is it an imperial, barrel aged stout with vanilla, coffee, cocoa nibs, and blessed by a priest?  NO.  This is a fine example of a beer style that receives way too little attention in the beer world:  Schwarzbier.  For those that love lagers, for those that love German beer, for those that love dark beer, for those that love session-able beer (5.2% abv), this beer is for all of you.

Suggested food pairing(s):  banana chocolate-chip pancakes (beer with breakfast anyone?!), coffee-encrusted flank steak, smoked wurst, sharp English or Irish cheddar, chocolate-pecan terrine