Thursday, October 14, 2010
Ode to Some Classics
I am continually reminded of this in the beer isles in Portland markets - the array of fine craft beers along with constantly changing seasonal and special beers is dizzying. In fact, though it is the best beer store I have ever been in, I am often overwhelmed by Belmont Station as it becomes so hard what, of the beers I cannot find anywhere else, I should actually buy. Now I take to deciding before I go in what I am going to get.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I am so eager to try new and unique that I find myself more and more infrequently drinking some of my most beloved and now classic beers. Of these I'll give special mention to five: Bridgeport IPA, Deschutes Mirror Pond, Full Sail Amber and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
So why do I love them? Bridgeport IPA is perhaps the quintessential IPA and a classic British style IPA not usually seen in the NW, beautifully balanced and not too heavy. It is more sessionable than the typical NW IPA. Deschutes Mirror Pond is a hop head's delight with an amazing hop bouquet that tickles and entertains the nose with every sip. It is a pale ale with a perfect body on which the hops dance. Full Sail Amber is a medium bodied but rounded ale with delicious malt notes. Sierra Nevada began it all with a recipe that is timeless. And finally, with all of the attention to craft ales, Sam Adams redefined what a lager could be to American craft beer drinkers. They got big and commercial but there is no denying Boston Lager is a great beer.
You will note that all but one beer is of a similar style. Now you know my sweet spot: I am a hop head who loves the hop bomb, but I appreciate even more deeply those brewers that show restraint but can brew a 4.5 to 6% ABV beer with a lively hop character. One thing I don't care for are heavy malty beers: no scottish ales for me, thanks.
Anyway, this post is a reminder to myself and others not to forget the gems that have been around. Just because they are not the newest-latest doesn't mean they are not the best.