Monday, November 17, 2008

Beers on oak

As zymurgeeks, we meet once a month to share and discuss the fruits of our brewing efforts and enjoy the company of people passionate about the hobby we enjoy the most in our lives. This month we met at member Brad's house for his homemade porter infused chili and and to partake in an assortment of oak aged beers presented by Dave Bossie. I can appreciate oak flavor in beer just like I appreciate the history from which those flavors are derived. The flavors of a time before the advent of stainless steel when the typical fermenting vessels were necessarily made of hardwood. But I have to say that I have a problem when the dominant flavor in a beer is of the vessel in which it is matured. Fortunately, all of the beers we tasted had supportive flavors of oak, adding to the character and complexity of the beer rather than overpowering. I was impressed with the Stone Brewing's 'Arrogant Bastard Oak' as having a balance of malt and oak flavors with good hop bitterness. The other beers I tasted, the oak was subdued. Those beers include Petrus Oud Bruin which is a very nice Flanders sour and the J. W Lees 'Harvest Ale' that had a bourbon/malt character and hints of a subtle oak flavor.

Recently returned from
Octoberfest in Munich,
Steve pours a beer.

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