Monthly Archives: December 2010

Lagunitas Brown Shugga’

I met a friend for a couple of beers at The Brazen Head tonight and discovered a fantastic beer, the Lagunitas Brown Shugga’.  I was never a big fan of Lagunitas, though I do love that they released some beers to commemorate the 40th anniversary of some of Frank Zappa’s albums.  That said, this was my favorite Lagunitas I’ve ever had.  Not really sure how to describe it, other than brown, sweet, yet hoppy.  Definitely seems like a winter beer.  Must have more….

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Archaeology of Beers: Tastings of Ancient Ales

C and I went to this fantastic event on Friday night, held at the China Institute.  It was the second of a two-part lecture series called Archaeology of Beers: Tastings of Ancient Ales, a collaboration between Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head and Dr. Patrick McGovern, a molecular archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania.  This lecture was hosted by Dr. McGovern.  While learning of the discoveries of ancient beers, mostly via evidence from clay pots, we sampled (well more than sampled – each small row got its own bomber bottle of beer, and then the rep from Dogfish Head came by topping us off; read: drunk) four different Dogfish Head beers: Midas TouchChateau JiahuTheobroma, and Sah’tea.  All these beers were either 9% or 10% ABV.  It was interesting to hear how they came to this percentage.  Since most of these ancient ales were a sort of hybrid of wine and beer, they figured on an alcohol percentage somewhere in between the two.  C and I had already tried the Chateau Jiahu, but appreciated it much more in this context.  Midas Touch is a year-round brew, once which I’d never tried before.  Very good.  I’ll be picking up more of this.

Overall, a very fun and educational event.  I hope to do more like this.

Gluten, Sweet Gluten

I had to do 10 days of a gluten-free diet. Harder than I thought.  I failed my first day by having a sandwich and a couple of beers, totally by mistake.

During this week, I decided to try some gluten-free beer.  The only ones I knew of that were supposed to be good were from Green’s, a Belgian brewery specializing in gluten-free beers.  I tried two; Discovery, an amber ale, and Endeavour, a “Dubbel Dark Ale”. Both were, in a word, bad.  It’s hard to describe them, other than tasting all kinds of wrong.  I guess wheat and barley really do make the beer, though of course I love the hops.  It seems what they use in place of wheat and barley are buckwheat and sorghum, as well as some rice. The Dubbel reminded me of sour beers, which I’m not a fan of, at least yet.  It might appeal to those who enjoy those.  MIGHT.

In the end, it thankfully appears that I do not have any problem with gluten.  Light at the end of the tunnel was a Bear Republic Racer 5 in my fridge, which I’m very much enjoying now.  Good to see you again, my friend.