Lately, there's been a strange phenomenon: Folks have been feeding me loads of beer, then letting me talk on the radio. Fools, I know, but all in good fun. If you're craving my voice and thoughts, you can listen to me on Good Beer Hunting's latest podcast, as well as Beer Sessions Radio. On Beer Sessions, we talk extensively to Rockmill Brewery's Matthew Barbee, who runs one of the country's finest farm-focused breweries.
Do these pictures make you hungry? That's the point! For this month's issue of Draft magazine, I investigate the growing trend of culinary in brewing. In a simpler era, brewers mainly relied on hops, grain, water and yeast to create an endless range of ales and lagers. But for modern brewers, the power of four tends to bore.
Seeking out new flavors, brewers are digging into their pantries and refrigerators. Though you can add edibles to nearly any beer style (Ballast Point’s Habañero Sculpin IPA, Elysian’s Super Fuzz blood orange pale ale, Sam Adams’ beef-heart-fueled, Oktoberfest-inspired Burke in a Bottle), the most popular platforms are the stout and porter. Typically, brewers played up their roasty, cocoalike characteristics by incorporating coffee or chocolate. Now they’re turning to bacon, peanut butter, pretzels and even oysters to devise dark beers as curious as they are curiously delicious.
Care to read the full story? Check it out over at Draft.
Oh, another Monday, another. This week, I turned my taste buds to Hooksett, New Hampshire's White Birch, a brand-new outfit that makes beer as boldly flavored as it it small -- just a one-man operation, with Bill Herlicka serving as head honcho. I can't recommend this small-batch brewery enough. Their barley wine is nuanced and woodsy and balanced and beautiful beyond all get-out. Seek 'em out. And drink it up!