American Beer Tasting@PSBH

Today sees the public launch of the Port Street Beer House American Beer Festival. However, some of us were there last night for another talk and tasting by Andreas Falt-the Beer Ambassador for the Brewers Association, which represents many American craft brewers. Is it really a year since his last visit? He’s a very engaging speaker and spoke with some authority on the history of brewing in North America and about the craft beer scene generally. Of course, as always, it’s all about the beer. So without further ado, here’s the scores on the doors.

Rogue Farms Good Chit Pilsner
You’d expect a good beer from the folks at Rogue and this didn’t disappoint. It’s 5.2% and is made with barley from their own farm. Chit is of course the rootlets that emerge from the embryo of the kernel once germination has begun. Straw coloured, it’s light in body and had a slight acidic bite that made it very easy to drink. Just lacked that extra crisp edge that I like in a Pilsner, though.

Ska Modus Hoperandi
Ska are one of the rising stars of the craft scene and this is of my favourite beers of the moment. A classic Colorado IPA, this dark amber (golden-orange to some) 6.8% packs in plenty of pine and citrus bitterness in a way-too-easy to drink glassful. Awesome, you might say.

Sierra Nevada Belgian Style Blonde IPA
Andreas chose this beer as he had never sampled it before and confessed to being disappointed with it. And so was I. Apparently it’s one of their Beer Camp projects-where they let fans attend the brewery and, judging by this, mess about. Not an IPA at all as the Belgian element completely dominates this 7.5% clunker.

Southern Tier Iniquity Black Ale
Southern Tier: tick. Imperial Black IPA: tick. Yes, we were back on track for this one. A 9% cracker. Initial chocolate tones quickly give way to resinous pine and plenty of C hops. Does not taste like 9%! Awesomeness to the max.

Flying Dog Green Tea Imperial Stout
The green tea revolution (or revulsion to some) that I witnessed over the pond last year has landed in Blighty. This 10% vinous heavyweight was too much for some and whilst definitely a sipping beer, it wasn’t too bad. Not much trace of the tea in the nose, but there was definitely a tingle of it in the brew and it seemed to, just about; hold the more extreme elements in check

Also tried:

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
My second time around of this 7.2% rarity on cask. A solid malt backbone is overlaid with pine and grapefruit. A hop treat and a kick in the balls for people who say big American IPAs don’t work on cask.

Weird Beard Fade to Black
This London brewed black IPA didn’t do it for me, I’m afraid. Is there rye in there? Because something was holding the hops back and letting too much roast flavour soak the palate.

Founders All Day IPA
This had to be tried as Andreas had mentioned it as part of the new wave of “session IPAs”. At 4.7% it stokes the debate about what constitutes a real IPA but, labels aside, it’s a very fine beer. Smooth with a perfect malt to fruit hop balance, it demonstrates that our colonial cousins can brew weaker beers just as good as their stronger counterparts.

So another great evening of beery mayhem courtesy of Andreas and the PSBH gang. If you fancy going transcontinental, get yourself down there in the next two weeks. 


Claudia said…
Great write up, but I'd like to amend your comments about Sierra Nevada Beer Camp. It's not a free-for-all, open day for the public — a few lucky homebrewers get selected each year to participate on the day. Last year, one had to submit a 2 minute long video to illustrate just how much one deserved to go to Beer Camp, etc... That said, however, the homebrewers who collaborated on this Belgian IPA, could have been a bit more generous with the hops...
Tyson said…
Thanks, Claudia
Stormin' Norman said…
Yes a great evening. Very disappointing to hear that only 1% of American craft beer gets exported. We need more!

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