17 February 2008

Sunday Random Beer News

The combination of blustery, window-rattling winds and Henrik Zetterberg steaming up the hockey rink makes me tremendously reluctant to leave the comfort of my couch. In that spirit, here are some beer news links from around the world that you can enjoy in a similarly lazy position:

So much better than those little candy hearts: Valentine's Day has come and gone, but any time's a good time for chocolate... and beer.

"What makes a chocolate and beer tasting great is the fact that it is unusual, and it works. Even folks who say they don't like beer like chocolate," Halfpenny explained. "Anyone with an untrained palate can find bready, toasty, caramel, toffee, roasty, chocolate, coffee and, yes, fruity notes in beer. They just have to get it out of the bottle and stop long enough to think about it."

Now this is a gateway beer: New Glarus Brewery has debuted a German lager made with ale yeast, the Organic Revolution.

"It's advertised as a hoppy beer, which conjures visions of the American pale ale style. But Organic Revolution is not a bitter beer — the hop presence is in the flavor and aroma."

80 ounces of Papago Hop Dog? Hoo boy: An Arizona beer festival balances ABV with the potential for high BAC.

"But we quickly discovered that it's probably more, shall we say, socially responsible to have a wide variety of beers," said Jerry Gantt, executive director of the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild. "When you've got people tasting just the strong ones, people can kind of get out of control. So now, while we feature the strong beers, we offer a wider variety."

Seriously, that Hop Dog is fantastic stuff. Mmmmm.

I would have pegged Washington as a lager guy myself:
the San Francisco Chronicle solves the age-old mystery: What should you drink to commemorate Presidents' Day? The answer? A microbrewed porter. (If you need ideas, watch this blog in the next few days... hint hint.) And then there's this:

"For dessert, make Washington's porter float: Pour a bottle of porter over vanilla ice cream, add a symbolic powdered wig of whipped cream and, because it's Washington, put a cherry on top."

I vote this for our next Roundtable review. Anyone?

Chalk one up for sustainability: African farmers are beginning to grow sorghum to brew beer in Africa. Heavily sponsored by Heineken and Diageo, it looks like a win-win for the brewers and growers:

"In Ghana, where some 1,000 farmers are involved in the project, the group surpassed its initial target of 800 tonnes of sorghum by 100 tonnes at the end of the first growing season. Sierra Leone had 2,000 farmers in the project but produced only 40 tonnes. However, this year Sierra Leone expects to produce 150 tonnes.

"Heineken is delighted with the results of the project, particularly in Sierra Leone, where expectations had been lower. Thomas de Man, Heineken's regional president for Africa and the Middle East, says: "You see an economy growing around farming."

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