My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The HopPress… posted on Saturday, December 18th.
Most of us, no doubt, are familiar with the holiday style of beer called Wassail. There are many excellent examples and I have sampled a number of them. I have to admit that I look forward to the annual renewing of the “winter warmer” traditions as well as the beers and other libations that come along with it. Today I will look a bit beyond the Wassail drink itself to some of the history and traditions surrounding this ancient drink of the holidays.
My fellow HopPress writer, Steph Weber, wrote an article (Wassail! Wassail!), which appeared on Christmas Day last year, about how to make a traditional wassail. I have found that there are a variety of ingredients that can be added to a wassail. The one that Steph chose (from Alton Brown at the Food Network) looks like a very good one and I may give hers a try sometime. Like most recipes, you could easily take Steph’s/Alton’s and alter it significantly to suit your own needs and tastes. If you desire something different all together, simply searching the Internet for “wassail recipes” will bring you dozens of possibilities to explore on your own.
My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The Hop Press… posted on Saturday, March 20th.
Until the advent of the 21st century, beer brewers went to great lengths to protect their beer from the flavors that storage in wooden vessels might impart. In a definite reversal of these traditions, modern brewers have acknowledged what wine makers and distillers have known for centuries and are embracing the wooden vessel (barrel, cask, etc) as an enticing way to add unique and delicious flavors to their beers.
My latest featured article for RateBeer’s The Hop Press… posted on Saturday, March 6th.
I recently interviewed Jeff Baker, the wine and beer manager for one of my favorite Vermont beer stores, The Beverage Warehouse , and when I asked him about his favorite beer he was very quick to let me know that there where really just two classes of beer; “Belgians and non-Belgians and the Belgians are the best”. I have to admit that, while I thoroughly enjoy many types and styles of beer, the Belgians (those actually produced in Belgium) and Belgian-styles (those produced elsewhere) are among my favorites as well.
My latest featured article for RateBeer’s Hop Press… posted on Saturday, December 19th.
For someone that calls themselves “The Vermont Hop Head”, you had to figure that it would only be a matter of time before I waxed poetically about some hoppy beer and I have managed to contain myself long enough. While I would willingly tell you that I enjoy many types of beer, it is the hoppy ones that have my keen interest. Sitting near the top of the highly hopped beer world are the beers of the beer style called “India Pale Ale” as well as its more potent derivative, the Double or Imperial IPA.