12 May 2008

Oats and Beans and Barley Grow (Hops, not so much)

This article in Wired picks up on something I've noticed recently - the reaction of brewers to the worldwide hop shortage and skyrocketing hop prices. Most of the new beers I've had and reviewed here in the last few months have been maltier, less-hoppy beers (the Hopfen-Weisse an exception, but that's a special case, in production for two years previous), and most of the "seasonal" and specialty beers I've seen recently - from everyone from Trader Joe's to Carolina Brewery to Bell's - have been the same. Now - I love me a Double IPA or a bitter, but as a fan of local and situational cuisine, I don't find this altogether unsettling. Excellent new beers will be produced out of adversity, more hops planted in more places to stabilize supply-routes, and in the end - this is a difficult situation because of the success of good beers. Good beers will out.

07 May 2008

Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse

The German product of the Brooklyn Brewery-Schneider-Weisse collaboration, this Hopfen Weisse packs a punch both with a very full flavor and deeper golden color than most hefes, and clocks in at 8.2%ABV. But it's not syrupy or overly alcohol-tasting, the banana flavor is not cloying and it is overall simply a superb late-afternoon summer beer. Highly recommended.