Tonight I was shown the soul of beer. Beer is naturally happy. And why shouldn’t it be? Beer has arrived. By becoming beer it has reached the culmination of its efforts. Beer has grown up from barley, and undergoes the malting process. It is mashed, boiled and married to hops. Then its fermented, carbonated, and conditioned. Finally after all its toils and troubles it is enjoyed. If beer were a person it would have every right to be proud of its accomplishments. It would have every right to smile like this one.
Its hard to describe the feeling I get when I pour a pint of a particular tasty beer that I brewed myself. There is also a keen sadness felt the moment you realize the keg is nearing its inevitable end. The keg of Bohemian style Pilsner I brewed back in February has gone the way of the Do-Do. It was really good! The one complaint I had about it was the clarity. Of course the very last pint was brilliantly clear. Figures. My lack of patience got the better of me. I should have waited longer. My lack of fermentation space was also an issue. If I had made 10 gallons I would still have some left and it would be nice and clear. Next project: bigger fermentation chamber.
This Boh Pils has definitely put me on a lager kick. It seems craft beer aficionados (myself included), often forget about lagers in favor of the bold flavors of ales. I love the British, Belgian and of course American style ales but lagers offer a smooth, crisp elegance that should not be overlooked. I know its just the pendulum swinging for many new beer lovers. We all get started drinking mass market lagers. Then one day some saintly person hands you a craft beer (usually an ale) and the heavens open, the angels sing and the difference blows your mind. Thus begins a lifelong quest to discover more of those incredibly bold flavors. Unfortunately in the wake of our excitement over ales, we forget there is much more to lager than the stuff available in the jumbo 24 packs. What makes it difficult is that many lagers are imported and variety is limited. I encourage you to do a little research. Find out what is available. You may be surprised by the various styles: German and Czech pilser, mai bock, Munich Dunkel, Dortmunder export, Vienna Lager, rauchbier, schwarzbier, bock…The list is long and might include your next favorite style of beer so get started!