By HOTEL INTERACTIVE —
As the saying goes, “It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.” What “it” is these days is resort and hotel food and beverage executives tasting the hundreds (if not thousands) of craft beers in order to select what ones fit best with their properties and restaurants.
Craft beer, generally defined as being produced by a small, independent brewery with an annual production of six million barrels or less, is the new darling of beer consumers and restaurateurs. It’s difficult to go into almost any hotel restaurant and bar and not find a craft or “micro” beer on tap or in a bottle.
The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla., for example, has 10 craft beers on the menu at its new HMF eatery. Most of the selection, such as Florida Lager and Orange Blossom Pilsner, are brewed in Florida.
“When we first set out to create the beer menu, we wanted to make sure – just as we do with our wines – that everything is unique,” said Nick Velardo, Director of Food and Beverage at The Breakers. “We started with that in mind and contacted our distributors and said, “Bring us all your craft beers.’
“We went through relentless tasting until we got down to the 10 we thought pretty much represented light, full-bodied and represented style.”
That’s not as easy as it might sound because, Velardo said, as craft beer consumers become more sophisticated, they’re always looking for new flavors.
“Everyone is striving today to make small-batch beer that they can sell and market commercially,” Velardo said. “At end of day you want to provide the guest with best beer but also have to have the supply. Some of the really small guys can’t keep up.
By NEWS 10 —
Since around 7000 B.C. when some wonderful Sumerian stumbled across a strange concoction of bread, water and wild yeast, brewers have been trying to improve upon or add to one of the world’s most beloved discoveries. And for almost every barrel, keg, bottle or can produced over the centuries, there have been men and women packed into pubs, tucked into speakeasies or huddled in front of campfires observing, tasting, and critiquing drop after liquid gold drop.
Presently, the brewing landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. Nowhere is this more evident than in the United States. Fleeting are the dominant days of mega brewers pumping out hundreds of thousands of gallons of beer that, while easily drinkable, were desperately seeking substance. Instead, beer drinkers find themselves in the dawning days of the American craft brewer, spawned in large part to a call from the thirsty masses for flavor and complexity in their brews.
American brewmasters from the west coast to the east, now produce a variety of deliciously creative ales and lagers that compete on a global scale with beers from countries renowned for their brewing, including England, Germany, Belgium, Scotland and the Czech Republic.
But whether domestic or foreign, what makes these artisan beers so amazing? Furthermore, how is one able to procure the subtle elements strategically added during the varying stages of creation by masters of the craft? And when one does come across heaven in a glass, how do they explain what it tasted like?
By STONE BREW —
Let me tell you about this amazing, invigorating health drink known as craft beer. For decades, red wine has received nearly all the publicity when it comes to the health benefits of alcoholic beverages, but I’m here to tell you that craft beer has just as many, if not more, health benefits than vino rosso. Please follow along as I explain.
First, let’s get a couple of thing straight. We are talking craft beer here, not the fizzy yellow stuff—mainstream macro beers, American adjunct lagers, lawnmower beers or whatever else you want to call them. Sadly, those beers have had most everything about them that’s good for us removed (along with the flavor). Secondly, we’re not talking about bender and binge drinking. The health benefits of craft beer come into play when we consume in moderation. That means one-to-two beers per day for men and one beer per day for women. Conversely, overindulgence on a regular basis will not only negate craft beer’s health benefits, but create its own host of health issues.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s get started. Fact, craft beer is fat-free. Admittedly, this is a bit of a lay-up, since all beer, wine and spirits are fat-free. So, let me dribble further from the basket and hoist up a lesser known and more impressive stat. Did you know that craft beer can be used as a recovery beverage after physical exertion? As soon as you are done with a workout, have a beer. Craft beer provides a quick means for replacing electrolytes while giving your muscles what they need to rebuild, something that’s especially beneficial for runners and cyclists.
Additionally, studies show that consuming one to two beers per day can help decrease one’s chance of succumbing to blood clots by increasing HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) while lowering LDL levels (the “bad” stuff). These are the same blood clots that travel to the neck and brain and cause Ischemic Strokes. More than 100 studies also show that moderate drinking lowers the risk of heart attacks and death from cardiovascular disease by a whopping 25 to 40 percent.
To be fair, wine is good for your heart…but beer is even better: A Harvard study of 70,000 women ages 25 to 40 found that moderate beer drinkers were less likely to develop high blood pressure (a major risk factor for heart attacks) than women who drank wine or spirits.
Pairing particular beers and foods can be an interesting and delicious experience. There are no absolute rules to proper pairings. The goal, after all, is to satisfy personal taste. Here are some brief descriptions of popular styles of beer and recommendations for making successful food matches:
Dry and light, very fruity beers, sometimes tart. Delicious with pastries and fruit desserts or as an aperitif. Also ideal for dishes with cream or butter sauces.
One of the world’s most popular styles of beer. Smooth, golden beers with a slightly tangy, light flavor and a clean taste. Goes well with fish and strong dishes like curry.
Lighter-bodied beers. Moderate tang, sometimes caramel or toasted with a spicy aroma. Great with a wide range of food such as soups, salads, pizza or a burger.
Crisp, lighter beers with mild flavors. American wheat beers have a distinct, citrus character. Delicious with foods such as salads, sushi or vegetable dishes.
Smooth and more full-bodied beers with distinctive nutty or wood flavors. Goes well with hearty foods such as roast pork, grilled chicken or smoked sausage.
Strong, heavy beers either sweet or dry, characterized by caramel, toffee and toasted malt flavors. Delicious with game, lamb, heavy sausage or creamy desserts.
Dark ale beers with rich, slightly bitter sometimes sharp taste. Goes well with roasted or smoked foods or strong cheeses.
Drier, intense ales with a coffee-life finish. The roasted coffee and chocolate notes in these beers provide a rich complement to shellfish, meat dishes or chocolate desserts.
How to Choose the Right Beer for Your Favorite Food
There are nearly 13,000 labels of beer available across the U.S., so there is a wide variety of flavors, textures and styles – something for everyone and for every palate.
Beer enhances the flavor of food, but food also enhances the flavor of the beer. There is no better way to learn to appreciate the complexity of hidden flavor within various beers than to pair it with food.
Start by considering the flavor of the beer. Take a sip of the beer and try to determine the prominent flavors. Is the beer yeasty or hoppy? Sweet or dry? Does it have a tangy, sharp taste with a clean finish?
Think about how the beer would best relate to foods, keeping in mind that there should be a balance between the two. The beer should either complete or contrast the food.
If you’re planning a beer dinner with a different beer for each course, plan to serve lighter beers first and progress through the dinner to the heavier, stronger beers. Serve small portions of beer – about four ounces per course – to ensure that guests of legal drinking age enjoy each paired course responsibly.
By BREWBOUND —
Karl Strauss Brewing Company just wrapped up a busy awards season, taking home a combined 16 medals for its handcrafted beers from three major brewing competitions, including an impressive 16th win for Red Trolley Ale. The company’s recent competition success comes at the height of a record-breaking summer with beer sales up 26% over last year.
“We’ve been brewing nonstop and the beer keeps flying off the shelves,” says Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “Winning these medals is great external validation, but the real proof is just how much beer our fans are drinking.”
Karl Strauss’ latest win includes six medals from the California State Fair Craft Beer Competition last week. The company placed gold for its 24th Anniversary Flanders ale and silver for its hop-forward Pintail Pale Ale, in addition to several bronze medals. There were more than 700 entries from 83 breweries and Karl Strauss tied Firestone Walker and San Pedro Brewing for most medals won at this prestigious competition. “We were stoked to represent so well at the CA State Fair because we know how hard it is to win there,” says Segura. “We’re looking forward to sharing these award-winning beers on tap at our new tasting room when it opens later this month.”
The company is now gearing up for the Great American Beer Festival in October. For more information about Karl Strauss’ winning beers and new tasting room, visit www.karlstrauss.com. Share it. Cheers.