Andy bought 12 Beers at the Fresh Market from the make your own six pack selection. We took the opportunity to finally figure out what we kind of beer we liked and where it fit on the spectrum of beer. (Surprisingly, 1 didn’t make it to the tasting…someone drank it without waiting for me.)
Most interesting we learned that there are only 2 types of beers – Ales and Lagers. Andy still claims there is only one type of beer – the good stuff!!!! Here is a quick description of the two types of beers – followed by our comments on the beer we tasted. With World of Beer a simple walk away – we will be adding to this section soon!!!!
Lager – the most commonly consumed type of beer in the world. Lagers are of Central European origin, taking their name from the German lagern (“to store”). Lager yeast is a bottom-fermenting yeast, and typically begins fermentation at 7–12 °C (45–54 °F) (the “fermentation phase”), and then stored at 0–4 °C (32–39 °F) (the “lagering phase”). During the secondary stage, the lager clears and mellows. The cooler conditions also inhibit the natural production of esters and other byproducts, resulting in a “crisper” tasting beer.
Most of today’s lager is based on the original Pilsner style, pioneered in 1842 in the town of Pilsen (Plzeň), in an area of the Austrian monarchy now located in the Czech Republic. The modern pale lager that developed from Pilsner is light in color and high in forced carbonation, with an alcohol content of 3–6% by volume. The Pilsner Urquell or Heineken brands of beer are typical examples of pale lager, with the Pilsner Urquell brand having a hop presence more associated with the pilsner style. Principal styles of lager include:
- American-style lager
- Oktoberfestbier / Märzen
- Vienna lager
Ale is brewed using only top-fermenting yeasts, and is typically fermented at higher temperatures (15–23°C, 60–75°F) than lager beer. Ale yeasts produce significant amounts of esters and other secondary flavours and aromas, often resembling those of apple, pear, pineapple, grass, hay, banana, plum or prune.
Principal styles of ale include:
- Old Ale and Barley Wine
- Belgian Trippel
- Belgian Dubbel
- Brown Ale
- Pale Ale
- Porter (including Stout)
- Wheat beer
Our Tasting Notes Include:
- Orange Blossom Pilsner: Darker Lager – tasty with a hint of the Citrus and Honey, Light taste, no strong aftertaste (This was our first beer rating of all time – so we were trying to pick up the differences which are either subtle or obvious – no ability to compare.
- Snake Dog India Pale Ale – Brownish Golden color – You can taste immediately and the flavor lingered. Definite aftertaste of bitterness, KZ believed it was sour but floral – followed by OOOH– Sharp and Bitter on impact. Aftertaste floral – KZ thought it smelled bad. The beer made us read about Hops and where they are grown.
- Torpedo Exta IPA Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Good Color – sharp not a lot of taste linger for AZ – good flavor – not a long aftertaste for KZ – Sharp – Medium not quite as bitter – Phooof – tastes on the back of the tounge.
- Tire Bite GoldenAle – Smooth – light refreshing – not a lot of taste but has a little body. KZ thought it was Sharp – but not too bitter – AZ could drink this one more often no aftertaste – not a ton of flavor – We could buy and drink lots of this for a shindig but wouldn’t sit down to enjoy the taste so much,
- Smithwicks Irish Ale – Good Head – Darker beer – AZ thought it was sharp but no bite – not a lot of flavor – more remarkable for what it isn’t than what it is. KZ thought it smelled like beer – lighter surprised by color – Quick Bite – no aftertaste – Not sweet not sour not bitter, looks much better than it tastes.
- Leffe Blond Ale – Bitter, lots of flavor – strong aftertaste – distinctive bite – interesting given the lighter color
- Belgiun Abbey Ale Bite – taste lingers for a while – sweeter bite Sour – anticipate a strong bite – sweet back end taste – almost too much bite burns tounge
- Spaten – Oktoberfest when I smell this – I smell a meadow – too bitter second time around
- Harp Lager I liked the beer – tasty and simple. Not her style
- Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Wheat Beer By far my favorite. Good flavor – not to bitter. KZ likes it too..
- Brooklyn Lager Too Bitter for KZ – AZ liked the flavor.