Rye is not a commonly used grain in brewing, but beers that do use it are distinctive and noteworthy. Rye is employed for a variety of reasons. Remnant farmhouse brews, like Finnish sahti or Russian kvass, include small amounts of rye as a matter of tradition, stemming from necessity. Bavarian rye beer, known as roggenbier,... View Article
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking January 1, 2005 - K. Florian Klemp
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking November 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
In British rock icon Pete Townsend’s song entitled “Misunderstood,” one line is “I wanna be misunderstood, I wanna be feared in my neighborhood.” The term “bitter,” as applied to beer, carries such a misunderstanding. Bitterness may be desirable with certain styles, but bitter as a noun may invite skepticism among the uninitiated.
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking September 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
The notion of brewing a “one-off” is not uncommon. But there is a whole family of styles, the lambics, that fit said bill with respect to convention. So individual are they, that virtually every aspect of their production is anarchistic. Brewing, fermentation, aging, maturation, and even ingredients are distinctive. The result is a beer that... View Article
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking July 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
No beer style is more identified with a single country than are dry stouts with Ireland. So synonymous are they that the style name often includes the word “Irish.” Though not originally from Ireland, dry stouts were nurtured and defined there, and the style owes much to Ireland’s independent and devout disposition. The deepest colored... View Article
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking May 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
Stouts, be they conventional or imperial, and porters are the most common of the so-called black beers. But only one brew uses the designation “black” in its formal stylistic name. These are the schwarzbiers of Germany, literally translated as “black beers.” Schwarzbiers are perhaps the “Lucy” of all Germanic beers, with their old-style rusticity and... View Article
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking March 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
Light gold in hue and laid-back in character, helles (German for “light”) is Bavaria’s answer to a session beer. The humble helles is Bavaria’s most popular brew and is considered by many to be the refined zenith of south German brewing with its underlying maltiness, soft hop bitterness, and superb drinkability.
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking January 1, 2004 - K. Florian Klemp
Old ales bring with them a curious moniker. Are they called “old” because of an extended aging period, a nod to venerability, or because of an old method or style? In the keynote representatives of the style, it is all three.
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking November 1, 2003 - K. Florian Klemp
Scotland is a land of legend. Its people are hearty; its terrain can be craggy and daunting, or softly pacifying. It is mysterious, magical and formidable because of the cool and often harsh weather. Although Scotland is famous for its namesake whiskey, by far the most frequently consumed social beverage is ale, the stronger versions... View Article
Full Pints - Stylistically Speaking September 1, 2003 - K. Florian Klemp
The French word for season, saison, has become a stylistic designation to distinguish a group of beers from Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. Today, these historically seasonal ales are brewed year-round. Saisons present a complex character that is both aggressive and subtle. Unmistakably Belgian and unequivocally rustic, they beckon exploration.