Showing posts from March, 2012

Session Beer Spotlight #3: Stone Levitation Ale

Just under the wire (with 10 minutes to spare till midnight)!

I would like to spotlight Stone Brewing Co's session ale, Levitation, which clocks in at 4.4%.  It's probably cheating to quote the brewer's website, but I like their philosophy here:
It's been said that "Gravity Sucks." Simple enough. Well, we at Stone have identified gravitational forces in the beer world. And we have come to the conclusion that they, well, see above. So we avoid these less-than-desirable gravitational forces. We avoid dumbed-down flavor profiles and the vigorous pursuit of the lowest common denominator. We avoid big dollar marketing mentalities. We avoid additives, cheap adjuncts, stabilizers and chemical preservatives. So in the defiance of gravity we bring you Stone Levitation Ale.  I appreciate the acknowledgement of the challenge the market poses to creating a quality low-ABV beer.

Levitation has many characteristics of a standard American Pale Ale, with a slightly lighter …

Session Beer Spotlight #2: Mikkeller's Drink'in the Sun

If NOLA Brown is Tom's favorite session beer, mine has to be the 2.4% dynamo brewed by gypsy brewer wunderkind Mikkeller. Called Drink'in the Sun, it's a hoppy wheat beer that has gorgeous citrus hop aroma, a light body that is pale gold, and the wheat style is heavily influenced by the bitterness of the hops, merging those characteristic tropical fruit notes of a wheat beer with the floral hop flavor very successfully.  The wheat/malt also balanced the bitterness of the hops beautifully. Dry finish. Could literally drink this all day. (and cannot wait to have the opportunity to do so once again.)

I mean, this beer is genius. To have such a light bodied, light colored, light ABV beer that is so complex yet simply easy to drink all day long. This is what can be done with session beers! Why don't more brewers do it?

One thing of note- the hop aroma and citrus flavors muted quite quickly after being tapped, so the second day on was not as transcendentally wonderful as th…

Session Beer Spotlight #1: NOLA Brewing Brown Ale

This brown ale is both the favorite of my husband Tom as well as NOLA Head Brewer Melanie Knepp. (Seriously- you want to make a friend for life, buy Melanie a Brown Ale.)
One of the first flagship ales when the brewery first opened, the Brown Ale is a flavorful but low-key brew that has a malt profile that is complex and low subtle hopping. And at 4%, it is definitely a session ale.
There was a time when all ales were brown to some degree or another; as pale ales and pale lagers proliferated, brown ales became associated with particular styles like mild, or nut brown ale. American craft brewers have put their own spin on brown ales, as usual, increasing the hop load and ABV. NOLA Brown is firmly in the English mild/nut brown tradition. Perfect for a southern climate. You'd never think it to look at the beautiful dark brown color, but this beer is very light in body and very quaffable.
Since the Brown is one of the two beers NOLA Brewing has in cans, it's easier than ever to e…

post Mardi Gras/St. Patrick's semi-fugue state

So, I've been taking it easier on my liver over the last couple weeks, with the exception of trying to drink some of the Mardi Gras beers before they disappear: Bayou Teche's Courir de Mardi Gras and Biere Joi at the Bulldog one fine Saturday afternoon and Pour Me Something Mistah on cask (very, very delicious).

One thing I'm pretty excited about is Lew Bryson's Session Beer Project's Session Day on April 7. I'm going to be trying to identify low (less than 4.5%) ABV beers that are refreshing and delicious to drink ALL DAY LONG over the next two weeks in New Orleans.

Stay tuned!