Beer Blog #3 – Now 8% Stronger

By on April 9, 2010

Brewing the Melvin IPA

I didn’t intend to open a brewery that only served beer above 8.0% alcohol, it just kind of happened. My beers and the guest taps tended to be strong this winter. All these years living in Wyoming, I always wanted the beers that were tough to get – the ones I had to travel to Belgian or the coasts to taste. So I had to open a brewery and make them myself (dare to dream). And this winter I think I’ve shown the local distributors that there is a market for the more flavorful beers – how did that happen? Is there actually a group of people in JH who appreciate good beer? Was it the millions of tourists coming from a place known as a city?

Why do we get such taste challenged beer in Wyoming? Because that’s what people like? The beer commercials show us what a beer is supposed to look like – clear and refreshing like a cold mountain stream and light and cheap like a soap opera.

I started asking the distributors to get me the good stuff, they were reluctant – they’ve been doing just fine selling the over-commercialized union made beers (breweries that might have been considered craft brewers in the 1800’s). They were also comfortable with the microbreweries that used to be cutting edge – until they cornered the market with a ‘Brand’ – then went softer than the creepy ‘Don’t squeeze the Charmin’ grocer.

You can make a complex beer with small amounts of alcohol.

Some purist (as he would probably call himself) might even argue that the less complexity, then the cleaner and more isolated the taste – so the more complex it is. He would add that big beers try and cover up all the flaws with higher alcohol. I might agree with that if a brewery say, boosted their fermentation temps to speed up the process thus dumping phenols in the beer and giving you that crushing two beer hangover.

We all have different tastes, for instance I like women of color and you may not. But at the same time you might think you don’t like beers with color, yet when was the last time you had one? What if I were to give you a Rogue Imperial Porter with a blindfold on – the dark color would no longer hold you back. And you might actually like it while unintentionally breaking the color barrier.

Start this off-season by trying something new – let’s shed those old thoughts about beer like a winter layer – lets expand our knowledge together and learn interesting things about beer that we never knew existed. They do exist and they are sitting in the cooler waiting for us. The local brewers, bartenders and folks at the liquor stores can guide you through their beer selections and help you get a beer that you will like.

Look for amazing lighter beers this spring/summer at Thai Me Up and around town.

Beers on Tap: (we also have Bud in the bottle)

About Jeremy Tofte

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