We've started doing weekly beer tastings in Beer Ritz. We open up a couple of beers each Saturday and offer samples and talk about the beers with our customers. It's a great way to get more people involved, trying and talking about beers they've never had before. There has been something that's come up recently though. Our last tasting featured Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Wet Hopped IPA. It's a fantastic beer, and while we got our way through four cases of the stuff (selling, not drinking) there was four separate instances where customers said to me and James: "American beer?? They don't know how to make the stuff!"
Not wanting to be deterred we made the effort to really sell up the beer to these customers and show them around the range of American beers that we have to offer. Still leaving skeptical, but with an armful of new beers to try from the states seemed like a win in our books. It was slightly saddening though that this was still the opinion of some of our customers. We'll be trying to change those sorts of attitudes with these weekly tastings.
Speaking of American beer, if you came to me with a bottle of beer which was a; Belgian Style Double IPA, 9%, 100 IBU's, aged with Brettanomyces, Citra and Apollo hopped to the hilt and aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels, from Alaska, I'd say you'd have a beer which was gonna be all over the place, over the top and a complete mess of a beer.
How wrong could this Ghost have been?!?! This is truly a Masterpiece in brewing and how to create something wonderfully balanced and enjoyable at the same time. Huge aromas of lemon and lime, sherbet, orange and stone fruit skins paired with (surprisingly) Brett and Chardonnay qualities. I really don't think it was a fluke that these ingredients have come together so well. It's supremely fruity with floral overtones like rose petals. It also plays host to a wonderfully dry, spicy woody essence which makes the moorish finish long and complex. Apple and melon jostle for supremacy among straw and hay while peppery yeast seems to bring everything together under a harmonious blanket that is a truly perfect beer.
Americans can't make beer? Like Hell they can't!!
Anchorage Brewing - Bitter Monk. Bitter Monk? I bet the Belgians would be if they could taste beers like this which they didn't produce themselves!