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Showing posts from November, 2013

And Nøgne-Ø isn't Craft anymore

The news that Norwegian macro brewer Hansabought a majority stake in Nøgne-Ø has naturally created a lot of buzz in the beerosphere (beerosphere, why not?), very similar to what happened a few years go with Goose Island, among others.

What I found fascinating, though hardly surprising, was the reaction of not few people. Judging by some of the comments, it seems they feel betrayed because some sort of imaginary promise has been broken. Some people have gone as far as to accuse the owners of Nøgne-Ø of “selling out”; like teenagers or hipsters lamenting that the obscure indie band they love so much has decided to allow Nike to use one of their songs in a commercial, only that it's worse. You can philosophically accuse an artist of “selling out”, as art is not supposed to be about money, but a brewery? A brewery starts as a business, it was about money from the beginning!

People like differentiating between shareholders and the owners of microbreweries, saying that for the former…

And here we go again...

I've got nothing better to do today so...

If it hadn't been for Cooking Lager's comment in Ed's blog, I would have missed this. BrewDog has had another go at proposing the basis of a legal definition to the “Craft Beer” fairy tale. It's shorter than the previous one, and Blue-Moon-less, but it still packs quite a lot of nonsense.

Right at the beginning they say that:
There is also strong precedent for legally defining Craft Beer. Legal definitions are everywhere and are designed to protect a product’s reputation from poor imitations. ‘Bourbon’, ‘Whisky’ and ‘Champagne’ are 3 examples where they have protected premium drinks from cheaper imitations and helped both the consumer and the category in the process. Cheddar Cheese anyone?This is almost like trying to make a Chinese contortionist out of logic, really. “Bourbon” (never miss a chance to harangue the American masses), “Whisky” and “Champagne” are protected indications that speak about the product they regulate …

Monday comments

I came across two really fantastic beers the other day, Mate's from Pivovar U Bizona and Lví Srdce from Třebonice; the former a 12º polotmavý ležák, the latter a 11º pale ale, regular beers through and through, but with a twist. Mate's was brewed with yerba mate and Lví Srdce with juniper.

What set them apart from many other beers brewed with unconventional ingredients was that they still tasted like beer. If nobody told you, and you were not paying too much attention, chances are you wouldn't notice those ingredients. If you did pay attention, chances are you would only be able to notice an uncommon flavour that you would know belongs to the beer. That's exactly what happened to me with Mate's, which I had on tap at the Farmers Market in Dejvice. I bought it because it was a 12º polotmavé, just that; I loved it, and only when I was halfway down my second pint I learned about what it was made with.

I want to have more beers like this, really.

I would also like t…

Pečené koleno 2.0

A few years ago I posted a recipe for pork's knee that is still getting visits and comments from grateful readers. Since then, I've discovered the pleasure of slow cooking or, more precisely, slow roasting; you know, putting some meat in the oven a basically forget about it for the next few hours. I know I'm not saying anything new, but, for those of you who haven't tried it, it's a wonderful way of making food. So, instead of marinating, boiling and then roasting, what I did this time was only roasting, for about 8 hours. The word "heavenly" doesn't do justice to the result.

Anyway, this is what I did. With a mortar and pestle I crushed coarse sea salt, allspice, black and sichuan pepper, caraway seeds, thyme and a pinch of Hungarian paprika. I rubbed the 1.5 kg piece of pig with some of that mix, put it in a roasting pan. I showered it with about 0.3l of Pardubický Porter (I believe any full flavoured, dark, malt forward beer can work just fine), t…