A guest post by Bob Sandage, Owner & Brewmaster at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub
Father’s Day is special for me, as I have two boys (Colin who is 8 and Nathan who is 6), and I opened the Wrecking Bar Brewpub on Father’s Day 2011. Since I’ve been brewing beer for 20 years now, it may not be surprising that my boys know more about beer than a good chunk of the general population. I developed signature beers for each of them before they were even born by trying to guess their personality in-utero. This probably sounds like behavior of the ultimate beer geek, but to this day their personality is a great match to their “birth beers.”
I like to ask three questions in determining what style of beer someone will want to drink, keeping in mind the mood, weather and other factors can drive a person to make different choices at any time.
- Do you want a light-bodied or full-bodied beer? This quality of beer is probably most overlooked when making recommendations. Wine connoisseurs have been describing their libations for years, e.g., “a full-bodied red” or “crisp and dry white.” Before the American “craft beer renaissance” of the last 20 years, many Americans had little choice but to swill light-bodied and often watery beer, but now most bars serve a plethora of creative and flavorful beers. One may be surprised to know that, although roasty and dark, Guinness is actually one of the lighter-bodied beers available (notice how it floats on top of a Black & Tan?). If it is warm out, you plan on drinking several beers, or you don’t want the “full stomach” feeling, a lighter-bodied beer is best. If it is cool or you are looking for a nice sipping beer to go with dessert, a full-bodied beer may be in order.
- Do you like hop bitterness and/or hop aroma or not? Many beer drinkers do not know what hops smell like. American hops can give a citrusy or grassy aroma and European hops are often floral or earthy in character. But, only hops added late in the boil/brewing process give aromatics and relatively few beer styles have significant flavor or aromatic hops added. Most people know hops from the bittering quality that they add to the beer. An India Pale Ale (IPA) uses high amounts of bittering hops early in the boil, thus giving many IPAs a puckering or even long lasting bitter feeling on the tongue. Enjoyable to some, others not so much.
- Do you like your beer complex or simple? Complexity comes through most in the flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. Most lighter colored Belgian beers are simple in the malts (grains) used, however, the Belgian yeasts often add characters of fruit, spice, or bread to the aromas and flavors; resulting in very complex beers. A basic pale ale or light lager uses very few malts and the yeast is very neutral, resulting in a clean and crisp character. On the upper end of complexity, beers such as Russian Imperial Stouts, Belgian Dark Strong Ales, and Barleywines may use 10 or more different grains and yeasts with a great deal of complexity.
The table below gives a quick guide that may help you choose a special beer that dad will remember. Obviously, a “medium” level for each attribute could be given to further refine possible beer choices. In each case, the highest rated beer (available in Georgia and on RateBeer.com) and the Wrecking Bar beer have been listed.
We would love to see you celebrate Dad’s special day and our first anniversary at the Wrecking Bar Brewpub located at 292 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta GA 30307. We will have 20 unique beers on tap starting Friday, June 15, so we are sure have a beer that will satisfy every father!
Happy Father's Day to all dads out there, and here's to finding your perfect brew!
Raise a Stein: Serving Up Supreme Super Bowl Beers
A guest post by Matt Youhess, Beer Ambassador for Legacy Restaurant Partners and general manager at Der Biergarten
Whether you’re a casual sports fan, a die-hard football enthusiast or simply joining the party and checking out great commercials, everyone will be gathered around the big screen on Feb. 5 to celebrate America’s beloved tradition – Super Bowl Sunday.
Nothing complements the grid iron action better than a frothy stein of beer – preferably paired with tasty, football-friendly food. Below are some inspired choices hand-selected specifically for the Super Bowl:
Krombacher made its national debut on tap at Der Biergarten this fall, and Krombacher Pilsner (pictured at left) is an ideal beer for football’s biggest night. The best-selling premium pilsner in Germany, it boasts a warm golden color, aromas of malts and hops and a crisp clean finish. The Krombacher Pilsner is a great session beer to drink – it’s light enough to enjoy throughout the game without filling you up too quickly. This beer also tastes great with sausage dishes, always popular for Super Bowl. We cook all of our brats in this beer at Der Biergarten.
Another good beer to drink during the game is Spaten Mӓrzen, a popular choice among Der Biergarten’s Stein Club members. This medium bodied brew pours a nice amber color with a taste of roasted malts and the perfect amount of hops – great for cooler seasons and football gatherings.
Adding a different flavor to the party, we suggest Erdinger Hefeweizen
(pictured at right). With a light taste, this beer’s aroma has notes of malt, wheat, banana and floral hops, giving it a truly distinct flavor. It pairs well with all German food dishes. Paulaner Salvator
is another great addition – perfect with football fare and cold winter weather. This double bock beer is bottom-fermented and has been brewed the same way for more than 200 years. It has light hops with dark rich barley malts, which provide a strong malty taste and its vibrant copper color. Der Biergarten was the first in Georgia to serve this tasty brew.
Lastly, a good crowd-pleaser is always SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale
, which we have on draft at STATS. A great local beer for football fans, this pale ale is light and extremely drinkable with a stimulating hop character and a crisp finish. ** The top four selections are brewed under the German Purity Law, which states you can only use water, hops, malts and yeast to make beer. This unique characteristic makes German beer better for you than any other country’s brew. German beer is rich in important vitamins – most are delivered to you by the beer's yeast – including B1, B2, B6 and H. They improve your ability to concentrate, support the production of red blood cells, have a positive effect on your blood circulation and can stimulate your metabolism. ** Join us for Super Bowl festivities at STATS and Der Biergarten! STATS was recently named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Top Pick for “Best place to watch the Super Bowl” and among Travel + Leisure’s “Best Super Bowl Sports Bars.” USA Today named Der Biergarten among “Ten great places to dig in at a beer garden.” For more information, visit Legacy Restaurant Partners’ Der Biergarten, Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria and STATS at 300 Marietta Street in the Luckie Marietta District downtown. www.legacyrestaurantpartners.com