Tuesday, February 23, 2016


we spoke about 101 in Week 68 --this is 102:-
Everyone starts from ZERO
The beauty of craft beer is --everyone--including those big name/ super star brewers which you drink their brew from--all started from drinking "shitty beers" once upon a time---that's kinda how lots of brewers came about--not happy with what's being offered in the market--and literally took matters into their own hands and started brewing....
So--if you've just started--just had your first IPA last night--fret not--you are not alone---there's nothing to worry about that you started later than everyone else--on the road to discovering more awesome beers--there's just no limitation where one could end up.--everyone started equally--the rest is up to you really...

Craft Beer is NOT ONLY about HOPS or IBU
it's probably quite cool for some of the newer friends to ask/joke or "challenge"other friends who are only into big factory commercial lagers with this question---" my bottle of IPA says the IBU is 60---what's on your bottle? what's the IBU? NOT printed? NONE?//"
But--be careful--don't fall into the trap of believing HOPS is king or IBU is the only criteria to determining the awesomeness of a beer.
That is certainly NOT THE CASE---craft beer is about varieties of beer styles--not just bitterness of a beer.
*IBU(international bitterness unit--the bigger the number--the bitter the beer)
最初喝CAFTBEER时,很多新人最开始接触到的会是强调啤酒花苦味的美式PALE ALEIPA,这是最容易找到,也是对比单调口味大厂啤酒最强的例子,有时候一些新人朋友会以国际苦味指标(IBU)来对大厂啤酒做比较(这支啤酒IBU指数有多高,你的大厂啤酒有说明多少IBU吗?--没有吧)。

To GAIN is to LET GO
We all know, out of so many Chicken rice, Bakuteh, Wantonmee, Burger sellers out there--NOT EVERYONE taste as good as the other.
Same for Craft Beer---the fact that it is a craft beer does not automatically makes the beer tasty--there's quite a lot of below average--even shitty craft beer out there.
So--if you bump into a beer that taste way below expectation--what do you do?  I would suggest go do a "drain pour"--yeah--just pour it down the drain.
Yes--pouring away beer sounds kinda snobbish--and certainly not something most people would do--after all beer money is not that easy to earn(especially if you live in South East Asia with high import taxes imposed on alcoholic beverages)---but--if the beer is really a below average brew--instead of forcing yourself to drink something you totally don't enjoy--or to give it away to someone knowing it taste unpleasant--just pour it away---that simple action--in some way is another form of palate building process--just take it as a fee to pay on your way to drinking better ones next time...

有些朋友会觉得既然都给钱买了,或许可以把酒分给身旁人喝,或不如勉为其难自己把酒喝完,这也没错,啤酒钱不容易赚。不过,要是可以的话,建议直接把酒倒掉算了,这动作有个名词叫DRAIN POUR(倒水沟)---是的,如果遇到这样水准的啤酒,与其勉强喝,不如倒掉,也算是品味修炼过程必经之路。
MIX it up
with so many different styles of beers--each with varying taste profile--why not try blending some beers sometimes--especially if you are with a few friends in a bar--or having a tasting session.
It's kinda like beer cocktails--just mix a small portion of beer A with B or ABC together and see how it changes in flavors and taste--there's no rules really--just have fun mixing them--sometimes the mix can be wonderful--sometimes the result is a failure--but that's all cool--the more you mix--the more surprises could be awaiting...
a 3beer mix--with Boon foeder #120 in the mix

Blending can be of same styles( stout+stout) or totally different styles--it's up to you.
Oh--if you are face with a Drain Pour situation--maybe the beer could be saved by mixing with other beers--you never know--it could just work...
CRAFTBEER不同口味风格类别那么多,有时候可以试玩一下混合(BLENDING),特别是跟朋友一起试不同啤酒时。玩啤酒混合没有一定方程式,可以根据自己喜好或当时感觉随意。个人经验,混合不同品牌的同类别或不同类别啤酒(比如黑啤混黑啤,比如IPASAISON,比如STOUTSCOTTISH ALE等等)可以有互补,甚至负负得正的效果,当然不是每次都有惊喜,不过,偶尔玩一下也不错,偶尔如果遇到有想“倒水沟”的啤酒,可以尝试看看混合其他啤酒是不是能够补救。

SOUR beers--can drink ah?
there's quite some sour beers out there--like GOSE. BERLINER WEISSE, SOUR ALE or the most sought after LAMBIC.
it is true that most drinkers who are new to sour beers can't fathom the idea of beer being sour--especially if they have started and accustomed to the Cirtusy/Grassy influences of IPA/APA or the coffee/chocolaty/richer flavors of STOUT/PORTER--most first time drinkers would find/think very Negatively about sour beers.
However--one thing is for sure--there's always excellent brew in each and every beer styles--and if you don't like certain beer style--sometimes it's not just your palate issue--it could be a case where what you had is a below average brew of that style.
In simple words--you have just have to find a better brew from that particular style the next time you decided to give it another go....
酸味啤酒比如GOSE 比如BEILINER WEISSE比如SOUR ALE,或备受推崇的LAMBIC,喝惯PALE ALEIPA啤酒花香或黑啤惯有咖啡巧克力味的朋友初次接触会感觉怪怪或难喝死了。(有时候,第一次接触的啤酒让你觉得难喝,不是因为那个啤酒类别不适合你或类别本身有问题所有不同啤酒类别都有绝对好喝的,问题可能是你喝到了一支水准以下的酿品而已)

It is true that SOUR beers are not for everyone--but it's also true that once you have overcome that initial "palate shock"--you will realize that stepping out of your usual comfort beer zone can be so much more fun....( personally i found sour beers help to enhance one's palate/ability to savor/appreciate even better other beer styles once your palate is used to the sour influences--but of course--this is just personal view point)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

WEEK 69--When beer is no longer just BEER

we heard of/have had food & wine pairing dinner/lunches--or for that matter--whisky( or other hard liquor) food pairing session..

Beer & food pairing? the general perception of beer being nothing more than just cold quick thirst quencher certainly don't help. That Beer can be a very delicious/complimenting/enhancing component of the whole food experience is almost Unheard of....
葡萄酒配搭食物是大家都知道,觉得理所当然的,喜欢美食或葡萄酒的朋友或多或少都试过上餐厅或自己在家做过WINE PAIRING这回事。
啤酒跟搭配食物扯不上关系?这是错误刻板印象。如果了解CRAFT BEER各类不同风格/类别的千变万化,肯定改观。

The truth is--with that many different styles of beers available--beer and food pairing can be so much fun--because of the varieties of taste profile available--the pairing choices available for beers are just amazing...
If you live in ASIA--there's obviously not many(or almost NONE) restaurant that promote food/beer pairing--hence it's very nice to know that if you were to be in Bangkok--you could go here to sample some gourmet food with beer pairing:-
in fact--- there's even an up coming event on food and beer pairing lining up nearby Bangkok in March
CRAFT BEER在本地以致亚洲还处于起步发展阶段,很少有人办啤酒配搭美食活动,不过,吃饭是人人需要的事,如果你住的城市没有可以参与的活动,可以在家自己试试配搭,或跟几个朋友一起凑钱找个餐厅玩配搭。

比如说,有咸鱼腊肠鸡肉和浓郁酱油香味的瓦煲鸡饭可以配搭比较清淡的蔬果味SAISON农场风格啤酒,或麦芽味比较多些的PALE ALE,喜欢啤酒花香味/苦味多些的也可以配搭IPA之类的,反正没有一定方式。(喜欢浓对浓的朋友也可以考虑直接配搭黑啤)。
So--is there any rules or formula to food and beer pairing?the general consensus is that when it comes to food pairing--you either do Complementing( for example a sweet stout for chocolate dessert) OR a Contrasting( heavy food with light beer like saison or pale ale or lager) pairing...
又或者,喜欢蓝莓芝士的朋友可以考虑配搭不同口味的黑啤类,比如PORTER, STOUTS,或比利时STRONG ALE
喜欢海鲜的朋友可以考虑配搭天然发酵果酸啤酒(LAMBIC),农场风格啤酒(SAISON)或者各式PILSNER PALE ALE,喜欢麦芽甜味比较浓啤酒的可考虑德国风格WEISSBIER

If you are a believer of what others say--then perhaps it's good to check out what's suggested for food-beer pairing on BEER ADVOCATE(along with some other website focusing on food pairing)--there will be some suggestions on which beers might go well with certain type of food/dessert --for examples--just salad alone--there's suggestion of 21 different styles of beers that could go well( or not so well?) with the salad. 
喜欢网上建议的,可以看看独立评酒网站BEER ADVOCATE的啤酒配搭食物建议栏,这是一个像是问答栏的页面,网站已经设好一些食物选项,只要选好食物,建议的啤酒类别就会出现。比如,选“猪肉”一项,可以配搭的啤酒类别就有15种,选“鱼类”的话,建议配搭的啤酒类别有23种,就连“沙拉”一项也有21种不同啤酒可以配搭。
However --with craft beer --one could just play around a little with one's own whims and fancies--just try to pair any beer you like with any food or dessert you like--sometimes they work out well--sometimes they don't--the fun part is you get to try and play mix master...
Personally--i have tried quite some different pairing of beers with food, for examples:-
- pork lark steam Crab with a Gueuze( with the bubbly sour lambic not just cutting down the fat but complimenting nicely the Umami of the crab)--of course you can also pair with some other styles of beers of your choices
-if you find a certain Belgium strong ale is slightly too sweet or strong for your palate--try eating some fresh fruits like strawberry or plum--the fresh fruits would help to ease off the beer--in a contrasting yet complimenting way...
有朋友说,当人们都视葡萄酒配搭美食为理所当然选择时,很多人没有注意到的是,CRAFT BEER各类不同风格啤酒可以天马行空的用不同蔬果,食材入酒,还可以把不同啤酒放入不同类别烈酒/葡萄酒桶内陈年增加风味变化。葡萄酒由始至终只是用着一样原材料--不同类别葡萄。所以说CRAFT BEER是更有趣好玩的食物配搭选择完全不为过。

在美国和欧洲一些城市,侍酒师这个名词不再只是单一指向葡萄酒侍酒师,近年发展已令不少原本只是注重葡萄酒配搭食物的餐厅注意到CRAFT BEER的多元化和趣味性,怎么建议啤酒配搭美食已经成为新的一门功课,啤酒,不再单纯只是拿来快快干杯的冷饮了。

The fact is--Craft beer is certainly NOT the MACRO BEER that you used to know all your life--it's so much more fun and exciting--and food pairing( or in a more casual or playful way of self-experimenting at home) definitely would add more fun..
With so many different styles you could ever imagine( if you are very new or never heard of craft beer)--just explore a little bit more with food--don't worry if you got it right or wrong--the fun part is all about exploring and trying out new pairings....
BEER as you have long known it to be---is NO LONGER only just beer--if you still think BEER is only BEER--welcome to the whole new world of craft beer...