Thursday, September 12, 2019

WEEK 154----The one "Must Do" when drinking Sour Beers

"What exactly is the idea of drinking sour beer? is it all about pucker up?" A newbie asked not so long ago, which bring up the question of "what makes a sour beer good?  is it only about sour or what else?"
有新朋友问酸啤酒到底什么概念,是不是酸得让人脸挤成一团就算水准之作?怎样才是好喝的怎样才算不好喝?
酸啤酒(sour beer)craft beer众多不同类型风格中非常重要一环,一些酿品也被誉为是最接近葡萄酒和香槟风味层次的啤酒,酿得好的酸啤绝不会只有酸的单元表现,而是多元层次可以让人在酸味基本层面中找到其他不同风味表现,是那种会让人感到幸福的美好。
Sour beers is of course an integral part of craft beer variants--and sour beers is definitely not just about being sour---a well made sour beer is surely much more than just the mono tone of sour but can be so nice it makes you feel such gratification
对新朋友来说,一个重要基本概念是,酸啤酒可分为天然发酵(spontaneous fermentation)和酵母发酵(yeast pitching)两大类,两者最大差别是天然发酵通过利用特定地区空气中自然滋生野菌发酵酿造,后者则是通过人手投放酵母,因为发酵体和发酵方式差别,两者之间完成酿品风味层次会呈现明显差异性。
Though for some reasons sour beers also probably one of the "lower acceptance rate or later in acceptance" type of styles for newbies--meaning comparatively newbies would mostly go into other " easier to accept" styles first before discovering eventually accepting sour beers.
对啤迷来说,天然发酵方式酿造而成的比利时天然发酵果酸啤酒(Lambic)是备受推崇的酸啤类型,这是有特定因素的,天然发酵方式除了需要看天气状况决定(只能在秋冬季节冷度合适时酿,热天高温是大敌)之外,酿造地也有其特殊性,只有在包含布鲁塞尔西南周边城乡,一个统称为Pajottenland区域内酿造的天然发酵酸啤酒才有资格用上Lambic名称,这区域之外任何酸啤酒,就算使用天然发酵方式酿造也不能自称Lambic。(一定程度上这解释了为什么好多欧美酿坊酸啤作品都使用wild alesour beer字眼)
如果有人觉得Lambic特殊性只是因为区域名称使用限制所致,那不尽然,Lambic之所以会被啤迷推崇最主要是酿品水平风味层次与众不同,特别是一些酿坊的高水平复杂版本风味表现更是会让懂得欣赏的人惊艳回味。
If you are new to sour beers---there are obviously quite a lot to pick up---it would be helpful for newbies to take note that sour beers comes in 2 different ways----those which use Spontaneous Fermentation and those which do Yeast Pitching(which refer to manually adding yeast)---the biggest differences between the 2 is that Spontaneous Fermentation pretty much let good bacteria occurring naturally in the air to handle fermenting job---which is restricted to only during cooler/cold seasons of the year as heat/humid weather is not suitable for spontaneous fermentation. These two different ways of fermenting does bring out different types/flavour profile of sour beers.
To many sour geeks---it is no doubt that Lambic(which is a term referring to sour beers brewed with spontaneous fermentation method at a brewery/blendery located within the Pajottenland area in and around Brussels) is the most highly sought after/worship style of sour beers.
的确,酸啤酒当然不是只有比利时Lambic,以酸味为主轴啤酒类型不少,比如美式酸啤(American Sours/Wild Ale),德式风格咸酸啤(Gose)或柏林酸麦啤(Berliner Weisse),比利时旧式酸啤(Flanders Red/Blonde)等等,实际上,在鼓励创意的craft beer世界中,连强调啤酒花鲜香甘涩的印度淡陴(IPA)或是表现浓郁烤麦芽咖啡巧克力等风味为主的黑啤(Stouts)也出现融和酸味甚至以酸味为主轴的趣味实验版或常态版。
众多不同风味酸啤类型中,想了解什么是上佳酸啤酒,喝多几款不同类型比利时Lambic是绝对必要功课,比利时Lambic当然有不少上好酿坊/混酒作坊品牌选择,这其中绝对大师级酿坊Cantillon 3 Fonteinen的任何作品,无论是Geuze,FramboiseKriek或其他类型的入门级别或复杂高深作品都是开拓味蕾鉴赏力的美味选择。
Yes---there are many other different styles of sour beers apart from Belgium Lambic---for examples there are American Wild Ale/Sours---or German inspired Gose(sour & salty) or the sour wheat beer of Berliner Weisse---as well as the old bruin/red of Flanders styles sours----in fact there's even sour version of IPAs or Stouts to be found in the "anything is possible" creative world of craft beer including either experimental brew/fusion/play around one off or even regular releases.
本地craft beer市场能找到酸啤酒来说,基本状况只能以差强人意形容,选择有限情况下,想喝佳酿只能往外找,比利时当然最理想(其他欧美啤酒重点城市当然也很不错),亚洲的话东京大阪长期有不少优秀选择,台湾香港新加坡首尔上海北京曼谷不定期也有些不错选择。
有啤迷朋友说过,第一次喝酸啤後脸皱皱逃之夭夭的新朋友不是不能接受酸啤,而是味蕾还没能搞清楚自己喝到的是什么,况且,酸啤也有不同酿坊作品水准高低不一现象,难怪有啤迷霸道的说,“没喝过不同风味比利时天然发酵果酸啤酒(Lambic)基本不能说会喝酸啤酒
With so many different styles of sour beers---finding what's nice what's soso what's not nice is something newbies find it a little hard at times since " a sour beer is a beer which taste sour"---that notion is understandable when one is new to the sour beer game---while there is no short cut to improving one's palate appreciation ability--the one "MUST DO" any newbies to sour beers should do is--no matter how many other sour beers one has had---trying out proper Belgium Lambic is a must---while there are some very good Lambic out there---it might be easier to narrow down to 2 absolute legendery masters of lambic for newbies---seek out different styles of lambic( oude gueuze/kriek/frambois) from both 3Fonteinen & Cantillon whenever/wherever you can if new to sour beers---regardless either their entry level brew or more complex/hard to seek bottles---the lambics from these 2( and of course not only these two) will go a long way to opening the senses and palate appreciation ability of newbies.
If you are very new to sour beers---remember these:--
A geek friend once said " newbies who tasted sour beer/s and ran away with a twisted face---the reason why he/she ran away is not because he/she cannot accept sour---it's because his/her palate is not ready for sour beer---they simply cannot figure out what hit emmm"
Another geek friend went a step further by saying "if you have not tasted a few different styles of Lambic---don't say you know sour beers!"

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

WEEK 153---Know what you are Drinking

Someone very new to craft beer asked " how do new people get familiarize with craft selections easily and rather quickly? "

It is understandable where the question is coming from having seen many a times new people walking into a craft beer bar/ bottle shop and seemingly overwhelmed/ confused/ too excited upon seeing various brands/styles of beers available for selection....
有新朋友说,craft beer那么多不同类型风格啤酒选择,有时候让人看了头昏眼花不知道什么是什么,有没有什么最简单直接的入门方法?
对新朋友来说,开始接触craft beer是有可能感到混淆的,喝酒最重要的是自己喝过品嚐过才能理解酒的味道层次,但新朋友的确有时候搞不清自己喝到什么或只是雾里看花一知半解的不能领略一支酒是好是坏,也谈不上欣赏不同层次变化带来美味。
craft beer当然不是件有多么高深难懂的事,只要新朋友有心,可以相当快掌握品饮欣赏分辨酒的好坏基本要诀,虽然过程难免需要一定时间味蕾训练,不变的第一个要诀其实很简单,就是每次喝之前或正在喝时都尽量了解自己喝着的是什么。

The answer to that is simple---newbies just need to do one thing first---know what you are ordering/drinking each time a beer new to you appear---knowing what you are drinking is the single most important thing every new drinkers to craft beer should do---it's the first step to getting to know more about beer styles/flavours profile/nuances and so on.

To people who are are new to the world of craft beer---knowing that drinking craft beer is more of a process to finding deliciousness in a beer form( just like eating good food) is important---the focus is never about downing lots of pints---the focus is about finding different flavours and what makes a beer taste delicious.
是的,新朋友需要做的第一件事就是了解自己在喝什么,craft beer就像美食,嚐的是味道,就像食物有咸酸苦辣甜等等非常多不同味道表现,啤酒也一样有不同味道呈现,了解自己在喝着什么类型风味啤酒是客观评估一支作品水准高低的关键。
一般人绝大多时候在点菜时已经知道要吃的是什么类型味道食物,比如说麻辣火锅香辣,清炖鸡汤鲜美,炸鸡外脆内嫩之类,什么菜色什么概念心里有底。可是来到craft beer世界不同类型啤酒该有什么味道呈现很多新朋友并不清楚,甚至一点概念都没有,换个角度来说,很多时候其实在“盲饮”。 
在酒的世界中,“盲饮”或英文BLIND TASTING是不少人认可的品酒方式,无论喝的是烈酒,葡萄酒或啤酒,盲饮可以让酒名称资料被遮蔽情况下避免喝酒人做出根据酿坊名气/风评或以往作品印象先入为主的评价。啤酒盲饮测试中,喝的人事先只知道酒的类型风格但不知道酿坊品牌资料,通过自己味蕾感受或品酒经验做评断,这种情况下,对craft beer众多不同类型风格啤酒没有基本认识很难做出客观公正评断。
Hence--knowing what you are drinking is really the first step to getting to know more things about why a beer is tasting delicious or otherwise---it's kinda like when eating a Sichuan Hot Pot we expect to experience spiciness/numbness---or when eating steak it should be meaty/beefy/juicy---in another word---most people would have known the expected flavours profile long before eating what he/she ordered.  However--the same cannot be said when it comes to craft beer drinking---many a times some newbies are simply "blind-drinking" not knowing what he/she is having even if they know the name of a beer style.
"Blind Tasting' is commonly accepted as a way to judge alcoholic drinks including craft beer---it's about concealing the brand name/ brewery name/materials used( e.g. hops/malt/yeast used) and such so as to give each and every beer being judged a fair chance of getting judge objectively---not letting the judges being influenced by bigger names/past reputation----but "blind-drinking" by newbies would almost always mean drinking blindly--not giving attentions to the taste profile/nuances of a beer---or don't even care if a beer is in good condition for consumption---some newbies would just drink for the sake of drinking as long as it's "craft-beer' with alcohol----that's definitely NOT what" blind-tasting" is about.

对新朋友来说,什么资料都不看的“日常盲饮”跟正确意义上的盲饮还是有很大不同的,因为什么都不知道情况下尝试craft beer或许是有趣的体会但也可能是会吓跑一些人的体会,有句话说快跑之前先学会怎么好好走,先了解自己喝的是什么才是培养味蕾鉴赏力的正确起步。
那要怎样才知道自己喝的是什么酒?很简单,喝之前或喝着时候看酒标资料就会有相当清楚资讯,有的酒标会有酿酒师说明酒会带来怎样的味道层次享受,要是碰到比较注重酒标设计感所以省略说明的可以上网查找资料了解这款酒是什么,最佳赏味期,用了什么类型麦芽酵母啤酒花,有没有加入什么其他食材比如水果蔬菜咖啡豆茶叶香料等等提味,又或是有没有混合其他不同风味啤酒或不同年份啤酒,是不是经过不同酒类旧酒桶浸泡熟成多久之类的资讯都有助于喝酒人进一步了解酒所该有的味道层次表现是什么,如果是入口啤酒也可以了解是不是运送过程或店家有照顾好酒的品质。

So what do newbies look for to know what he/she is drinking? The most convenient first step is look at label information--at times the info on bottle label/printed on can will be so detail one would know not only the hops/yeast/malts used---bottling/canning date--best before date and so on---but also tasting note from the brewer/s telling drinkers what flavours profile to expect when sipping/when warmer and when finishing....

If you have ordered a glass from the taps with only brewery name/ beer name---or have a bottle/can with very little info except with those two pieces of info---just go on a web search---99% of the time you will be able to find detail or at least basic info about the beer you just ordered...
画个角度看,因为不了解啤酒类型风味特质,只是一直凭着自己喝酒偏见去解读一款酒是不对的,也是很大可能贻笑大方的,经典例子是几年前一位只懂喝大厂啤酒的外国人去了比利时天然发酵果酸啤酒绝对大师级酿坊Cantillon後,在自己完全不懂喝到的是什么类型啤酒情况下,非常关切的在社交媒体上留下了让全世界所有天然发酵酸啤爱好者爆笑的留言如果你爱啤酒,请离这家远远的!!

另一个例子是一位喝酒人对某一款啤酒写喝後感受,其中一句是没有什么啤酒花苦涩味道。咋看之下或许会以为点评的是以啤酒花特色风味(包括苦涩)表现为主轴的啤酒,不过,被点评的那款啤酒特色重点完全不在于啤酒花苦涩味,在这款啤酒寻找啤酒花苦涩味打个比喻就像吃着红番茄芝士披萨然后说怎么不麻不辣的?

"Why do one has to know more about what he;she is drinking? " the answer to that is simple---because you do not want to post on your social media telling the world that the Hawaiian Pizza you had was NOT BEEFY or SPICY or  CREAMY enough---or saying the Vanilla Ice Cream you had does not smell CHOCOLATY---in another word---one should at least know what he/she is/was drinking before judging---above was a guy who went to Brasserie Cantillon and was totally clueless about Lambic but still posted this rather "famous" comment " AVOID this place if you LOVE BEER!"( he thought "it's not beer---it's vinegar!!"

了解自己喝的酒是什么是很简单的动作,也是重要的一步,通过这一步,新朋友可以逐步认识不同类型风格啤酒该有的味道层次表现,也是往后提升自己味蕾鉴赏力必须的基本功课之一。
That being quite a famous/ extreme examples of why knowing what you are drinking is very important apart----for newbies who are interested/keen to improve one's palate appreciation ability as well learn more about what to expect from various beer styles--this is the simple  yet essential first step---only by knowing what we are drinking then one can go on to explore more going forward--much like how we all learn to walk before running..... 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

WEEK 152----Of course Beer-Fest are NOT THE SAME

What will be the first image that pop-up when mentioning the word "beer festivals" ?
To majority drinkers/consumers---the word beer-fest is almost synonymous to scene where BIG BEER MUG is flowing with beers while chewing on sausages at the same time. It is fairly common for the public to ONLY associate beer fest with Oktoberfest or some form of one price drink till you full sort of beer buffet promotional "fest".
提起啤酒节三个字会让人即时联想到什么关键词?
对很多人来说,或许最先想到的会是一边吃香肠一边大杯喝酒的德国啤酒节,又或许是能以一个价钱喝到饱喝到倒那种自助餐式“啤酒节”。某种程度上来说,在一般消费者眼中很多时候跟啤酒节联系在一起的字眼大概离不开“酒鬼”,“狂欢”,“醉酒”等负面印象。
事实当然不是那样的,至少在啤酒世界另一端,特别是以分享craft beer文化为出发点的啤酒节就有宣扬品饮/品嚐/慢喝细味不同类型啤酒美味层次的作用,参与的酿酒师/啤迷之间互动都是围绕探讨啤酒不同风味展现,拼命喝饱喝倒完全不适用。
While beer fest is generally perceived as some form of party/drink till you drop boozing activities by some---of course NOT ALL beer fest are the same--of course NOT. At least, in the world of craft beer---there are many beer festivals that focus on exploring deliciousness of a beer--sharing of craft culture as well as knowledge---yes, beer fest can be such rather than an excuse to drop face down.

While it's evidently clear that some of the best craft beer festivals are being held in US-Europe---there are fortunately some craft people who are working on getting the standards of Asia craft beer festivals up to mark---we have already seen efforts being made in cities like Tokyo/Shanghai/Beijing/Hong Kong just to name a few...
虽说craft beer界每年最重点最精彩的啤酒节都在欧美地区举办,不过亚洲还是有一些不错的选择,基本来说,亚洲的精酿啤酒节会以三种面貌出现:-
In Asia--generally speaking beer fest can be divided into 3 categories:-
1) MIX of MACRO BEER & craft beer
Obviously the best selling beers which has long been dominating the market are the few household Macro Beer brands from international MACRO giants---these are what the general public know as BEER( and sadly how a beer should taste)--with such high public acceptance and brand recognition----it is no wonder sometime we see a MIX beer fest where MACRO BEER are being served in the same event/venue as craft beer---the thinking behind is simple---since these are beers where majority public already recognized---it's much easier to promote the event with very low risks---there's always a choice of trying something strange(craft beer) or just go back to drinking something very familiar(MACRO).
This type of MIX beer fest do not appeal to beer geeks though some would argue that it's a good opportunity to let some who would to get started with craft drinking--but hey--if selling loads of beers is the aim--then who cares if the beers are tasty or otherwise?
1)大厂啤酒和craft beer一起卖
亚洲啤酒市场占有率当然是由几家国际大公司旗下的几个大厂啤酒品牌以绝对优势领先,这意味着无论是市场营销和围堵销售点所需财力人力都在大厂啤酒那边,craft beer的力量是有限的,因为这样,就有了混合型啤酒节的出现,对主办方来说,既然消费者最熟悉大厂啤酒,那大厂啤酒和craft beer一起提供的“啤酒节”自然是最保险的做法。

这类型啤酒节对啤迷来说缺乏吸引力,不过有人觉得啤酒就是要同欢共乐,不必分什么大厂或精酿,反正只是啤酒,喜欢喝哪一种各适其所就好,也有人觉得这是可以让一些只喝大厂啤酒饮客认识什么是craft beer的机会,因为很多啤迷都是从一开始什么都不知道只会猛灌大厂啤酒到有机会接触craft beer并对品饮啤酒概念有了认识後才知道啤酒其实不是只用来干杯YamSeng的。

2) craft beer fest by importers/local breweries
In ASIA---when there are supplies of imported craft beers--that means there are at least a few guys who are working on getting beers from overseas regardless if that's out of love or smelling a business opportunity---a city do need importers to stir up the craft beer scene with delicious choices---and many a times we do see importers gang up to organize big or small scale craft beer festivals as a way to get more public participation/ to promote craft or some form of promotional activities to reward existing craft drinkers.
At Asia cities where local breweries are permitted(in Malaysia there is NO license permitted for any small breweries---even home brew is ILLEGAL)---sometimes we see beer fest with mix of imported beers and local brew---or even special colla-brew between imported brewery and local brewery for the fest which can be a nice touch/talking point especially if the brew quality is up there.
2)进口/在地酿坊个别或一起推动
craft beer喝的亚洲城市意味着至少有几个进口商在努力把自身所在地没有的一些优秀欧美纽澳等海外品牌带入市场,平时除了在酒吧瓶子店可以买到喝到,一些进口商也会联手办或大或小的啤酒节活动,一来希望可以让更多人参与,二来也可以当做或促销或回馈的市场营销活动。

有在地酿坊的城市比如东京香港台湾北京上海新加坡等等,有时候不同酿坊之间会合作办个活动,一次过让大家可以在一个场地喝到不同品牌酿品,当然有时候也会参与进口商啤酒节,形成进口和在地啤酒一起喝的活动,偶尔也会有外国酿坊和在地酿坊为了啤酒节合酿的限量特别款出现刺激话题和买气。

3) the Heavy-Weight level beer fest
It is indeed very hard to convince everyone which beer fest can be deemed as heavy-weight while others don't---it's kinda all in the eyes of the beer-glass-holders.
Personally speaking---the key to deciding if a beer fest is of certain weight is to look at one and only one thing--the list of participating breweries---whether there are breweries appearing for the first time in ASIA---as well as how "rare"/"hyped" the breweries are according to geeks opinions/ social media/ beer ratings sites/apps----of course these are very subjective and totally not conclusive/decisive enough to call but i'll leave it as that.
In ASIA---in all honestly there are really very little heavy-weight beer fest---of course there are efforts being made in cities like Tokyo- Beijing- Shanghai- Seoul as well as Hong Kong--personally if i were to pick one--then undoubtedly it will have to be MBCT (the mini version of MBCC) which will be held indoor this coming September at Shibuya Tokyo---though it's not comparable in terms of depth/width of the Copenhagen original version---the level of some participating breweries be it making a debut in Asia or coming back for a second year running is by far the best line ups Asia has seen (yet).
On another note---for LAMBIC lovers who love Cantillon--it is lovely that Asia has been allocated some beers during the annual Zwanze Day celebration though it has always been confined to 3 bars in Japan--with a surprise inclusion of Shanghai since last year--though Zwanze Day is not a "beer fest"scale wise---its nice to know that if you are in Tokyo- Nagoya-Nara or Shanghai this Sept--you will be able to sip on 2019 Zwanze Day brew along with whatever else available on that day.
3)重量级啤酒节
怎么去判断一个啤酒节的份量轻重是见仁见智的事,不同喝酒人会有不同诠释,个人意见,最主要就是看参与酿坊名单,换个说法,就是一些人口中的稀有度(或嘲讽式的虚荣度),意思是说,出现在啤酒节活动中的酿坊品牌在啤迷/评酒网站或手机程式中的口碑/风评,是不是第一次在亚洲出现,又或是在亚洲有进口但特别带来从没出现过酒款等因素决定。
在亚洲,这样份量的啤酒节不多,近年的确有人在北京上海香港尝试举办,个人来说,去年第一次在新宿公园主办然后今年九月中改在涉谷一个室内场地举行的哥本哈根啤酒庆典(MBCC)缩小版东京啤酒庆典(MBCT,以参与酿坊名单“稀有度”来说,虽然跟丹麦原版啤酒周活动的厚度宽度深度没得比,但毫无疑问仍是亚洲最有份量的啤酒节。
此外,对喜欢比利时天然发酵果酸啤酒的人来说,绝对大师级酿坊Cantillon每年发表特醸的Zwanze Day活动也是备受全球酸啤迷关注的重量级活动,可喜的是亚洲有分到一杯羹,从此前每年只能在日本入口商选定的三家日本酒吧进行,去年相对意外的上海有一家酒吧获得比利时酿坊首肯参与,所以从去年开始亚洲版Zwanze Day变成4家酒吧参与其盛,今年九月尾活动已公布酒吧分别位于日本东京,名古屋,奈良,以及中国上海。

Saturday, August 3, 2019

WEEK 147---Seeking own beers--the backlogged page 2 of 2


所住城市找不到自己想喝啤酒/蜜酒这件事对啤迷来说是个避无可避的问题,这其中分别可能是有人比较积极想办法找酒,有人就比较随性的找到碰到好的就喝没有就完全不喝。
自己找酒这件事无论是金钱效益还是时间精力角度来说,看在不是啤迷眼里是件让人摸不着头脑的事,不就是啤酒吗?这件事还只是啤迷间能理解的比较透彻,说到底,啤迷追求的不是酒精饮料,而是化身为啤酒(或蜜酒)的美妙味道。

以下是外求得来啤酒/蜜酒中另一些遗珠:-
The final part of backlogged pages ---here's some memorable ones from the "seeking own beers" series:-
1)Grassroots Brother Soigne
The "alter-ego" of that world famous remote brewery in Vermont when it comes to collab-brew---this time a collaboration brew with the former brewer of Canada's famed Dieu Du Ciel---a saison with lemon-roselle & blood orange in the mix---tasty, well balance.
位于美国Vermont偏远农场酿坊Hillfarmstead的盛名在啤迷圈中无人不晓,Grassroots是他们的合酿作品分身品牌,这次合作对象是加拿大出名酿坊Dieu Du Ciel酿酒师,酿的是拿手的农场风格啤酒Saison,以柠檬洛神花血橙入酒,微酸甘爽中带酵香,整体非常均衡美味易喝。

2) Mikkeller X series(green wax)
At times Mikkeller is being labelled as a "gimmicky" craft brand with it's seemingly endless introduction of various styles new beers---this X series is a line of imperial stouts aged in different barrels---this particular one was aged in Bourbon barrel---it was like drinking a lovely liquid "lava chocolate cake".
丹麦名牌“酿坊”的作品风格类型繁多,也经常玩推陈出新市场营销游戏,这支桶陈黑啤是一系列不同桶陈黑啤中使用美国波本桶浸泡提味版本,酒体醇香厚实,喜欢较浓郁黑啤风味的会感觉对味,记得当时的口感记录写的是,如同喝着液体火山岩巧克力蛋糕般享受。

3) Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Before the craze for fruit-juice like NEIPA---there was mostly either west coast or east coast styles IPAs---with one full on with hops bitterness attack while the other more about mellow/balance---personally not a fan of in your face type of hops attack--this one though is considered "old-school" in the face of new twist in the world of IPAs---still very much a good examples of how a nice ipa can be tasty---as long you can get it fresh(i.e. preferably NOT more than 3 months from bottling date).
在类果汁NEIPA大行其道之前,IPA基本的选择不是美国西岸就是东岸风格,最简白分别是在啤酒花苦味特质呈现方面,一个比较猛烈一个比较温和。个人来说,对过于强调啤酒花苦味攻击的印度淡啤比较无感,比较倾向均衡啤酒花麦芽功能带出果味甘香的酿品,这款虽然现在来说已经是“旧式经典款”IPA,还是适合新朋友的一款

4) New Glarus Raspberry Tart
Undoubtedly one of the best when it comes to fruit beers---having tasted some of their brew using different fruits---this one as the name suggested----it's essentially about raspberry as well as tartness---fruity sweet-sourness is the theme---one which is suitable even for new drinkers who are having doubts about drinking anything sour.
这家美国酿坊是使用水果酿酒的高手酿坊之一,好几款被啤迷称道的作品都离不开各类不同水果入酒,这支酒名称中有覆盆子,也有一个Tart字,显示啤酒风味中水果带来的酸中带微甜气息,两者相辅相成,是适合新朋友开拓味蕾的一款。

5) Homage Chat Flou
A pleasant surprise from the fairly new California brewery--from the nose to mouth feel it's almost like smelling and sipping over-ripe peaches---or in another word rotten/fermented peaches---sounds nasty? not at all---it was in a very nice way--full of goodness from the union of peaches with malt/yeast/hops & water.
加州酿坊用桃子酿造的美式酸啤酒,无论是酒的气味还是说入口味蕾感受都像是嗅到喝到发酵过熟桃果,听起来好像有点奇怪,但一点都不会让人不舒适,除非你不喜欢桃子味道,这是一支某种程度上不是那么均衡但气息味道表现都很出色的果酸啤酒

6) B.Nektar The Mutant Zombie Killer 
This is a brew which came about through some mistakes during the blending process---though it was an accidental wrong blend--it turn out to be so delicious B.Nektar decided to launch it as a sort of "side-effect brew"---by the way, what could go wrong when apples cherries honey are soaked in a whisky barrel?
根据酿酒师说法,这支酒是在阴差阳错的情况下酿成,意外的发生是酿坊有人把两款不同的蜜酒错误的混合在一起,后来酿坊主人决定保留这些出错的混合酒,看看可以怎么样,后来证明虽然是在出错状况中完成,但完成的混合酒美味非常,完全没有高酒精影响有时候会带来的不悦酒精味,反之是危险的好喝,是苹果樱桃蜜糖和威士忌木桶的美妙“错误”结合。

7) Superstition Peanut Butter Jelly Crime
Drinking peanut butter in a mead? that's quite the idea that sparks this brew---instead of savoury taste associated with peanut butter jam---with mix of honey & blueberry juices this one bring about nutty aroma as well as sweetness and tartness once the initial peanut nose/aroma mellow down ---a nice one as dessert or stand alone drink whenever the mood strike for a small pour of mead.
花生酱是不少人早餐必备,可以在蜜糖酿造酒中喝到液体花生酱美味倒是件有点新奇的事,混合了蜜糖花生酱蓝莓果汁酸香的同时可以品嚐到这些不同食材带来的不同风味层次。与其说是混合,更像是融合,虽然蜜酒名称以花生酱为主导,一开始嗅到的香气和喝起来确实类似花生酱,但味道气息过了最初阶段就会有变化,可以品嚐到蓝莓和蜜糖融合带出的酸香甜美,是款可以当饭后甜点或其他时候单独品嚐的佳酿。

8) Cloud Water  DIPA V13
No doubt the stand out UK brewery thanks to wave of  new craze for NEIPA---V series is a sort of "fun brew" for their anniversary do which gotten so popular the brewery decided to play along and extended the series---this V13 is the last of the series---as a DIPA which could meaning more robust in terms o hops attack or alcohol mouth feel---this one has got no such problems--nicely done, very enjoyable DIPA
以印度淡啤为啤迷称道的英国酿坊并不多,这家来自曼彻斯特酿坊是其中佼佼者,v系列是这家的早期指标作品,原本是庆祝搬迁酿坊一周年而玩票式酿造,大受欢迎情况下连续酿了好几个版本,这款是v系列最终章,作为酒精度还有理论上啤酒花用的比较凶的双倍版本,整体呈现还是倾向酿坊一贯的比较果味香浓风格,非常符合酿坊近年来以NEIPA类果汁印度淡啤最为啤迷称道的风格形象。

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

WEEK 151---Best Beer-Rare Beer-Beer that got away & Beer Hoarding

Craft community is in a way mini version of the society we live in, there are all sorts of characters/ behaviours all in the name of beer drinking---to some beer drinking is all about drinking so there's no need to be picky so long there is a beer in hand---while to some beer drinking is quite a serious matter relating to finding different flavours /deliciousness although at times rightly or wrongly, somehow the term "beer geeks" would be associated with a bunch of people who are focusing on trying to only drink the best beer/ rare or hyped beer---whichever side of the drinking preference you are at---below are some scenario about craft drinking:-
Craft Beer最大吸引力在于不同类型风味啤酒选择非常多,以新朋友比较先接触到的印度淡啤(IPA)为例来说就有非常非常多不同酿坊在酿造,无论是使用同样单一啤酒花或不同啤酒花组合的IPA选择可说多如牛毛,如何在众多相同款式啤酒中择优而喝是习题,放大到包含更多不同类型风味啤酒选择的craft beer世界,怎么选怎么喝更是新朋友和啤迷之间的恒常话题之一。

有那么多不管是同类型还是非常不同类型选择,也就免不了意味着会有比较,也衍生出以下话题:-
1) the BEST beer
Personally---there is NO such thing as best beer in the world.
though
to some there is such a thing as THE BEST beer in the world.
to some there are too many good ones to pick one definitively.
It is true that we have seen beer ratings website picking list of BEST in the world or Best in styles and so on---while some would argue that the list/chart is a reflection of the opinions of the majority and accept it as it is---to some it is still the opinions of a section of the drinkers---no one can say it definitively that A beer is the BEST in the world when compared to beer B or C of the same style let alone if we take into consideration the varieties of styles/taste profile available in the world of craft beer.
The other factor why a beer can't be definitively confirmed as THE BEST is due to the fact that personal taste ability/senses is different for us human being---there is not a set standard for drinker to say for examples scale out the sourness of a beer with machine precision---while A might think the same beer is of level 4 sourness B might think it's only 2.5 if for examples we can categorize sourness from level 1-5.
1)世上最好喝的啤酒
答案很直接,其实并没有。
哪一款酒是最好的? 我觉得这款是世上最好喝的酒!
这是经常会在craft beer圈中看到听到的对话,哪一家酿坊的哪一款酒是当今世上最好喝一直是个常会有人或问或提起或坚持己见的事,觉得某一款酒是最佳的人有时候是以评酒网站排行榜作为依据,也有人是参考大众意见加上自己认知觉得,实际上无论是评酒网站或啤酒达人/网红的意见说到底都还只是个人意见,没有绝对权威性去判定哪一家酿坊的某款酒就一定是世上最佳。
一定程度上来说,各个不同啤酒类型是有一定的风格准则依据,但啤酒其实就像美食,就算有基本的风格准则,但美味层次是很难用硬性规定方式去准确判断的,就算比如说以酸度15为标准来算,同一款酒可能A喝到是酸度4B喝到可能只有酸度2.5。至于评酒网站选出来的全球排行榜,某种角度来看是不错的动作但并不能让啤迷完全信服,当作参考是可以的,但不会是绝对权威指南。

2) Rare or Hyped Beer
This is obviously a term commonly associated with craft beer---there are those who are very FOMO about missing out on certain beers---while there are also some who don't give a fxxk about chasing after these highly in demand beers...
In a way---the rare/hyped factor of craft beer is similar to limited releases of some fashion items/sneakers and so on---theoretically a beer would become rare/hyped because it is in very limited supply and supposedly very high quality brew--though to certain extent it is fair to assume these are good beers---but how good it can be to warrant such hype/the sometimes over-the-top chasing by some people(which includes paying crazy reselling prices) is something questionable at times.
The fact is---rareness-hyped of a beer does not automatically meaning the beer will be so heavenly it's worth every effort chasing one or worse by paying silly prices just to satisfy one's curiousity.
2)稀有难寻度不代表好喝度
稀有难寻啤酒(hyped / rare beer)一直是craft beer社区的话题,有人对追寻稀有酒趋之若鹜,有人觉得只是羊群心理不屑一顾,也有人质疑是不是真的稀有难寻就一定好喝到不得了?因为一些酒非常限量酿造限量发售,或需要会员制才能买入,甚至需要抽签筛选才有机会买到等等现象意味着有钱不一定能以首发价格买到心目中好酒,因为那样某种程度上提高了期望值,觉得稀有等同好喝保证。事情是不是那样,以实际例子来说,不少稀有酿品的确是好酒,但很明显的稀有程度并不等同于美味程度,特别是如果你是通过转卖市场以高过原价乘以倍数高价买到的话,付出高价满足味蕾好奇心(土豪炫耀心理的话就不值得一提)是不被鼓励但可以理解的事,问题是有时候付出那么多是不是那么美味是不是值得每一分钱,只能说如人饮水冷暖自知。

3) there will always be beer which Got Away
This is a fact even the most FOMO drinkers would have to face.
The fun part about drinking craft beer is the varieties of styles/ taste profile/ choices we get as drinkers/geeks---the fact that the whole craft community is made up of tens of thousands of different breweries which are all over the world would always mean that unless you live nearby a certain brewery or has got supply of that particular brewery's beers---there is a high chance that you won't be able to get a taste of their beers even though we live in a world with webshop/ international deliveries services due limited supply and so on....
No matter if you are experienced geeks or newly into craft drinking--the one thing we all need to learn is that there will always be beers that we  won't get to taste--no matter how much we wish to ......
3)总会有喝不到的酒
这是不少啤迷都经历过都知道也不得不接受的事。
一般人观念中啤酒是随时随地想喝就喝得到的酒精冷饮,但放在craft beer世界绝对不适用,在这个不同风味类型啤酒选择多如繁星的啤酒世界里,很多时候都可能会发生喝不到自己很想喝的酒那样让人感觉不爽的事,但这就是这个另类啤酒世界的游戏规则,因为不同酿坊分布世界各地,因为比如说很多欧美啤酒不要说出口到亚洲,很多时候就连同一个国家的不同州/不同区都没有正式发行所以很难买或根本买不到,这种情况下,啤迷有时候或者说很多时候知道有某某酿坊出了某某款好酒但就是没办法买到,只能隔着电脑或手机屏幕看图或读着有喝过啤迷的形容词凭空想象。。。

4) Beer Collecting/Hoarding
Almost every decent beer geeks would have some sort of personal collection of beers(as well some mead too)---it is quite common to notice geeks living in US/ EUROPE who have access to many breweries releases at original prices would easily have collection of few hundreds bottles---having said that it is also not uncommon to know that some geeks living in Asia are collecting in big numbers too.
As to why geeks collects beers---some because certain beers do need time to make it even tastier---while some bottles are so precious that people don't want to easily pop it----whichever the reasons might be--the one thing which would always be welcome by fellow geeks would be sharing out some bottles sometimes/ at at appropriate time instead of just keeping them as part of statistic.
4)收起来的酒最珍贵?
啤迷之间有时会听到有人半认真半开玩笑的说不用去什么酒吧,去谁谁谁的家喝就好,他的精彩藏酒那么多。

是的,很多啤迷都有私人藏酒,一般来说,因为比较接近众多酿坊,欧美啤迷藏酒数量有几百到上千瓶不是什么稀罕事,当然在亚洲也有不少啤迷拥有数量可观藏酒。

啤迷会收酒这件事算是自然动作,有些酒的确需要收几年後喝才更显现美味层次,而有些酒则因为稀有难寻啤迷舍不得轻易开来喝,就那样,有些啤迷的藏酒会越收越多。
不过,不同人有不同看法,其中一个观点是,收起来不喝不分享的酒只是统计数字,要是同一款酒收好多支的话,无形中意味着减低了其他人一嚐美味的机会,独乐乐虽没什么不对,适当时候众乐乐会是更受啤迷欢迎的分享方式。

Thursday, July 11, 2019

WEEK 150----The Basic-Easy-Entry Q&A to Craft Beer for Non-Geeks

因为跟几位非啤迷朋友聊天--想到写一下非正式懒人包--希望对新朋友或不喝/还未喝CRAFT的有点帮助。
After conversations with some non-craft drinking friends---decided perhaps an easy entry level Q & A in layman terms would hopefully be helpful for new people who are about to or newly getting into the big wide world of craft beer, here we go:-
1) What is beer?
beer is essentially an alcoholic drink made from malts + yeast + hops + water(but NOT limited to only these 4) via fermentation process which includes but limited to steps such as boiling--cooling--cellaring/barrel aging(and so on).
1)啤酒是什么?
啤酒是使用麦芽,酵母,啤酒花和水经过熬煮,冷却,陈放等等酿造步骤酿成的酒精饮料。

2) So all beers are the same then?
NOPE---far from it---even if only using the 4 main ingredients mentioned above and nothing else added---beer A can be VERY different from beer B or beer C---for examples the ABV(alcohol by volume) of each beer can be very different---and of course the deliciousness of beer A beer B can be so vastly different as to heaven and earth.
In fact---in the world of beer there is such a divide as to MACRO BEER and craft beer. Also there are many different beer styles which is why craft beer can be so much more exciting.
2)所以啤酒都是一样的?
啤酒主要使用上述4个主要原料酿成,但并不意味着所有啤酒都一样,比如酒精度就可以很不一样,比如美味程度可以差天差地,啤酒世界也有大厂啤酒和craft beer之分,更有不同类别风格(beer styles)之分。

3) what is MACRO BEER?
in simple words---MACRO BEER are essentially some very famous household brands of alcoholic drinks mass produced and controlled by a few International Giants---Basically there's NO nuances or delicate taste profile to speak of---it's basically available everywhere at places like super market, convenience store, coffee shop, gas stations and so on ---you don't have to worry about not being able to get hold of a dozen anytime.
3)什么是大厂啤酒?
最简单说法,由几个国际大公司控制,每年非常巨大量生产的好些“家喻户晓”品牌单调口味啤酒,没什么美味层次可言,基本从不怕断货,无论超市便利店咖啡店餐厅夜店,可以说随处可买到,要多少有多少。

4) what is craft beer
in contrast---the craft scene is made up of tens of thousands of small scale/nano breweries located in different parts of the world---the primary focus is about deliciousness of a beer---due to the small scale production nature, as well as difficulties created by geographical /logistic issues---it's very common for you to NOT being able to buy a certain beer anytime you love to.
In Asia generally speaking---one usually would need to visit a craft beer bar or bottle shop to get what's available since craft beer is still not commonly available in most general shopping places.
4)什么是craft beer?
浅白说,由成千上万家不同小型微型酿坊小量生产,注重不同味道层次表现的啤酒。因为量少,因为地理位置差异和供应链规模所限,很多时候有钱未必买得到酒,亚洲来说,很多时候要去专卖吧或瓶子店才喝得到。

5) what is different beer styles?
It's kinda like when listening to music there are different genre of music such as hip hop/ rap/ reggae/ jazz/ rock/ ballad and so on---in the world of craft beer there are also many different styles of beers displaying different taste profile/nuances a beer can bring---for examples Pilsner,  Pale Ale, IPA, Saison, Porter, Stouts, Table Beer, Weisse Beer, Gose, Berliner Weisse and so on......
5)什么是不同类型风味之分?
举例说,就像流行音乐可以有嘻哈饶舌雷鬼爵士摇滚慢摇情歌之类不同曲风,啤酒也会以不同风味面貌出现,比如说plisnerpale aleipasaisonporterstoutstable beerweisse beergoseberliner weisse等等等。

6) Why so many different styles?
Just like when eating food there are different flavours of sweet/ sour/ spicy / salty and so on---craft beer is essentially about tasting different falvours in a beer---in fact a well made beer is indeed delicious food in a beer form.
6)为什么要分那么多不同类型风味?
就像吃东西会有酸甜苦辣鲜香等等不同味道选择,啤酒其实绝对可以像美食那样有不同味道风貌表现,说白了,酿得好的啤酒就是不同味道液体美食。

7) Can i buy craft beer anywhere like convenience store?
In Asia---the answer is no---MACRO BEER is still the dominating forces at these places ---also due to the unique nature of craft beer being small volume production and in fact best to have a fairly knowledgeable person stationed in store to help out newbies--craft beer is understandably not commonly available in places like super market or convenience store.
7)所有啤酒超市便利店买得到吗?
亚洲来说,能在超市便利店买到的啤酒绝对大多数都只能是单调无趣大厂啤酒,craft beer由于产量少及不同类型风格繁多特性,以及店里最好有具备一定啤酒知识专人介绍酒关系,没能大量出现在超市便利店是可以理解现象。

8) Can i drink straight from a bottle?
If you notice how different Belgium beers would suggest using different glassware for different beer---it shows that how important a glass can be to beer drinking---there might be some who think that all these are part of the marketing gimmicks or simply being fussy--the fact is that glasses do help in "expanding/ preserving/ awaking" beer flavours in one way or another----Most importantly---the need for a glass is essentially about appreciation of beer flavours---pour it down to a beer glass would help you to first enjoy the nose of a beer( smell the aroma) before sipping to slowly enjoy a beer while it warms up---NEVER gulp down like you would do to a tasteless MACRO.
8)开瓶後直接拿着喝不行吗?
如果有注意到比利时啤酒很多不同酿坊/牌子的啤酒都有搭配自家杯子就知道比利时喝啤酒多么讲究用杯子这回事,或许有人会觉得这只是一种市场营销手法又或是装模作样而已,其实喝啤酒用杯子确实可以一定程度上起到辅助啤酒更好发挥风味层次表现作用。还有就是,喝啤酒应该用被子先嗅味道再小口喝细味品嚐,不是咕噜咕噜一口气灌进肚。

9) A glass meaning an Ice-Cold one?
Nope---generally speaking you don't need an iced-cold glass when drinking craft beer---a room temperature glass is good enough to help the beer slowly warms up from chilled condition to better demonstrate it's full potential of nuances/layers still hidden when cold.
Do take note that unless you are reminded by the brewery to " drink from can" like The Alchemist did with some of their famous ipas--a glass is still the best companion of a beer before drinking.
9)喝啤酒一定要用冷却杯?
不是的,要看喝的是什么类型风味,基本来说喝craft beer并不需要用冷杯子,室温杯子可以更好的让已经冷藏的酒体逐渐回温展现应有的味道层次。
此外。也有少数特定啤酒并不需要杯子,酿酒师鼓励拿着罐子直接喝,因为那样可以展现跟倒入杯子很不同的风味。

10) what is "beer needs to warm up" all about?
It is "common knowledge" that beer needed to be drank cold---but that's the wrong impression cultivated through years of MACRO BEER marketing ploy---the truth is ---beer is a little bit like wine--if people talk about wine needing some time to "wake up"/ "breath" then it is the same for beers  though most beers DON'T need a decanter---give a beer roughly 10-30 minutes time in a glass after pouring-while slowly sipping/drinking---you will get to taste/feel the differences brought upon by  temperatures changes---some in a very delicate way--some in quite obvious way....
10)啤酒需要回温是什么概念?
不同类型风味啤酒有不同味道风貌表现,虽然啤酒需要冷藏,也一贯被认为一定要冷的时候才好喝,实际上啤酒需要一些时间回温以让啤酒中蕴含的所有味道层次可以“苏醒”後让喝酒人可以更好的品嚐享受到酿酒师像带来的风味。虽说不同类型啤酒需要的回温时间一些差异,除非酒标贴纸上有说明一定要让酒回温多久,一般来说,回温时间没有硬性规定,开喝後一边慢慢小口喝一边感受酒体回温是不少啤迷会做的事,一般来说入杯後十分钟到半小时之间可以感受不同温度带来变化。