This month's Session is hosted Craig Gravina from the blog Drink Drank. His chosen topic: The One Beer to Rule Them All.
"What if you were to design the perfect brew—a Tolkien-esque One Beer to Rule Them All. The perfect beer for you, personally. Would it be hoppy and dark or strong and light? Is it augmented with exotic ingredients or traditionally crafted? Would your One Beer be a historic recreation or something never before dreamt of? The sky is the limit on this one."
Earlier this year The Crafty Pint, Australia’s best (and really only) website for all things Aussie craft beer, ran a competition called “The People’s Pint”. The aim was to submit a concept for your perfect beer, with the best entries put to a public vote and the winner would have their beer professionally brewed. All that was required was a name for the beer and some form of description in under 50 words. The winning beer was brewed by Temple Brewery & Brasseries and launched to the people during Good Beer Week in May. The winner, selected by public vote, was called Double Hoptendre. Styled as a “Double Hopped Rye Red Ale”, the beer was described simply by the tagline "A woman walked into a bar and ordered a Double Hoptendre. So the bartender gave her one…"
The competition and beer were a success, but probably more a battle of wit rather than the people's collective desire for their favourite beer.
The intention of The People’s Pint was basically the same for this month’s Session – design your perfect beer. Hence, I am returning to the beer idea I submitted for The People’s Pint (it didn’t make the finals) because I’m too indecisive about all things beer to start from scratch again.
As someone who just loves craft beer in all forms and advocates for beer diversity, with the belief that almost any beer can suit a certain time and place, I’ll never be able to truly decide on one beer to rule them all.
I have enjoyed some fantastically WOW beers that rule in name and drinkability… to mention a few: Beelzebub's Jewels and The Empress from Holgate Brewhouse, xeRRex from and the His/Her Majesty series Yeastie Boys, the Black Hole series from Mikkeller, God Jul Islay Edition by Nøgne Ø …I could go on...so much goodness flowing from these champion beers.
However, as of mid-2012, much like in early-2012 when I entered The People's Pint, there is a mishmash of beer styles that I currently love...all the way to a desert island. They are smokey beers, sessionable beers, red ales and big (imperial) beers.
My entry for The People’s Pint combined these personally favoured beer styles to create something along the lines of a smokey imperial red ale. At this time, in this place...my ultimate beer of beers would be red, bitter, smokey and boozy but light enough in body to drink several in one session.
And the name of my one beer to rule them all: Bluey's Bushy Bitter Boozy BBQ beer.
(You see, “Bluey” is Australian slang for a red headed guy. Basically, blue = red. Yes, irony. Who knows how this slang came to be. Just Aussie larrikinism, I suspect. Right now, there are not enough excellent red ales being produced by Australian craft brewers. It is a very underrepresented style around here!)
As something of a continuation of by Beer Bar Band - letter B - theme (I love some excessive alliteration), the name describes the elements and purpose of my perfect beer.
The aroma conjures thoughts and desires of a campfire in the Australian bush; it’s an imperial ale (around 7%) for good boozy times yet it is also sessionable (through a lighter, less dense body), easy enough drinking to enjoy with mates around the barbecue.
My 5B beer would incorporate crystal and smokey peat malts, the aroma hops would provide a grassy, piny aroma of the bush and the bittering would support a long yet cleansing finish.
It would be filtered to provide a clear, brilliant red appearance and to lighten the body for drinkability.
Beautiful to look at, to smell, to drink and to remember...again and again. That's what I want from my perfect beer.
Possible? I have no damn idea! I am not a brewer yet, so for now I will just fantasize about the concept…and maybe email the idea to Moon Dog Brewing, who seem to be able to make anything work…!