One of my Pursuit of Abbeyness XII brew-day posts received a spike of traffic from the Homebrew Talk forum. I went and eavesdropped on the discussion.
Why do we defend beer that is economically unjustifiable and the product of unsustainable late-cycle excess?
With an odd 3.7kg of Pilsner malt in my cellar and a three-month-old Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II in my fridge, it was time to brew up a small portion of the beer style I return to most often - the Strong, Dark Abbey Ale.
Making an ale that may require as long as a decade to reach its peak causes a brewer to mull over more than just the way a beer is put together. Thinking in decades makes the ageing of a beer analogous with the ageing of a man.
How catching the opening hours of Bristol Beer Week and walking across the Clifton Suspension Bridge got me thinking about French beer.
Bamberg, with eight breweries in its centre and dozens peppering the surrounding region, lives and breathes beer as if it were air. And that air carries the meaty aroma of beechwood smoke.
As the autumn equinox passes and the nights draw in, thoughts turn to Christmas ale, spice in beer, and the spice of life.
With the Oktoberfest on the horizon, I consider the birth of Mӓrzen and Hell at the festival, explore Munich beer offerings away from the Theresienwiese, and pay tribute to Georg Schneider, patron saint of Weiβbier.
With a couple of friends to lend a helping hand, brew day can be a hospitable time of aimless conversation, mutual admiration of shiny brewing equipment, and shameless indulgence in good beer, cheese and ham.
With Vintage Beer, Patrick Dawson has given us a handy, easy-to-use book on a topic that is attracting more and more attention from beer drinkers.