Thursday, September 4, 2008

Two memes

So, I've noticed two memes of sorts, lately, in the news. The most recent is an interest in things Belgian, particularly the Lambic variety. I can't complain, really--maybe it will spur others who otherwise wouldn't stray from the Bud-Miller-Coors 'herd.' The overall view has been positive, although some of it has been a little backhanded. All the same, I'll admit that the Belgian brews aren't for everyone: the most well-known are either strong and/or sour; nearly all the brews from that particular area of the world are a bit 'odd' by most standards. I personally think that they're all good, taken at teh right time and place--but then, that can be said of nearly anything.

The other big meme going around, and one that I've been seeing for a little while now, is a renewed interest in 'smaller' beers. Not 'lite' beers, but the classic 'session' beers--going no stronger, generally, than about 4.5% alcohol by volume, generally hovering around 3.5%. They're certainly just as flavorful as their 'bigger' brethren; but for as 'normal' as they are, they seem to be tougher to brew. At the very least, tougher to brew well, particularly by homebrewers--we tend to go for the big beers, the 'Imperial' versions of whatever. Even going for the Scottish 70/- I'm planning for this weekend is a bit out of the ordinary; I don't know the last time I brewed something that was under about a 5% abv. Here again, I can't really complain--such things will typically only stretch the brewers' skills.

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