30 October 2008

Sixpoint follow-up

On the heels of the New York Times article, the people at Metromix have created a very fine photo essay on the operations of Sixpoint Craft Ales. Worth the look for anyone (again: everyone) who loves good beer and the art of the brewer. In this instance, loving Brooklyn is helpful, but not necessary.

INSIDE: Sixpoint Craft Ales

29 October 2008

NYTimes: Brooklyn Returns to a Heady Time

This article in today's food section is well worth reading for anyone (that is: everyone) with an interest in the political economy of local breweries. Featured in this photo, as in the article, are some of the offerings of Sixpoint, a Brooklyn craft brewery responsible for some seriously tasty beer that doesn't have to rely on charity to score highly in all departments. Extra points are awarded for their brews' cool names, especially the Sixpoint Brownstone, the Sweet Action, and the Righteous Ale.

NY Times: Brooklyn Returns to a Heady Time
SEE ALSO: Sixpoint Craft Ales

20 October 2008

Beer a Better Investment than Newspapers

As readers of this fair blog probably suspected, it turns out that investing in beer over the past three years would have yielded a far more satisfying return than plunking down cash for newspaper stocks.

This intrepid blogger has done the math and determined that spending $10,000 on kegs of Bud (more on this in a minute) and re-investing your $75 returned deposit underneath your mattress would result in approximately $4,125 cash in hand. Newspapers? Not so much. The Grey Lady is the only stock currently above that $4,125 watermark and a $10,000 investment in McPaper would leave you with a paltry $1,833 as of the middle of last week.

Of course, my only issue with this post is - why Bud? Running the same numbers with a list price of $179 for 1/2 keg of Brooklyn Brown still leaves you with a tidy $2,925 under your mattress and you've spent the past three years drinking a brew that is, in fact, quite fine. Or, go for variety, as the Brooklyn Brown seems to be fairly representative in price of the better brews.

This even goes beyond quality versus quantity. Sure you could drink the equivalent of 6 Bud's per day for three years. But then what about the medical costs associated with alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver? And surely those who live near good local brewery's would better serve their local economy by buying local and rewarding the toils of their friendly local craftspeople.

This is not even to mention the amount of homebrew that $10,000 of supplies and materials could produce! So here's to beer, and not newspapers. Bottoms up to you all until the next time!

10 October 2008

Perm's Pick for October

I have not posted a true "Pick" in quite a while.

As it should be, methinks, since these Picks are not for the every-day, run-of-the-mill Good Beers, but for those that truly stand out from the crowd in their uniqueness.

I do think it's time to present another, this one from the well-respected Quebecois-Canadian brewery Dieu du Ciel. I've heard great things about Dieu du Ciel, but this particular brew was my first foray into their oeuvre. And, quite honestly, this one was a tangential, whim pick. I was stocking up for my October cellar stash at Ye Olde Bruisin' Ales, and happened to be telling Jason how much I appreciated his prior recommendation of Saison Pipaix. He then said, "Well, if you appreciated the peppery notes of the Pipaix, you should check this one out..." and fetched me a 12-ounce bottle of the present goodness. Brewed with green and black peppercorns, in fact.

Route des Épices

Rye Ale brewed with green and black peppercorns, 5% Alcohol by Volume

From the Brewery's own description...

"La Route des épices est une bière de seigle dégageant d'agréables arômes et saveurs de poivre provenant de l’incorporation de cette épice durant le brassage. En bouche, on retrouve aussi des saveurs de malt, de céréales fraîches, et des notes de fruits, de chocolat et de caramel. En arrière-goût, le poivre revient en force et laisse une agréable sensation épicée sur la langue et l'arrière du palais, permettant d'atteindre le juste équilibre entre le piquant et les autres saveurs..."

That is to say,

"Initially, the beer reveals flavours of fresh grain and malt, which give it notes of chocolate, caramel, and fruit. The pepper flavour and aroma is fully revealed in the finish, which leaves a pleasant, spicy, tingling sensation on the tongue."

Odd, I know. But you know what, it works.

Here's my review:

Appearance: Dark siena brown, similar to an American Brown or a dark Pumpkin ale. Lots of light-tan foamy head. 4.5 / 5

Aroma: Enticing! Dark, deep malt; black and white pepper leads into shades of cocoa, cardamom, salt, coriander, and rye, with an earthy-floral (is that basil?) finish. 4 / 5

Taste: Rich and complex: this is truly a caravan-journey across the Spice Road. Dark tones of rye and bourbon, with a flashy peppercorn showing and a spicy finish. Dandelion shows up, as well as (again) cardamom, with slight hints of white chocolate. 4.5 / 5

Palate: A strong pepper finish -- almost hot on the throat, and yet I want to sip again and again... 3.5 / 5

Overall: Very unusual! Very pleasant, too...Dark, mysterious, appropriately bitter. 4 / 5

Great with (I would imagine) a whole array of foods -- peppery steak for sure; smoked cheeses; anything grilled. I had it alongside a chicken-gorgonzola-walnut pasta: it was *almost* too strong for the dish, but in the end it did work well together, thanks to that gorgonzola-blue cheese. I'd try this one with mole sauce in a heartbeat. Or, for that matter, curry fries.

Final: 4.25 / 5 (A-)

My only advice: don't drink it too cold. You'll miss out.



October Homebrew News

I. It's Here and It's Good.

Just how good, I'll let Mrs. Perm post her tasting notes and say. Suffice to say, I'm damn proud of this one.

II. The Howells English Mild Ale continues to be a bit pedestrian and boring. Nothing wrong with it, and it goes great with a bowl of bison chili, just nothing to write home about. I've made much better brews than this. Perhaps it (like so many others before) just needs to sit in the bottle and age for a while yet. But I'm not holding out for greatness.

III. Gearing up for the next batch:
William Billings Colonial Pumpkin Ale

I spent the better part of the first half of today brewing this one. Look for a future post devoted to it (with photos). It's by far the most experimental brew I've worked on yet; I'm looking for it to be good -- but as all true experiments are wont to be, there's no real telling how the final product will pan out. Suffice to say at this point in the game, the color is lovely.

IV. Happy Birthday!!

St. Cecilia Brewery celebrated its One Year mark in September, and the crazy brewer forgot to mark the occasion with a note...however, I couldn't think of a finer brew to mark the occasion with than that Irish Stout. Man, it's good.