I ordered supplies for my next batches of beer. It’s a little later than I planned to start my Oktoberfest, but it’ll still be ready when I return from the real Oktoberfest. I tweaked the recipe slightly, hoping to improve it a little and make it a little more universally liked.
The second beer I’m going to make is a strawberry weissbier that I want to name for New York Mets outfield Kirk Nieuwenhuis. I’m totally winging it on this recipe, but I think it’ll turn out pretty good.
A friend linked me to this article on askmen.com. It reads like The Onion, and the tone is full of pretension that the author is trying to attribute to craft beer, but it’s presumably a serious post. The author misses the days when beer was simple, bland, and cold. He yearns for the days of simple working class people getting together over a couple of beers, and simply drinking them. It amuses me that he goes on and on about working class beer but goes out of his way to use ‘fancy’ words like emetics, gullet and twee.
It’s an okay sentiment, if one I don’t agree with, to enjoy, even prefer, a beverage that is quaffable, a cheap hobby, and gets you to that tipsy and relaxed state that many people enjoy whether from beer, wine, or cocktail. What’s not okay is to suggest that his preference is both the real way to enjoy beer, and that it’s secretly what I want as well. The idea that craft beer drinkers are hipsters drinking the beer solely to make a statement and stand out is not a new one, but it’s been steadily disproven with the growing market of not only craft beer, but of homebrewing. There are lots of people out there making strange tasting beers in their own basements and consuming them themselves with no regard to what’s popular or trendy. Many people have different taste buds, and enjoy the different tastes beer offers beyond a vaguely malty cold beverage. One of the great things about beer is how many different types there are.
The writer of this article, one Patrick Smith, makes himself out to be the archetypal character in a marketing commercial. He admits to being influenced by beer commercials well before being of legal age, he repeats the common marketed point of beer being better as cold as possible,and he recites commercial taglines and insinuates that he believes them that it makes him cool to drink those beers. Personally I think he’s stuck in a 1970s view of what’s manly. I think, and maybe we’re not all keen with the labels in today’s society, the typical manly man in today’s world is different than it was then, and they drink craft beer, but that’s a discussion that deserves it’s own post.
The more I think about it, what Mr. Smith is really missing is a time when he could be a “functional alcoholic” and be praised as a man for it. Luckily we’ve progressed to a point where we recognize the desire to drink heavily after work, at ballgames, as a child, or at every gathering of men as symptoms of alcoholism.
It seems session beers are becoming the newest craze in craft/home brewing. Beers low in alcohol and less intense than imperial oatmeal stouts aged in alcohol barrels provide the ability to sit and enjoy a couple of beers without them hitting you like a ton of bricks.
My last beer was the tasty, but still toasty and dark, MADhouse Coco-Nutz. So this time I’m going light, and making a Mexican Blonde. it’ll be a simple blonde ale with blue agave syrup and Mt. Hood hops. It should be ready just in time for baseball season.
MADhouse Coco-Nutz is MAD Breweries latest homebrew experiment. I loved the Toasted Coconut Brown Ale I had in Hawaii from Kona Brewing Company, and was lamenting that I couldn’t get it in New Jersey. So I spent some time formulating a recipe to try to clone it. What I got was my most delicious homebrew yet.
I didn’t quite nail Kona, but nothing is ever going to live up to the memory of drinking fantastic beer at a brewery with your new wife while honeymooning on the big island of Hawai’i, but I did get a tasty nut brown ale with a smooth coconut taste. My coconut was not as strong as I remember from Kona, mixing in with the roasted/coffee flavors of the malt instead of bolding standing out. Next time I’ll probably toast the coconut a little longer, add a little more, and leave it in the wort boil for a little bit longer. I’ll also probably cut back a little on the darker malts, as it may have become a darker brown ale than I was intending despite only being 4.5% ABV.
I enjoy MAD Wedtoberfest, but I think this is the first beer that’s truly crossed the line from homebrew curiosity to genuinely tasty beer.
I was also pleased to learn that Kona’s beers will start being distributed somewhat nearby in South Jersey. The Koko Brown is part of the Aloha seasonal series, and should hopefully be available to me soon to reminisce with.
updated with a link to the recipe I used, which still could use some tweeking: MAD Coco-Nutz