It takes a lot of beer to make really good wine
Written by Joshua Luman
n old saying amongst winemakers goes something like this, "It takes a lot of beer to make really good wine." So this month is dedicated to that other sweet nectar of the Gods...Beer. And the hottest, most exciting trend in today's beer world is the American Craft Beer movement. Once thought only to produce watered down and boring brews, America is alive and frothing over with incredible beers. And suddenly the American beer drinker has begun to develop a palate for exceptional beers made with refined detail, raising the bar and expectations for American beers. Thankfully, a handful of elite brewers have risen to the occasion and taken the beer world by storm.
The American Craft beer movement started on the west coast with the rebirth of the IPA (India Pale Ale). While many might argue that American Craft beers were born from breweries all over the country, cities like San Diego and Seattle really put it on the map. Not only has this surge of delicious American beers reminded us that beer can have taste and character, it has caused us to reevaluate the fine art and science of making beer. Much like wine, making a truly fine beer requires years of experience and research, and is a worthy trade that very few can excel at. While many American Craft Beers are modeled after popular European styles, there is no doubt American spirit and influences are found in each.
Until recently, South Carolina was left in the dark because laws prohibited the sale of high gravity beers in our state (higher alcohol level beers). Many of these beers can hover in the 8-12% alcohol by volume range. However, thanks to the good folks at the capital and a rise in demand from the public, we can now find beers from all over the US in just about any old grocery store. In fact, retail stores and bars that specialize in American Craft Beers are springing up on just about every corner. Here are a few recommendations for some really delicious suds...
Ballast Point 'Big Eye' IPA-Lots of hops, tangerine and pineapple, and a touch of caramel. Excellent pairing with the stinky cheeses.
The Bruery 'Saison de Lente' – Loaded with lemon, wheat and green apple. Matches great with shellfish.
Avery 'Salvation' Belgium Strong Ale-Chock full of pear and banana and honey. This one was made for a big juicy steak or any kind of wild game.
Founder's Harvest Pale Ale-Grapefruit and lime, with a bright, floral nose. Perfect for spicy Asian food.
Bell's Oberon Pale Wheat-This is the ultimate summertime laying on the beach or taking a cruise on the boat beer. Very crisp with notes of wheat bread and fresh oranges.
Bear Republic 'Black Bear' Russian Imperial Stout- Smooth and creamy with flavors of malted milk balls, espresso and dark chocolate. Skip the cake and try a pint of this one for dessert.
Remember, find a wine that YOU like, and drink plenty of it!