Sincere apologies to all the bloggers who participated for taking an extra day to compile the round-up. A weekend full of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, craft beer and travel made any sort of Internet work almost impossible.
Alas, let us move on.
For two years now, beer bloggers have been partaking in a community exercise called “The Session”. On the first Friday of each month, a different beer blogger brainstorms an original theme or topic and then anyone interested in participating is instructed to write a post on their own website and link it to the host website. The following week, the “host” blogger then conjures up a list and a brief synopsis of each post.
I had the honor and pleasure of hosting Session #44. In honor of my favorite holiday which falls at the end of this month, I chose the theme “Frankenstein Beers”. Although I gave a lose description of the topic, bloggers were free to interpret the theme as they wished. The results were extremely entertaining. So without further ado… allow me to present the Session #44 Blogger Roundup:
BROOKSTON BULLETIN — Session #44: Frankenstein’s Beers
Novato, CA: Jay Brooks gives us a more in-depth background behind the story of “Frankenstein” and creates a unique parallel between Dr. Frankenstein and modern day craft brewers. “The American craft beer scene, and more recently the world beer scene, has become a landscape filled with Frankenstein-like beers, unique and unusual and beloved.”
APPELLATION BEER — The Session #44: Frankenstein and lust
Stan Hieronymus shares a brief glimpse into the background of “extreme” beers using citations from famous beer connoisseurs such as Randy Mosher and Ron Pattinson, who are both in agreement that Danziger Joppenbier is one of the weirdest and most freakish beers to have ever been created. “Does a beer brewed with wheat malt, oat malt and beans sound like a Frankenstein beer? How about if once fermentation begins the brewers add the inner rind of a fir tree; fir and birch tree tips; Cnicus benedictus, a bitter herb used to stimulate appetite; flowers of Rosa Solis, an insect-eating bogplant, said to stir up lust; elder flowers; betony; wild thyme; cardamom; and pennyroyal (which turns out to be dangerously poisonous).”
THE BEER NUT — “Mont Blanc, in awful majesty”
Dublin, Ireland: The Beer Nut brings us a story of a beer brewed with “La Verte” from Brouwerie Mont Blanc — the very same substance that the greenfairy uses to make absinthe. The beer itself is a shocking color of bright green. “Were Victor Frankenstein a brewer, this is definitely what he’d be turning out.”
SEACOAST BEVERAGE LAB — “Session #44 — Frankenstein Beers”
Portsmouth, NH: Brian addressed the question: What if there were a beer that could change men/women into beasts? His answer? Kate The Great, a Russian Imperial Stout with an intense cult following. “I risk my life whispering this name in public, let alone type it. I’m talking about Kate the Great from the Portsmouth Brewery.”
LUG WRENCH BREWING COMPANY — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beer Costumes
New England & Virginia: Tom and Jeff Wallace took a unique approach to the theme by researching beer-themed Halloween costumes on the web and posting pictures with funny captions on his blog. The Wench’s favorite had to have been the Flying Dog Six-Pack. “It is truly creative to go out as a variety six-pack of your favorite craft beer with your closest friends. I would imagine the six-pack holder for these people was an exercise in invasion of personal space.”
FROM MY MELLIN — Session 44 – the Frankenstein Beers
New York, NY: Seth Mellin discusses how much the craft beer industry has evolved in just the past few years and sites examples of crazy experimental beers that prove brewing really has no limits or bounds. “This to me is just a sign that brewers today are very much like Dr. Frankenstein pushing the envelope of brewing to new boundaries and new heights.”
THE BEER BABE — The Session #44 “Undead” t’Smisje Catherine the Great
Portland, ME: Carla Companion brings us a chilling tale of a run-in with an aged bottle of Catherine The Great. “Why is that weird? Because it was once a strong stout, but has been aging so long (since 2004… when I graduated from college) that the malts have been devoured, leaving a funky, hollow and soul-less (yet delicious) monster behind.”
THE BREW SITE — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beers (Unusual Beer Week)
Bend, OR: Although he qualifies most beers that fall outside of style guidelines as “Frankenstein” beers, Jon defines the original Frankenstein style as being the sour wild ale. “These are the true “monstrous” beers—brews that are purposefully infected, inoculated with wild, unpredictable yeasts and bacteria, left to sour and bubble away for years at a stretch, often quite ugly along the way.”
A GOOD BEER BLOG — Session 44: Frankenstein Beers? What Isn’t?
Ontario, Canada: Alan McLeod tells us about his encounters with Frankenstein beers and his predictions for the future of the industry. “Most freakish beer I have ever had? Without a doubt Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru by Cantillon. I was so offended by this beer that some cheese eating schoolboy lost it. That was funny.”
BEER 47 — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beers
San Francisco, CA: David Jensen discusses different variations on “Frankenstein beers” — experimental and extreme beers, blended beers, colored beers, wild yeast beers etc… “I’m enjoying all of this wonderful experimentation and creativity in the craft beer world to create these so called Frankenstein beers.”
BURGERS AND BREWS — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beers
Mike Lynch develops an interesting analogy between Frankenstein and hybrid-beers. “Like Frankenstein, a lot of brewers have begun meddling with “hybrid” beer styles, combining (sometimes radically) different types into one. Like the two notions of Frankenstein, the evil monster and the misunderstood creation, two of these hybrid beers stick out for me. One is the Belgian IPA, and the other is the Black IPA.”
LOV BEER — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beers
Seattle, WA: Mike Steinburg addresses the pros and cons of extreme beers and makes a strong argument in favor of supporting non-Frankenstein beers. “Some may actually argue that to brew a great Pilsner is harder than brewing some of the Frankenstein beers. I may have to agree with that because it’s always harder to make something stand out that is made simply.”
RAMBLINGS OF A BEER RUNNER — The Session #44: The Drive of a Scientist Brewer at Mayfield
Belmont, CA: For this post, Derrick Peterman highlighted a hometown brewery called Mayfield Brewing. They are known for their Iconoclast series of win barrel-aged beers. “I have to say, Alderete seems much more turned on by the challenge of creating a beer of unusual flavor combinations for people to slowly discover for themselves, than putting out something easily and instantly appealing to everyone that’s easy to sell.”
THE DENVER BEER REVIEW — The Session #44: Frankenstein Beers
Denver, CO: David D. describes his experience tasting a “Frankenstein” collaboration between Left Hand Brewing and Terrapin Beer called Teutonic India Pale Lager. “Whether it’s the Teutonic India Pale Lager, a black IPA from Stone or Deschutes, or a wheat wine from Portsmouth Brewing, the craft brewing scene is full of Dr. Frankensteins, all seeking to create something unique and innovative for their fans.”
THE BEER SEARCH PARTY — Session # 44
The World: Sean Inman paints us a picture of the myth and the legend of modern day Frankenstein beers. “These fright inducing, sometimes cringe worthy ingredients are tossed into the kettle for many reasons. There are breweries raising nearly extinct beer styles from the dead. There are breweries pushing the ABV boundry. There are breweries that use brettamyoces just to add another note to an already great beer.”
A FLAGON OF ALE — The Session #44
The Twin Cities, MN: An interesting argument that, at some point or another, all beer styles were Frankenstein beers. “Every new idea and beer style was frankenbier at some point. So while I might not enjoy novelty brews just for the sake of novelty, all the beer we drink was a Frankenstein beer at some point, even ones which are steeped in tradition.”
BEER IN BALTIMORE — The Session #44: Biologically Engineered Beer?
Baltimore, MD: Alexander brings us a “geekified” report about the protein content in beer and its impact on flavor. “The most interesting part of this for the layman or ordinary beer drinker? There were twice as many proteins from yeast as there were from barley malt, far more than previous experiments had discerned.” But the real question is, will the mega corporations use this knowledge to genetically-engineer beer from lower quality ingredients to taste like beers with higher quality ingredients?
A BEER IN HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE FRIDGE — The Session- Frankenstein Beers
Baltimore, MD: Jay Zeis expresses that while he has no qualms with crazy beers, sometimes a well-crafted traditional beer is “For every Frankenstein beer that comes out, every crazy new fad (goze, sours, RIS, hop-bombs)- there will always be solid basic beers that will win people to craft beer, and keep beer geeks/snobs happy. My favorite beer is the one in my hand, and I would be happy to share it with you.”
THE BEER WENCH — Session 44: The Frankestein Beers of BrewDog
San Francisco, CA: I chose to highlight BrewDog and its crazy brewers for my particular theme of The Session. “Over the past year or so, the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde brewing duo from BrewDog, James Watt and Martin Dickie, have unleashed mad chaos and massive confusion on the craft beer industry with some of the most extreme beers known to man — if we can even call them beers. Brewdog’s monstrous, freak-of-nature beers beg the question… Is this science or is this witchcraft?”
I really hope that I did not miss anyone’s posts on the roudup. If I did, please please please forgive me because it was not intentional. Just leave me a comment or shoot me an email and all will be corrected ASAP!
Thanks to all who participated! See you next month for another episode of THE SESSION!