Why Are You Here Anyway?

Welcome to the Wench's World--the A2 Beer Wench to be exact. I once owned a brewery. Also once learned a lesson from that! If you've stumbled upon me, cool. What follows may or may not be directly related to real estate, the publishing biz, craft beer, Ann Arbor, or sports, but it sure will be fun and many times profane as the circumstances warrant! Enjoy (or not) at your own risk!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Don't Put That in My Beer--OR In Defense of Adjuncts That Aren't Peanut Butter

Greetings all and welcome to the Wench's First U-pick (as in topics) Post.  In an effort to test yet again the power of the Facebook machine (and to see if you are paying attention 'cause hardly anybody posts comments on here anymore so I'm getting that "if blogs gets posted in a forest" sorta feeling again)  I put out a request for beer-related topics.  I got some real winners so here we go:

First allow me to address the "outdoor beer drinking" topic posted as a kindly reminder by one of the Wolverine faithful by saying that this Friday we are working on our site plan that has to  be submitted to the Ann Arbor Powers That Be along with Our Faithful Architect and Founders' Club Member Robb Kerr of Metro Group Architects.  I plan to have it all ready to send in to said Powers by Wednesday, April 20.  Then we wait....but The Slugger is already shopping for outdoor furniture and fencing and what not so we are feeling positive about your ability to take your favorite Wolverine Brew out of doors into a teensy weensy beer garden soon!  If ya got any patio furniture (specifically tables with umbrellas!) you want to donate, you know where to find me.

One of my favorite suggestions was "the upside of adjuncts" so I'm gonna go on a bit about that next.  An Adjunct is "something joined or added to another thing but not essentially a part of it."  This implies that BEER has essentials of course and we all know what they are:  
Malted Barley (for sugars to turn into alcohol)
Water  (for obvious reasons)
Yeast   (to turn the sugars into alcohol)
Hops    (for flavoring--like oregano for spaghetti or curry powder for Rogan Josh, my personal favorite)

Take away any of these four things and you do not have beer.   There are so many varieties of Barley and Hops you can do all sorts of things to create great beer with JUST THESE FOUR THINGS.  Hell, the Germans felt so strongly about it they made it a law that I make The Man say, just cause I like to hear him speak German.

Of course, when the craft beer thing started taking real hold in America, we creative and independently minded folk started to wonder:  what if?  What if you added a little fruit like cherries or apples or God Help Us lemons or grapes (and SAFFRON)?  Anyways, he gets away with it because he is the object of so many full on man-crushes and my own legit obsession.  I am never drinking this again however.  Even if he poured me a glass and held to my eager lips himself.   If you don't know who I'm talking about in this sidebar, get the hell out of my world because you just are not paying enough attention!

What if we added some other sort of grain to the mix, like rye, or unmalted barley, or wheat or rice or corn?  Now, remembering how our mums used to "stretch" the meatloaf by adding all sorts of nasty shit to the perfectly good ground beef and spices she was making for supper you should realize that "stretching" a brew is one of the reasons other grains got added.  It also changes the sugar content and the final amount of alcohol.  Makes sense really--a less expensive grain to stretch and even make the brew slightly more palatable to more people EQUALS good.  No matter your view of the Macro breweries use of rice and corn most of us regular folk beer drinkers like a thirst quenching, lighter brew when we want to have more than, say, one of those Triple Imperial Russian Stouts on a summer day.  

No lager starts out yellow.  Just sayin'.  We love our Super Popular Yellow Fizzy Beer so much here we named our brewing company after it!

A fine Michigan made example of a Wheat/Wit

Other herbs and spices get thrown in too--like in your Belgian white.  Coriander is a really cool spice that adds punch in that case.  And who hasn't had a pumpkin beer in the fall?  

Many Xmas Ales get tarted up with nutmegs, ginger or allspice.  Personally I will say keep ginger AWAY from the Wench's beer.  

And about those sugars--remember up a few paragraphs ago we said that SUGARS result in ALCOHOL?  Well, you know honey got added back in the olden days to punch up the alcohol level for the folks dipping it out of common barrels and drinking in taverns in England...in the rain...you know, where they had plague and constant wars with France and other fun stuff?  Yeah, you want a Bigger Beer if you are living then.  The august Belgians like a little candied sugar in their brews, and even unfermentable sugars (the ones that just sit around and look pretty and do not turn in to life-giving alcohol) like lactose get added too.  Dragon's Milk anyone?

And back to the Belgians--sour beer is the direct result of letting other microorganisms into the fermentation tank.  Just the fact that you say "infecting the wort" is a little strange but I am told that "Sour Beers" are the "New IPAs" because we are doing IPAs to death right now....

And finally, if you need a little coffee with your beer, rest assured that many delicious brews are crafted with coffee or tea (or even Chai) which combine well with dark, roasty stouts and porters.  Chocolate is another common adjunct and I will say that Travis at Detroit Brewing makes a kick ASS one of those with his Detroit Sanders Chocolate Stout.  Get one.  Really.  If you can still find them.  

And of course, there is this

...or whatever Joe Short gets in his bonnet to throw in.  Seems to be working!  

So for all you purists who poo-poo those of us adding ADJUNCTS to our craft brews, remember, there wouldn't be an

 without an ADJUNCT.  

THANKS Microbe Brewers Supply for the topic!

next on the list?  Spontaneous Fermentation

 and something about Ladies and Dudes and how we do a Mars/Venus thing with beer.  Complete with a guest post from none other than Himself, Fred Bueltmann the Beervangelist of New Holland Brewing!  Of course, once he agrees to do so, which he will 'cause he's a Big Fan.

That's him there,  with his own Chai Beer collab with Mutineer Magazine last year.

And please allow me a moment to praise a great new product:

A cool as shit new bottle opener that's made in Canada, from the best possible stainless steel, are brandable (Wench will be doing these once Her budget permits) and have been quality tested within an inch of their lives via (they claim) kicks, slaps, throws, drops and tosses out a 17th story window.  They are cool and I guarantee you'll see them around more and more.   
I mean, seriously they made this video.  These guys are awesome!  Quick!  Get me one!

That is all.
Your Wench


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