New Bottles of note 6.22.13

If you get  your hands on one IPA this summer, make it Deschutes Fresh Squeezed. Its bold, clear amber color is aptly followed by silky malt flavors and succulent hop chewiness. This is a beer you can judge by the label. Unlike many citrusy IPAs that scorch your tastebuds with cohumulone and alcohol, Fresh Squeezed gooses you good, then puts its arm around your shoulder. It is hopped with Nugget, Citra, and Mosaic– what a great combination! Citra is, obviously, a citrusy, tropical hop. They could have just used Citra and kept the name, but it would have been one-dimensional and harsher. Instead, Nugget adds a softer fruit and herb note, and Mosaic (the “daughter of Simcoe,” and all the rage right now) lends some  melon flavor, rounding out the tropical/citrus bouquet with grace. Some of the solo-Mosaic beers have a musky sensation similar to the “cat-pee”  (sorry) aroma often accompanying super fresh Simcoe beers; it is not the case here.

squeeze me!
squeeze me!

Anchorage Brewing’s homepage proudly declares that it is “WHERE BREWING IS AN ART & BRETTANOMYCES IS KING!” If only that were the case more often…

This Belgian-inspired brewery in southern Alaska (because of course there is) puts at least a little Brett into everything, and sometimes more. More is definitely the case with the latest bottles, Anadromous and AK Alive! (a collaboration with the crazy guys at Mikkeller). Anadromous probably has more cold-side additions than in the mash and boil kettle– it’s a black ale fermented with Belgian yeast, then aged in Pinot Barrels with Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus (does that mean it’s quintuple fermented?). The skeptic in me says “too much!” but I can see how this could go right. At the very least, drink this after a round of antibiotics to get your gut flora replenished…

Pediococcus doesn’t sound like something we should put in food, but it is actually a vital microorganism in our cultural library. It is partly responsible for fermenting cabbage into sauerkraut, for example. Ironically, Anadromous comes up as the seventh entry in a Google search for Pediococcus. Pedio is one of the fermenters of Lambic beers, often producing the bulk of lactic acid, and can generate some really funky esters (think anywhere from feet to butterscotch)– don’t fret, it generally (hopefully) plays second fiddle to more appealing flavors, while lending a particular creamy mouthfeel. Yeah!

I’ve never seen a “cover beer” before, but Anchorage seems to have done it. AK Alive! is their version of It’s Alive! And, apparently, that too is a cover beer. Converse to Anadromous, the recipe is simple, straightforward: brew a pale, hoppy Belgian ale, then bottle condition with a lively Brett strain.

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