I've long been interested in beers, especially the ones which are brewed with more unusual ingredients. Over the last few weeks I've been watching the (now cancelled) show from the Discovery Channel, "Brew Masters." The show focuses on Sam Calagione, the founder and head of Dogfish Head Brewery, and his staff. Even as they brew their production beers, they are still searching for new, or old, or different. While beer is less dependent on terroir than wine, there seems to be an overlap in terms of quality ingredients, expression of taste, and desire to please similar to the craft wine world.
It got me thinking about how much we enjoy our local craft brews, both here in Illinois and in Michigan (with 3 Floyds nearby in Indiana, we'll be able to add that state soon as well). While we enjoy tasting the local wine (what little there is of it), we have an amazing wealth of brewing talent here in the Midwest, ripe for the tasting.
This weekend, we tasted a bottle of Chicago-based Une Année Brewery's Life After Death Black Saison Ale - like a good wine, there was complexity of flavors, everchanging with temperature change and the food being consumed at the time.
We are definitely going to do a lot more exploring in terms of local (and not-so-local) beers - the world of craft beer is always changing. According to the Brewers Association, there were more than 2,500 breweries in the United States as of June 2013. That's a lot of beers to taste.
Bring on the Brews!
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