AngelofDeath
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Angel's Beer Encyclopedia

Haven't done any food or alcohol related lists lately, so consider this making up for lost time. Should be a crash course on becoming a certified beer nerd.
1Nekrasov
The Form of Thought from Beast


Pilsner - Pilsners are light lagers, one step away from Bud. But it's a big step. Pilsners use lots of hops and all malted barley (most of the big, American lagers cut those grains with the cheap stuff: rice and corn). They're sweet, rich, and bitter, but really light and super bubbly. The style was invented in the Czech Republic and the original - Pilsner Urquell - is still around and easy to find, but the grocery store six-pack is a world away from what you get in Prague. That's because pilsners are best - and traditionally speaking - served unfiltered and unfiltered beers are fragile exports. With pilsners, freshness is key, and, the hallmark of a fresh pilsner is the dense, white head. Angel recs: Trumer Pils, Spaten Pils, Uber Pils
2Six Organs of Admittance
School of the Flower


Wheat Beer - Wheat beer or weissbier or witbeer or weizen - all the names pretty much refer to the same thing. Belgians call it witbeer and tend to have more fun with spices like coriander and orange peel. Germans call it weissbier or weizen. Because the beers are usually under-hopped, or not hopped at all, their flavors are subtle. Bubbly, sweet, smooth, they?re sort of the go-to when you need something crisp and refreshing. The clean flavors and high carbonation make a wonderful accompaniment to all those greasy delights down at your nearest bar or pub of merit. Of course, there are some exceptions, made by brewers who use the style's extra-low hoppiness to emphasize other flavors, particularly from funky, unconventional yeasts. Exotic spice blends also come into play, so don?t be surprised if you get a background profile of lavender amid the almost effervescent citrus notes. Angel recs: Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, Hitachino Nest, Allagash White
3Svarte Greiner
Knive


Scottish Ale - It's hard out there for a hop-hater. You might as well come out against alcohol altogether - or say the bubbles in foam hurt your nose you big vagina. But even though hops are an essential part of beer, and even though they're used with such abandon in the US, it's possible to find a great beer that doesn't taste as bitter as sucking on a tea bag. While the hop-head Mecca is the west coast, the promised land for hop-ophobes is Scotland. Malty, sweet, smooth, and with a warming, boozy finish, Scotch ales are full of flavor, but light on hops. The story goes that Scotland has always been too chilly to grow hops on a large scale, and instead of asking the damn English for theirs, the Scots made do with what they had. More often than not, that meant using next to no hops at all. Sometimes brewers would toss in heather flowers instead. That tradition goes back some 4,000 years - heather ales and meads were ceremonial drinks for the Celts, probably helped along by a hallucinogenic moss that can grow on the flowers. Pretty badass, right? Today, Scottish ales are typically amber to ruby-colored, toffee-sweet, mellow, and rich. Some can be a little smoky if the brewery uses grains cured over burning peat. American versions, of course, are way stronger, but instead of amping up the hop notes, brewers here emphasize malt. The English can keep their bitters and pales; this beer's for the kilt-clad. No hops, no problem. Angel recs: Belhaven Scottish Ale, Traquair?s House Ale, Great Divide Claymore
4Guapo
Black Oni


American Wild Ale - Sometimes Belgian influenced, American wild ales are ales that are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various "sour mash" techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be tough to get into. Angel recs: Russian River Valley Brewing Co. Beatification, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Allagash Interlude
5Ascend
Ample Fire Within


Amber Lager - Amber lagers are a vaguely defined style of lager much favored by US lager brewers. They are darker in color, anywhere from amber to copper hued, and generally more fully flavored than a standard pale lager. Caramel malt flavors are typical and hopping levels vary considerably from one brewery to the next, though they are frequently hoppier than the true Vienna lager styles on which they are loosely based. Angel recs: Rogue Maierfest Lager
6Kleistwahr
Myth


Dark Lager/Dunkel - Dunkel is the original style of lager, serving as the forerunner to the pale lagers of today. They originated in and around Bavaria, and are widely brewed both there and around the world. This is often what the average consumer is referring to when they think of dark beer. At their best, these beers combine the dry-ish chocolate or licorice notes associated with the use of dark roasted malts and the roundness and crisp character of a lager. Examples brewed in and around Munich tend to be a little fuller-bodied and sometimes have a hint of bready sweetness to the palate, a characteristic of the typical Bavarian malts used. Angel recs: Mother Earth Brewing Dark Cloud, Lakefront Brewery Eastside Dark, Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkel
7The Best Pessimist
To Whom It May Concern


Black/Schwarz Beer - Originally brewed in Thuringia, a state in eastern Germany, these lager style brews were known to be darker in color than their Munich counterparts. Often relatively full-bodied and hardly ever with a low ABV, these beers classically feature a bitter chocolate, roasted malt note and a rounded character. Hop accents are generally low. This obscure style was picked up by Japanese brewers and is made in small quantities by all of Japan?s major brewers. Schwarz beers are not often attempted by US craft brewers. Angel recs: Kapuziner Weisbier Schwarz
8Fall of Efrafa
Owsla


Marzen - The classic amber to red lager which was originally brewed in Austria in the 19th century has come to be known as the Vienna style. These are reddish-amber with a very malty toasted character and a hint of sweetness. This style of beer was adapted by the Munich brewers and in their hands has a noted malty sweetness and toasted flavor with a touch more richness. The use of the term Marzen, which is German for March, implies that the beer was brewed in March and lagered for many months. On a label, the words "fest marzen" or "Oktoberfest" generally imply the Vienna style. Oktoberfest beers have become popular as September seasonal brews among US craft brewers, though they are not always classic examples of the German or Austrian style. Angel recs: Heavy Seas Marzen, Paulaner Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Oktoberfest
9Prurient
The History of AIDS


Bock - Bocks are a specific type of strong lager historically associated with Germany and specifically the town of Einbeck. These beers range in color from pale to deep amber tones, and feature a decided sweetness on the palate. Bock styles are an exposition of malty sweetness that is classically associated with the character and flavor of Bavarian malt. Alcohol levels are typically pretty potent. Hop aromas are generally low, though hop bitterness can serve as a balancing factor against the malt sweetness. Many of these beers? names or labels feature some reference to a goat. This is a play on words in that the word bock also refers to a male goat in the German language. Angel recs: St. Niklolaus Bock Bier, Aass Bock, Anchor Bock Beer
10Nuit Noire
Black Form


Maibock/Pale Bock - Maibocks are medium to full-bodied lagers with a wide range in alcohol content.As its name would suggest, this is a bock style that traditionally makes a spring appearance in May as a celebration of a new brewing season. They conventionally have a less assertive character than other bock offerings later in the year. The color of pale bocks can vary from light bronze to deep amber and they are characterized by a sweet malty palate and subtle hop character. Angel recs: Rogue Dead Guy Ale
11Acid Mothers Temple
Myth of the Love Electrique


Doppelbock - Another subcategory of bocks, doppelbocks are extra strong, rich and weighty lagers characterized by an intense malty sweetness with a note of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. Color can vary from full amber to dark brown and alcohol levels are often potently high. Doppelbocks were first brewed by the Paulaner monks in Munich. At the time, it was intended to be consumed as "liquid bread" during Lent. Most Bavarian examples end in the suffix -ator, in deference to the first commercial example which was named Salvator (savior) by the Paulaner brewers. Angel recs: Schneider Aventinus
12Overmars
Born Again


Eisbock - The mack daddy. This is the strongest type of bock. It?s made by chilling a doppelbock until ice is formed. At this point, the ice is removed, leaving behind a brew with a higher concentration of alcohol. This also serves to concentrate the flavors, and the resultant beer is rich and powerful with a pronounced malt sweetness and a warm alcoholic finish. In other words, not for the faint of heart. Angel recs: Kulmbacher Eisbock, Schloss Eggenberg Urbock Dunkel Eisbock
13Ildjarn
Hardangervidda


IPA - IPAs have been around for quite some time, originating in England, but they?ve only recently reached heightened levels of popularity thanks to America?s west coast breweries. The name comes from the style of pale ale England exported to India in the 1800s and eventually gained notoriety in its country of origin. IPAs are pale and crisp but well-hopped and generally have distinct flavor for such a light, refreshing beer. Angel recs: Marin Brewing Company IPA, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, Pliny the Elder
14Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance


Black IPA - Think a three-thousand-mile flyover buffer keeps you East Coasters immune from the flannel-clad whims of the Northwest? Not so fast, chief. Brewers have been darkening light beers for a while, but the latest out of Portland is a new take on the style that put the West Coast on the beer map in the first place. What were first termed as ?Cascadian dark ales? (sounds perfect for those beardies from Wolves in the Throne Room), are now being called black IPAs. Commonly, classic IPA hops (the citrus-y stuff) are still used. The difference is the richer grains: toasted Munichs and crystals, the stuff normally found in brown ales, porters, and dark lagers. Steeped in cold water and mixed with a touch of protein-heavy oats, they give the beer body without any tannic bitterness. The hops bring enough bite on their own. Angel recs: Deschute Hop in the Dark, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Pyramid Discord Dark Ale
15 Barn Owl
Conjurer


Lambic - Lambics are a very distinctive type of beer brewed only in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (southwest of Brussels) and in Brussels itself at the Cantillon brewery and museum. Lambic is now mainly consumed after refermentation, resulting in derivative beers. Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer's yeasts, lambic beer is instead produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, usually with a sour aftertaste. Try serving this instead of champagne at parties to be cutting edge. Angel recs: Cantillon Iris
16Blood
Impulse to Destroy


Dortmunder - Well balanced, smooth, and refreshing, Dortmunders tend to be stronger and fuller than other pale lagers or Munich Helles styles. They may also be a shade darker and a touch hoppier. The style originates from the city of Dortmund in northern Germany. Dortmunder Export came about during the industrial revolution, when Dortmund was the center of the coal and steel industries, and the swelling population needed a hearty and sustaining brew. Today, the term Dortmunder now widely refers to stronger lagers brewed for export, though not necessarily from Dortmund. They?re tough to find even in the homeland, but thankfully craft breweries are starting to make them common fare around here. Angel recs: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
17Digable Planets
Blowout Comb


Flemish Red - Even brewers will tell you: they don't make beer. Yeast makes beer. For every sip, thank the tireless microbes who chomped through gallons of sweet, grainy wort and spit it back out as delicious booze. Usually, brewers go out of their way to make sure the yeast can work alone and undisturbed?some breweries are as sterile as germ labs, and you have to wear bio-suits just to get a tour. But others don't care, and their apathy is your gain. When regular old saccharomyces cerevisiae is joined by other critters like lactobacillus and acetobacter, things get pretty funky. The first is plain brewing yeast. It gives its own spicy or fruity flavors, especially the Belgian varieties, but nothing like the sourness of lactic acid bacteria or the vinegary bite of acetobacter. Those flavors are verboten in most beers, but they give sour ales like Flemish reds their character. Rodenbach makes the classic, and has since 1821. Their red is a blend of two beers, one made fresh and one that's been aged for two years in oak barrels. (The Original has less aged beer than the Grand Cru.) The aged beer picks up all the weird bacteria hanging out in the wood and adds an alcoholic warmth. The young beer is sour and sweet. Put them together and you get a beer that's rich and fruity, but with a sharp, vinegary tang. If lambics feel like one prissy step away from Mike's Hard cherry soda, this should help you get your testicles back.
18Low
I Could Live in Hope


Stout - Clinging to Guiness because you think it puts you a step above PBR chugging hipsters? Don?t kid yourself. That stuff?s like the Budweiser of stouts - available anywhere and the bottom of the barrel as far as taste goes. Real stout has some real flavor to back up that motor oil consistency. Whether it be chocolate or coffee, there tends to be dark flavored notes in the midnight-black beer. That doesn?t mean they?re sweet, though. Quite the contrary. Think bitter and earthy like raw cocoa and black coffee. A lot of the best stouts have a nice creamy finish to go with these flavors, making them a great dessert beer and even delicious with ice cream (with it or on it). Angel recs: Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Hitachino Lacto Stout
19Zelienople
His/Hers


Coffee Stout - Most stouts and porters have hints of coffee already from the darker, more highly roasted malts they use. The problem is when brewers try to amp up those notes, forgetting that coffee's best flavor is its slightly bitter, solid earthiness and instead loading their beers with tinny, superficial aromas or Frappuccino-level sweetness. That shit?s not beer; it's gas station Folgers with ten sugars. Full of strong malts, stouts and porters can be fairly sweet, and a hint of coffee can be just the thing to balance them out. The key is strong coffee, used sparingly, not the other way around. Most breweries just toss in some beans as they're brewing, but a very few actually mix liquid coffee in with the beer. It's more work, but it's easier to regulate the flavor. Using brewed coffee means you get all the nuanced flavors of the beans, not just their aroma. You can act like a coffee snob and a beer snob in one drink, and it'll keep you awake for another round. Angel recs: Coffee Stout - Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, Founders KBS, Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
20Thee Kvlt ov (((Ouroboros
Blvd


Barleywine - So, you're into beer. You've worked your way up the IPA ladder from classic Sierra Nevada to Lagunitas to the 120 Minute, telling yourself the one-note shrieks of bitter hops are what real beer is all about, man - the louder, the better. Enter barleywine. Rich, but not as dark as stouts or porters. Complex, with flavors like fruits and caramel that you won't find in any other beers. And super, super strong, usually around 10% alcohol. Yes, order it at a well-stocked bar and it'll probably come in one of those frou-frou goblet-y glasses, but it should, really. Sip slow, even if you don't want to. It has wine in the name for a reason. Barleywines are warming and refreshing at the same time - perfect for spring - but they can still hit hard. Angel recs: Stone, Uinta, Smuttynose
21Camille
Le Fil


Rauchbier - Bacon-flavored beer: How could it not be awesome? Rauchbier is a little-known German style made from smoked malts, meaning the grains are cured over burning beech wood before they're brewed. Though a couple US breweries make smoked beer, the two most traditional varieties come from Bamberg, a kind of brewer's Shangri-La in central Germany. Brewing goes back a thousand years there: a population of only about 70,000 gets to share nine breweries, two malting plants, and even a factory that makes brewing equipment. The two breweries specializing in smoked beer are Spezial and Schlenkerla. Schlenkerla is the only one available in the US for now. (The name, apparently, means something like wobbly or crooked - a reference to the brewery's hunchbacked founder, crippled by a falling beer barrel as the practically required legend has it.) Schlenkerla's smoked beers come in two main varieties: a marzen and a bock. Traditionally, märzens are not as dark brown as bocks, and a tiny bit hoppier. In this case, the Schlenkerla bock is a little harsh, and tastes smokier than it smells. The marzen, on the other hand, is awesome: smells super rich and smoky, exactly like a nice slab of bacon.
22Maeror Tri
The Beauty of Sadness


Trappist Beer - The Trappist order originated in the Cistercian monastery of La Trappe, France. Various Cistercian congregations existed for many years, and by 1664 the Abbot of La Trappe felt that the Cistercians were becoming too liberal. He introduced strict new rules in the abbey and the Strict Observance was born. Since this time, many of the rules have been relaxed. However, a fundamental tenet, that monasteries should be self-supporting, is still maintained by these groups. Monastery brewhouses from different religious orders existed all over Europe, since the Middle Ages. From the very beginning, beer was brewed in French Cistercian monasteries following the Strict Observance. Breweries were only later introduced in monasteries of other countries, following the extension of the Trappist order from France to the rest of Europe. The Trappists, like many other religious people, originally brewed beer to feed the community, in a perspective of self-sufficiency. Nowadays, Trappist breweries also brew beer to fund their works, and for good causes. Many of the Trappist monasteries and breweries were destroyed during the French Revolution and WWI and II. Among the monastic breweries, the Trappists were certainly the most active brewers: in the last 300 years, there were at least nine Trappist breweries in France, six in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, one in Germany, one in Austria, one in Bosnia and possibly other countries. Today, seven Trappist breweries remain active in Belgium and the Netherlands. Some breweries started to label their beers ?Trappist?, but the monks got pissed and started suing. This went a long way for quality control, though, because those monks make some damn good beer. Angel recs: Chimay Peres Trappistes, Orval Trappist, Westvleteren Abt 12
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