Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Just plain beer?

A story in today's Sacremento Bee explores the growing range of extreme styles found in beer these days. An excerpt from the story, by Bee Food Editor Mike Dunne:

Beers are being brewed with such exotic ingredients as chili peppers, wasabi and ginger. They're being aged in used wine barrels. They're being inoculated with a strain of yeast that gives them a pungent horsy or barnyard character, repulsive to some, savored by others. There are gluten-free beers and smoke-flavored beers.

At least one expert quoted in the story says he's not a fan of the diversity. Charles Bamforth, the University of California at Davis' Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science tells Dunne, "I wish brewers would stay with a limited number of beer styles, and make the most of those, like the wine guys have done with their red, white and pink wines. Let's make ales, and then celebrate diversity within the ales, like with different hops. Let's stop looking for the exotic."