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Originating in Wallonia, Belgium, the saison is an elusive beer with a diverse history. Instead of pertaining to a specific flavour or brewing technique, a saison describes a loosely related family of beer. Historically, saisons are thought to date back to the start of agriculture when beer was brewed during colder months for consumption during...

Prior to technological advancements in the mid-nineteenth century, all beer was to some degree, sour. Poor sanitation and naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria were to blame for infecting beer, giving it an undesirable sour quality. The advent of pasteurization and refrigeration really changed the beer game, allowing for clean, crisp beers to take the main...

Most cask beers are delivered to the pub ready to be prepared for serving. In instances where a freshly casked beer is delivered the cask may have to be cellared for up to a week to let the secondary fermentation finish. It should be noted that cellar temperature is around 10° C plus or minus...

This ingredient is made from grain, usually barley, that has undergone a process of wetting and drying called malting before the brewer can use it. Raw grain is soaked and begins to germinate (sprout) releasing enzymes that help convert its carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. It is then roasted to stop the germination process. The roasting...

In the mid 2000s, brewers became obsessed with making the most bitter and palate crushing IPAs possible. This style of American IPA, or West Coast IPA, is a hoppy beer that primarily showcases hop flavours and bitterness. The East Coast IPA was created in part to offer a softly bitter, more palatable alternative to its...

In North America, craft beer is ubiquitous and local distillers are also carving out their niche in the craft spirits world. As consumers, we want to support local craft products, but why? What does it mean to be a craft brewery or craft distillery? Microbrewers make beer in single batches to ensure that each recipe...

Trappist and Abbey Ales are an elusive group when it comes to classification, as neither term denotes a single style. In general, categorization is based on amount of malt and relative strength – Single, Dubbel, Tripel and Quadruple where the Single is has the lowest ABV (below 6%) and the Quadruple has the highest (8-12%)....

Oxidation is the biggest threat to cask beer. As beer is drawn out of the cask air fills the space that remains. Air has an oxygen content of about 21% its effect on the flavour of beer is rapid and not very pretty. The presence of oxygen also encourages the growth of various non-beneficial bacteria...

Hops are the cone-like flowers of a female climbing vine in the cannabis family which can grow as tall as 18 feet. Hops contain oils, bitter acids, and resins that counterbalance the sweetness of the malted barley, add flavour, provide aroma, and help preserve the beer. Preservation is a key word – the same resins...