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Craft Beers

Craft Beers

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 Craft Beer - Knaresborough NowAll the talk of “craft” brewing you hear these days has prompted some deep historical reflections in your correspondent, who has been of drinking age almost (but not quite) since Britain’s – and actually, the world’s – microbrewing revolution started in Selby, North Yorkshire, in 1972.

In the UK, the microbrewers’ common intent was to revive traditional cask-conditioned ale in the face of cold, fizzy, over-processed and underpowered keg versions. But in the US, where many of the pre-Prohibition brewers had been second or third generation German immigrants, it was a tradition of tasty and authentic lagers that had been overwhelmed by mass-produced imitations.

Craft Beers - Samuel Adams - Knaresborough NowTwo of the earliest US microbrewers were the Boston Beer Company, founded in 1984, and the Brooklyn Brewery, founded in 1987. Their stories are fascinating in their own right, but from our point of view what’s important is that their main products are both lagers based on recipes stretching back beyond Prohibition – attempts, in short, to recreate authentic American beers.

What they have in common is that they are much richer and more aromatic than your everyday British-brewed version of European pilsner. Samuel Adams Lager from the Boston Beer Company at 4.8% abv is dark for a lager; almost coppery, in fact, perhaps betraying the use of some darker malts. It has been brewed under licence by Shepherd Neame of Faversham, Kent, since 2012, but it seems to have lost none of its original character. The nose is powerfully spicy, with hints of grass and pineapple all but overwhelmed by the peppery tang of the Tettnang hop. The palate is rich and robust for a lager, with yet more peppery spice; the finish is fresh, minerally, and not at all bitter.

Brooklyn Lager at 5.2% advertises itself as a Vienna (i.e. slightly richer than a Pilsner). The aroma here is just as powerful, but more floral than spicy and with a sweet maltiness reminiscent of fruit cake. The palate is subtle and zesty and much lighter-bodied than Sam Adams; the finish is mild, sweetish, and well-rounded.

By Ted Bruning

 

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Rachel Porter Knaresborough Now - A local community magazine which started in September 2010. I came on board in February 2011 as a co-owner for 3.5 years and then purchased the other half in late 2014. We produce our magazine on a monthly basis in both a printed and online format, celebrating local community, events and businesses. We are THE MOST COMPETITIVE advertising medium in the Knaresborough area and do our level best to support all local businesses with their advertising needs whilst also providing a valuable and readable magazine to our readers for free. We also host an interactive website with an online magazine, business directory and events calender to name but a few of its offerings.