Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The golden hue was threaded with haze, a sight in the past usually attributed to age or poor storage and generally foretelling an unpleasant experience before the glass got near your mouth. It now suggests the polar opposite. Haze in a great many commercial craft beers and all home brew nowadays is invariably chill haze and suggests a light touch filtration. This is almost always a good thing; it means that no flavour has been stripped from the beer. While beer can still taste exceptional after filtration, eliminating it altogether leaves the beer in its natural state. Cask ale lives like this all the time of course, but it is becoming more prominent in bottled beer and some keg. The most important aspect is perhaps the drinking public's acceptance of beer throwing a slight haze. Sure, those who slug pints of lager purely for the neurochemical effects will still baulk at a hazy pint but the steadily growing cohort of craft beer lovers are not at all put off. It is almost reassuring to see haze, and many brewers wear the unfiltered badge with pride.
This beer is what craft brewing is all about. It tastes as much like beer as Bud Lite doesn't. That makes for quite an experience.