Archive for April, 2011

Wikio’s Top Blog


I have been laying low this week.  Between birthdays and related birthday events coupled with spring break it has not been conducive to any kind of work except picking up the house every 15 minutes.  I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle next week with more new content and reviews but for now I wanted to share some late breaking news.

hopheadsaid debuted at 139 this week on Wikio’s Top Blog (see righthand sidebar).  This is a blog aggregate site and rates each blog’s relevance by calculating how many external links point back to it.  You can help me rise in the ranking and to the top by linking to my blog https://hopheadsaid.wordpress.com through your social media posts or posting my link in your blog or on your website.

My ultimate goal is to become published as a beer writer and make a living through this blog not to mention be able to write off  beer conferences. Better web stats is one way I can draw attention to and advertise my blog not to mention attract more readers. So help me out and spread the word if not the love for hopheadsaid!

ct.

perfect.pint: Goblet


In an effort to expand on the “education” part of my “Beer Reviews, Education and Nonsense” motto, I am continuing my series of posts that will focus on beer glassware.  Specifically, I will be talking about the glass’s shape and why that particular glass is an appropriate vessel for a specific beer style.

This week I will be discussing my very first “specialty” glass the goblet, an Orval goblet to be more precise. This is a well made sturdy glass with the Orval Monastery logo of a fish and ring on it.  Ten years ago, I had to special order Orval and have it shipped to me directly from Belgium if I wanted to taste its special blend of sweet, sour and spice.   Nowadays you will be able to find Orval and its matching glass in any self-respecting beer store. If you were going to purchase a goblet, I would recommend this particular glass simply because I have had it for at least ten years and except for the fading logo (I recommend hand washing this glass) it still looks new.

goblet

Goblet

Belgian ales (specifically Abbey or Trappist) are commonly served in goblets because their smaller size, usually 10 or 11 oz, moderates consumption of these bigger or higher ABV beers. Belgian ales are brewed to be consumed warmer than most other styles so don’t worry about that cold beer warming up in your hand while you drink it. The goblet has a nice bowl shape that fits comfortably into the palm of your hand for a reason, to warm it up. So feel free to cup your goblet in your hands while you enjoy your next Abbey or Trappist ale and note how the flavors and aromas change as your beer warms.

I don’t recommend goblets for many other beers simply because of their wide mouth which may be second only to the nonic pint glass in terms of surface area. Only a highly carbonated, full flavored beer will be able to hold any kind of head in that glass.

midweek.mini-review Duchesse de Bourgogne


duchesse de bourgogne

Click for guest reviews.

The Duchesse is a delicious beer and in my opinion is the epitome of the Flanders Red style.  The “sourness” and acidity is balanced by a sweet maltieness before it can become overwhelming.   Because of this balance, the Duchesse is a good starter beer for those who are looking to venture into “sour” beers.  Its wine-like flavor and acidity also makes this a good beer for those “non-beer drinking friends”.

As you can see from the card there is very little bitterness (10 IBU) in this beer which is common for many sour beers.  Instead of hops the brewers balance the malty sweetness by using special yeast and bacteria strains that will sour the beer just enough to balance the sweetness.

In my opinion, this beer is sweet enough to be enjoyed AS desert but could also be paired with earthy flavored cheeses such a camembert and brie or sharp cheeses like blue and cheddar.  The elevated carbonation level and acidity of this beer will cleanse and refresh your palate between each cheese sample.

The Perfect Pint: Tulip Glass


In an effort to expand on the “education” part of my “Beer Reviews, Education and Nonsense” motto, I am continuing my series of posts that will focus on beer glassware.  Specifically, I will be talking about the glass’s shape and why that particular glass is an appropriate vessel for a specific beer style.

This week I will be discussing my favorite glass style the tulip. Its elegant yet functional shape will enhance almost any beer and in my opinion, it is as close to the perfect glass as you can get.  I have several of them in my cupboard now and they are used almost exclusively.  The only time I stray from using this glass is if I am enjoying a weissbier (not big enough to hold that enormous wheat head) or a lager (the thin walls allow this beer to warm a too quickly).

Tulip Glass

Tulip Glass

Tulip glasses can come in a variety of sizes and have either a wide or narrow “bowl” that sits on top of a stemmed foot. The defining characteristic of a tulip glass is in the top third where the glass gently tapers in and then flares out at the opening.  Without the flare the glass would be called a snifter. The taper helps create a dense head and the flared opening fits the lips nicely. Some tulip glasses even have a small laser etching at the bottom of the bowl which causes a constant stream of bubbles to cascade to the surface. 

Any beer looks beautiful in a tulip but be careful when pouring a bottle conditioned beer into one of these glasses.  The yeast sediment at the bottom of these bottles is easily agitated and will cloud up the beer quickly preventing you from enjoying the crystal clear presentation your beer deserves.