While we often make a fuss about the importance of sanitization in brewing (it’s important!), there is a separate variable that almost single-handedly accounts for the quality of your beer: fermentation. In fact, most of what can go wrong with your beer happens during fermentation.
Inspired by Hill Farmstead’s renowned version of American Pale Ale, this beer is flowery, with impressions of citrus and pine.
It can be easy to forget how tasty the Vienna Lager beer style is, and the powerful role the Boston Brewing Company has played in the craft beer movement with its signature interpretation. I went years without drinking Sam Adams’ Boston Lager, and was inspired to brew it after rediscovering such a classic.
This new beer style isn’t officially a style yet, but it’s rather delicious. Be a pioneer and beer this hazy, soft, tropical, stone-fruity IPA.
As the Godfather of homebrewing, Charlie Papazian once wrote, “the more you know about beer, the more you will appreciate beer flavors and discover what it is you prefer…” As a home brewer, you already know more about beer than most. Even if you just have one brew under your belt, you’re in a league of your own—one of a select few craftsmen or craftswomen who share in the knowledge that no matter how much time we spend studying or brewing beer, there’s always more to learn. An important part of that learning process is in the tasting of our final product. And let’s be honest, this is the best part!
This style should not be confused with its German cousin. This is not a Hefeweizen. You won’t find notes of cloves or banana. However, you will notice prominent hop flavour. Here I’ve opted for New Zealand hops to give this a bright, citrusy profile perfect for warm weather drinking.
Blanche de Chambly is one of Quebec’s great beers, and one we Canadians take for granted more than we should. It’s readily available on our store shelves, but when it was new to the market, it was one hell of a revelation. Here’s my version, named after the beloved Toronto neighbourhood I call home.
This is one refreshing beer. Wit is the Flemish word for white (or so I’m told)—the colour of this beer’s head. This is a pretty complex beer, especially considering the restrained additions in the boil. Enjoy a style made famous in 1800s Belgium, especially on a warm spring day or a scorching summer afternoon.
This is a detailed and approachable guide to bottling your homebrew. I’ve included a checklist so you don’t miss a step, making sure you hit it out of the park every time.
This smoked porter is best enjoyed in your study, by the fire, perhaps with a good pipe in hand. Or just a good Netflix series. Either way, it’ll set you right!
Ditch the box of chocolates for that special someone. Make this instead! This is a good starter recipe. Play around with the cocoa levels to make this your own amazing stout.
This is a stout for those of us who can’t get enough of the phenol notes of Belgian yeast. This particular yeast gives the beer a rich malt and distinctive ethanol character. This won’t taste like Guinness. But it will taste delicious.
I have been brewing for the better part of five years, to the tune of one beer per week. In that time, I have made many mistakes. Often those mistakes were basic. I’m talking about simple things like forgetting to mash out. Or setting the boil to 60 minutes when it should have been 90 […]
Water plays a huge role in the quality of your final product, from the very start of the brewing process, through to the final taste. The various minerals and salts we find in water can add desirable or undesirable flavours to your beer. Water plays a crucial role in helping us craft good beer, so we should take the time to better understand it.
Funny enough, hops are a (relatively) new addition to beer. While beer has been around for more than 5,000 years, hops date back only 500 years. Before Cascade and Citra were household names, brewers resorted to herbs, plants, and potions to counter the overbearing sweetness of malt. It took until the 1500s before hops caught fire. Now, we include hops as one of the four baseline ingredients needed to make beer. The reasons now seem so obvious.
I can’t call this a Belgian Red Ale, because it’s not a sour beer. It’s just a tasty beer with a red hue that puts a delicious yeast to good use. Hops are kept in check, but the strength of the beer will warm your heart on a cold winter’s day.
Sometimes you just want an easy-drinking pint with a solid (yet restrained) hit of malt character, with a dash of caramel and toasted notes. If you need a break from hoppy beers, try this one out, and enjoy its beautiful colour.
This style seems to be coming back from the dead (or seeing a birth of sorts in North America). Deliberately low in alcohol, mild ale is the perfect (if not original!) session ale. I’ve kept this one low in ABV, in line with modern takes of this once stronger ale.
It’s so obvious to say, but without malt, you can’t have beer. In a world obsessed with hops and funky yeast strains, it’s easy to forget how crucial this ingredient is. Malt is to beer what honey is to mead; what apple is to cider. Without malt, you can’t make beer. Get to know this most important of ingredients with my detailed but easy-to-follow explainer.
Thanksgiving comes early in Canada (second weekend of October), which means I get a head start on my American friends for this popular beer style. This recipe took me three years to perfect, but I’m finally happy with it. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. I can’t think of a better way to mark the start of Fall than a pint of this tasty beer.