The Session: The Hard Stuff

My pal Tasha Goodard (AKA MetaCookbook) took over The Session, a monthly beer blogging exercise with a rotating host, and a focus on a single topic or nexus of topics. For September, Tasha posted:

I’m asking my fellow beer bloggers two related questions:

  1. What do you want people in beer culture to be talking about that we’re not?

  2. What do you have to say on the topic(s)?

These needed to be up yesterday, but work overwhelmed my time to sit down and gather my thoughts.

  1. Flavored Beer, of the ginger and lime variety, the vanilla and coffee, etc, often says “with natural flavors added” on the label. I’d like to know more about what that means in the beer world. In spirits, and it food, it means lab-extracted flavor concentrates and lab-created flavoring chemicals, have been added to beef up or otherwise help “design” the flavor of the product.
  2. I wouldn’t be all that impressed by extract additions and flavor compounds, just so someone can make 1,000,000 barrels of a beer, instead of 15,000. We can save the future of craft beer (there’s a reckoning coming eventually) by diversifying what we do (and saving specialty for specialty), and keeping real ingredients in beer is hugely important. I’d like to hear from those who brew with real spices how they feel about the beers made with anything but. But I’d also like to hear a defense of lab-defined flavor. More on that in another post.


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