Sunday, July 18, 2021

Vitality

 I've been on an internship at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont and thought I would collect some thoughts on what makes good beer great, hopefully with some connections to bread and gastronomy more generally:

Unpasteurized beer is alive. By manipulating yeast cell counts, fermentable sugars, and temperature, brewers try to capture lightning in a bottle.

How should one talk about vitality? One might talk about beer quality from any number of angles. Just as a poorly roasted coffee bean will yield a coffee that is flat in the cup, the same would be true for beer (bad process usually equals bad flavor).

Great beer achieves balance and depth from a number of different factors:

Yeast strain

Attenuation

Sweetness

Bitterness

Hop aroma /aromatics

Carbonation

Crispness

Softness/Minerality/Mouthfeel

Temperature


The balance and specificity of execution necessary to deliver great beer oddly reminds me of this article on the commercial production of ketchup by Malcolm Gladwell:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/09/06/the-ketchup-conundrum



Literature and bread might be all we have in this postmodern world

tomato cheese bread trifecta

There’s something about pizza that is so essential, quintessential even, such that I think I will never go a month without eating it. What else can we say that we will not touch all the rest of the days of your life except pizza?