The Economist on the history of the IPA, they even get it mostly correct that IPAs were not made specifically for the long trip to Britain’s colony in India. The truth is that they were made and sold in London before that but became more popular in the domestic market because they smart beer marketing people put “India” in the name of their beers to make them seem exotic. I am still amazed at how popular IPAs are. It’s the most bitter beer style there is — the hops are what make it bitter — yet I still hear people drinking it saying “I don’t like bitter beer” and to sell beer, the big breweries used to advertise that their beers had “no aftertaste” or bitterness. It turns out, apparently, that people do like bitter beers!
I think IPA is the only style that is allowed so much leeway and still be called an IPA. The alcohol can range from 5% to 8% (although I’m seeing 9% IPAs these days and Imperial IPAs go up to 12% or even 20%), the color can range from the color of hay to pitch black, and the level of hops can range from subtle to harsh. I’m hoping the new Black IPA style, which is black in color, will help styles like Porter and Stout rise in popularity. Stouts and Porters taste like chocolate and/or coffee and are generally lower in alcohol and have lighter bodies yet people think they’re “strong” (high alcohol) and very “heavy” (whatever that means).
It’s Seattle Beer Week and tonight we went to the Lost Abbey beer dinner at The Sixgill and met the famous Tomme Arthur, co-founder and brewer at San Diego’s Lost Abbey. Great food and beer.
Every time this part comes on I turn it up as loud as I can:
What can be said of the whiskey and wine
Random abandon or ballast for joy
That was scuppered with trust
Little more than a boy
And besides I’m in excellent company
I’m reaching the age
When decisions are made
On the life
And the liver
And I’m sure, last ditch
That I’ll ask for more time
But Mother forgive me
I still want a bottle of good Irish whiskey
Great song. Listen and watch it, the best part starts at 3:25.
This beer has been sitting in my beer fridge for 7 years and I decided to drink it tonight because I just haven’t found a special occasion. Havana’s 7th birthday weekend and a Saturday night is appropriate enough. They recommend drinking it after 2009 but before 2020 and it’s supposedly the Norwegian brewery’s most sought-after beer, the first edition of it. 17.5% ABV.
It’s super dark and a bit sweet with licorice and wood flavors. Slightly solvent aroma. It’s not easy to drink, but I’m managing.
Havana had a few friends come home with her from school and then a few more, 6 total, came later for her birthday slumber party. Hudson escaped the girls to a neighbor’s house for a while, but came back for dinner, hot tub, cake + ice cream and movie.
There are 11 people and one dog sleeping in our house tonight. That beats the record of 8.
Our Optimism logo designers, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, each just won the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. See Ivan’s work and Tom’s work. Congratulations to them!
Our architect, Tom Kundig, won the Design Award for Architecture in 2008. I’m very happy to be fortunate enough to work with such great people in their fields.