Saturday, December 3, 2011

CT Column 17/08/2011: Old Foghorn

TRADITIONALLY America has been known for producing incredibly light bodied, pale, scantily flavoured lagers. More recently beers like Epic Pale Ale and Tuatara APA have introduced the American Pale Ale style to NZ drinkers and the realisation has dawned that America is responsible for some seriously hoppy full flavoured pale ales. Imported American beers are increasingly available in bars, bottle stores and supermarkets around town. Terms like American Pale Ale, American India Pale Ale, and Imperial India Pale Ale have entered the New Zealand drinker’s lexicon.
America has, however, given the beer world more than just highly hopped pale ales. In 1975 the iconic Anchor brewery in San Francisco produced a strong rich malt accented beer with a notably American hop character based on the barley wines that owner Fritz Maytag had tasted in England. Maytag took the English style of barleywine, which tends to be rich and malty with a notable vinous fruity character from the use of character English yeast strains and supercharged it with a healthy dose of grapefruit accented American hops. Old Foghorn used a more neutral yeast strain to allow the fruitiness of the hops to shine through. A new style was born. Old Foghorn was followed by Sierra Nevada Bigfoot in the 1980’s and thousands of others since. Old Foghorn combines rich toasted caramel malt flavours with an aroma of stone fruit and citrus and a long rich complex balanced finish. If you want to compare it with a more traditional English style barleywine try Fullers Golden Pride which showcases Fullers distinctive marmalade accented yeast strain alongside a rich English malt profile. Both make an ideal accompaniment to strong crumbly blue cheese. Cheers

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