Friday, March 7, 2008

The Session #13: Organic Beer

I was always looking to try organic beers from the first time I saw them. Unfortunately, I found most of them lacking.

That has changed in the last 4 years or so as the range of organic beers has gotten better and, I think, the quality of the organic ingredients available for brewing has gotten better as well.

So what to choose? I wanted to get a beer from Pisagh Brewing up in Black Mountain, NC who brew all their beer to USDA organic standards. Their Vortex II Imperial Stout was one of the best beers I've ever tasted, organic or otherwise. Sadly, they do not distribute to Georgia and I wasn't going to make it up to North Carolina this month.

My next thought was to go with a bottle of Foret (marketed as Moinette Biologique in Belgium) brewed by Brasserie Dupont. It is brewed with 100% organic barley and hops and is certified organic by ECOCET in Belgium. But technically it does not have the USDA organic label so I decided to try and find something else. If you're looking for a good organic saison though, Foret is highly recommended.

So I decided to go with Lakefront Brewery's Organic E.S.B. Lakefront is based in Milwaukee and has just arrived in Georgia within the last few months.

It pours a deep amber with a thinnish, but persistent ivory head. Plenty of fine lacing. Smells quite biscuity from the malt, thin herbal bitterness but an overall sweetish aroma.

Taste is much like the aroma. A very British style ESB, lots of biscuity malt and a present but understated herbal hops presence. Finished very, very clean. Mouth is a bit on the thin side. If I had to pin this beer down to one style I would probably say it's just a bitter instead of an Extra Special Bitter.

It's not bad at all but could bring a little more as far as flavor. Good session beer.

Lakefront Brewery

Make sure you check out the other entries from the 13th edition of The Session. The rundown is over at Chris O'Brien's Beer Activist Blog.

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