Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Can or Can Not. That is the Question

I haven't written a beer blog in quite awhile, but that certainly does not mean I have not been drinking beer. First my usual beer related ramblings and then on to the beer!

I refuse to drink beer out of an aluminum can And the reason has nothing to do with taste, convenience or my ability to single
handedly crush one with my bare hand. My reason is about the protective liner inside the can. Have you ever heard of Bisphenol-a, also called BPA? If its name is not in the forefront of your mind, it should be. BPA is a chemical used in the production of plastic. It is also used in the production of plastic resin that is used to make liners for food and beverage cans. The most commonly used products containing BPA are canned food, plastic baby bottles, baby pacifiers, milk bottles, water bottles, canned soda pop and beer cans. BPA's claim to fame is that it does not absorb the odor of foods or change the flavor of foods that are stored in the containers. Over six and a half billion pounds of BPA are produced worldwide on an annual basis. Ninety five percent of all people tested were found to have BPA in their urine samples. I mentioned that BPA is a chemical, but did I mention it is toxic? Rats exposed to BPA were shown to suffer a greater incidence of breast and prostate cancer. Young rats showed signs of accelerated puberty. BPA consumption has also been linked to diabetes, miscarriages and a host of other reproductive failures. Currently, the government of the United States of America has introduced legislation to ban BPA in all food and beverage products. In the meantime, to lower your risk of BPA exposure, eat fresh or frozen vegetables as opposed to canned and purchase products, like beer in glass containers.

The Beers

Sierra Nevada, Torpedo Extra IPA, This, as expected, was a highly hopped beer. The grapefruit citrus rind, piney taste was paramount. It's bitter hop taste was completely balanced by the warming finish, due to the 7.2 % alcohol volume. Hopheads will appreciate this ale. I found it very enjoyable, despite not being a huge hop fan. Well crafted. Will make a nice year round addition.

Stoudt's, Abbey Triple (2001). That's right. Not a typo. 2001. My buddy, Dr. Stu gave me a bottle he found lying around in the back of an underused fridge. I thought it would be skunked. No way. She popped open like a brand new bottle. This beer was so alive, it seemed like the yeast was having a conversation in my glass. The ale was extremely thick and cloudy, I couldn't even see my finger in the glass, even only a 1/2 inch away from the glass wall. This 8 year old beer had an extreme mellowness to each swallow, followed by a big punch. I was using the 750ml bottle as an aperitif. By the time I had finished drinking it, I had forgotten about eating. I was truly intoxicated. I highly recommend aging this ale. Delicious.

Founder's Brewing Imperial Stout. Given to me by a state trooper, vagabond rugby player, this beer poured darker than a can of Castro Motor Oil. No head, pure black gold, Texas tea. 10.5% alcohol, 90 IBU's, this beer was malty with a hop bite. I can not tell you what my stout loving wife thought of it, as I did not share the three bottles that were given to me.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, unfiltered brown ale. Here is one I did share with my wife. 12% alcohol with a nice touch of carmel and vanilla notes. One or two of these was plenty to end the evening with. I thoroughly enjoyed this big beer. My wife, who only likes thicker, darker, warmer, high alcohol beers loved it. It surpassed her big beer standards.