"There's tremendous diversity in beers these days, among the small guys and the big guys alike. They're all looking for new openings," says Charles Bamforth, chair of the department of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis... Beers are being brewed with such exotic ingredients as chili peppers, wasabi and ginger. They're being aged in used wine barrels. They're being inoculated with a strain of yeast that gives them a pungent horsy or barnyard character, repulsive to some, savored by others. There are gluten-free beers and smoke-flavored beers.From their "Where to Find a Fresh Pint" piece, which highlights nine or our city's breweries:
[Elk Grove Brewing's] Blonde, flavorful but light-style ale with 3.8 percent alcohol; Diamondback wheat (4.8 percent alcohol); and Otis ale, a German-style amber ale with 5.3 percent alcohol Most unusual: Freedom Double IPA, a strong summer ale brewed with three times as many hops as ordinarily used in beers, yielding a brew with 9.7 percent alcohol Summer beer: The light and mild Pony Express summer ale is brewed with a little rye malt to give it a delicate sweetness while preserving a dry finish. What sets it apart: The brewpub, in old-town Elk Grove, occupies a structure built in 1885 to house a harness shop and later a general store.The Bee also has a "A linguistic guide for what ales you", doing a good job a defining several common beer styles, and the saddest piece of the bunch, which highlights only two of our region's beer fests.
I whole heartedly applaud any major newspaper, and the SacBee is just that, who dares to do new things, and for SacBee, covering beer so extensively is certainly a step in the right direction. I hope to see more in the future, would actually love to see a bi-weekly beer column - clearly, with 9 breweries in the region, this would seem sustainable.
If you want to read the stories, you may have to sign in. I think that's a relatively painless operation though. Thank you to Mike Dunne. If you like what you read, be sure to let Mike know - he's at mdunne -at- sacbee -dot- com
Updated: Link for Where to Find a Fresh Pint