Brewed – promoting the artistry and passion behind craft beer, homebrewing, and the art of fermentation.
Palate – sharing my brewing and culinary experiences with established and continously growing communities of likeminded individuals as I continue to enjoy the never ending journey of developing my palate.
Mis en place: Home-brewing since 2009, Avid Cooking since – 2008, Baking sourdough – since April 2020 (after failed attempt in 2018).
I am a 34 year old homebrewer, craft beer enthusiast, and home chef (glorified foodie) living in northern New Jersey (after 10 years in NYC).
My craft beer journey started when I began trying Belgian, German, and other international beers while living in Israel for 2 years after High School (2004-2006). Since then I’ve developed a passion for developing my palate and sharing my experiences with others. This passion has been bolstered and enhanced by my home-brewing which I’ve been doing for 10 years (more consistently since getting married in July of 2013). That being said my opinion is that each beer (commercial or home-brew) represents a new experience in developing your craft beer palate and not a way to “one-up” your fellow craft beer drinkers. To quote respected beer writer John Holl…”What it really comes down to is enjoying a glass of beer with good company regardless of the beer’s pedigree.” In turn, since shifting my focus to developing my homebrewing skills and knowledge in November 2013, I’ve found that I enjoy the experience of trying new craft beers more because I am no longer worried about whether I’ll be able to try the latest beers that avid craft beer drinkers are clamoring over.
Next, in terms of my beer palate…Although I tend to drink saisons, IPAs, and darker beer styles more often than others. I have a soft spot for Belgian beers, German beers (especially well done pilsners, wheat beers, and doppelbocks), and barrel aged beers; some of which I buy when I’m in the mood for a “treat” or change of pace. I feel that part of appreciating what beer has to offer and developing one’s beer palate means going out of your comfort zone, and or trying styles specific beers you may have not liked that one time a friend let you try a beer that he or she swore was amazing. However, I admit that some styles are an “acquired taste”. The way I choose which beer to drink is by which beer flavor characteristic I am in the mood for e.g. roasty, hoppy, malty, spicy, complex etc. Lastly, at times I feel I need a refresher course and buy a beer from a style that I have not tried in a while, so that I can do my best to avoid getting “stuck” in my comfort zone.
One of the benefits of putting in the effort to develop one’s palate through drinking and brewing craft beer is the ability to gain a deeper appreciation for and ability to pick out nuanced aromas and flavors in whiskeys, wines, and other handcrafted beverages (spirits etc). This has been a helpful tool in helping me plan menus for meals that I either host or attend and turn friends who usually drink wine etc. on to craft beer through food pairings. It has also sparked my 2019 entrance into mead making.
“Foodie/Home Chef Bio”
Though it may seem somewhat cliché at times. I’ve always identified the time that I spent in the kitchen with my mom as a child and especially as a teenager as when my love for cooking started and how I developed such a deep curiousity to figure out how complex tasting dishes are created. I distinctly remember mashing up and mixing together all of the food on my dinner plate and calling the resulting mixture a “soufflé” as a young kid.
Truthfully, my current cooking skills began to develop as a result of my mom’s teaching me to cook dinner for our family on night’s that she stayed late at work or needed help cooking weekend meals. I took her recipes and techniques to my 2 years of religious study in Israel where I tasted and experimented with even more new flavor combinations. Then during my senior year of college I moved into an off campus apartment and therefore had more freedom to cook both my mom’s recipes and develop recipes of my own. As the years went on, opportunities for developing my palate, cooking skills, and thirst for exploring as many cuisines as possible only increased. Since getting married in July 2013, my amazing wife has been a great cheerleader and taste tester as I’ve made strides in cooking new dishes and baking breads etc for our family and friends. With each cuisine that I’ve chosen to explore, baking and cooking method that I’ve learned to incorporate into my repertoire, and successful end result. I’ve felt like I’ve achieved a new level of home “chefitude” and/or gotten closer to becoming a “full-fledged foodie”.
Bringing it all together
In turn, my goal for The Brewed Palate is to share as many of my home-brewing, fermentation related, and cuilinary experiences with you as possible in order to enhance your personal journey through palate development, brewing your best beers, and pursuit of culinary curiousities. Cheers!
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Hey Barry, just wanted to drop in and say hello. I got your site from the Share A Beer show with JD. I like what I read from your blog so far. I’m always looking for new beer to try. Hopefully one day I will be able to sit in on the show. 😀
Anyway, you seem to recommend a lot of beer that I can only get online. Unfortunately they only offer these beers in cases. I’m going to try the Weihenshaphaner Pilsner soon though! I haven’t had a good pilsner in a log time and you make it sound like the best thing ever. Cheers!
Glad you found and like my blog. Where are you from?
You should definitely try the Weihenshephaner Pilsner. I was blown away when I tried it. They recently came out with a pale ale, which I hope to try soon.
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Good to meet you tonight at Total Wine in West Orange. While I regret that our Dogfish Head IPA are not as fresh as you’d personally prefer; nonetheless, I am confident they are delicious.
Per the Dogfish Head site:
5. Beer won’t spoil.
You might not prefer what age does to certain beers, but you don’t have to worry about beer going bad.
“If someone grabs a bottle of Black & Blue off the shelf and it says 2009 on it, they shouldn’t be afraid to open it,” Ryan says. “There’s no expiration date. It’s just going to be different.”
“It’s not milk,” she says. “It doesn’t go bad on the shelf. It’ll never make you sick. It might not be the flavor that you remember, but it might be a flavor that you like even more.”
That last point resonates with me. While many wine lovers can certainly appreciate the bright stonefruit and limeade sweetness of many a Mosel Riesling, few will enjoy a more developed secondary character redolent of mineral and reductive (in a good way) complexity, attainable through ageing in non-extreme environments.
In any case, I do appreciate your feedback and am looking forward to serving you again. I will try a comparison tasting of the 60 minute, now and in a few months… Will let you know which I prefer!
You met my brother. This is Barry, and The Brewed Palate is my blog. I am sorry that you did not agree with my brother, but I’m afraid he is correct when it comes to India Pale Ales. As a home brewer and a craft beer drinker who has tried over 1200 beers and spent countless hours speaking to brewers I am confident of the fact that IPAs are meant to be drank fresh, no matter what their alcohol by volume is. A Dogfish Head beer like Black & Blue is not a hop forward beer and can therefore be aged. In fact Stone Brewing Co. puts 3 month enjoy by dates on their most hop forward beers so that those who drink them can enjoy their hop flavor and aroma. (see this link: http://www.stonebrew.com/freshbeer/
Oops, he sai it was his blog. Duly noted…
I particularly enjoy the floral character that hops imparts, and find that the Dogfish 120 is one of the most balanced IPA’s out there, with a focus on more than just hop bitterness… rather its other phenolic virtues.
Stone seems to hold bitterness as somewhat of a sole virtue of hops… all other components coming a distant second. That said I can appreciate their 3 month enjoy by date… ensuring that the bitterness remains intact and center-stage.
Hard to wrap my head around a focus on bitterness… While I certainly enjoy it. For me, one-dimensionality can never be a virtue when it comes to the “appreciation” of liquid culture/food.
The most important issue here is that even the most beer geek frequented stores are not always able to sell their stock of IPAs when fresh (hop aroma and flavor are at their peek). So when you disagreed with my brother this factor is what dictates the issue my brother raised at Total Wine and not a difference of opinion on taste preferences / characteristics or the history of IPAs. Hence, I won’t make a judgment on your craft beer sales because I don’t know how they’re doing or have been doing ever since TW started carrying a larger variety of craft beers. Also, arguments are usually not necessary and if they happen both sides should be able to focus on the reality of the situation before things take a turn for the worst.
Dogfish Head 120 has great hop character when fresh, but becomes quite sweet as it ages. Its balance exists within the first few months after bottling.
Stone’s enjoy by date also protects hop aroma and flavor which tend to fade first. When fresh Stone’s hop forward beer tend to have great floral and citrus aromas and flavors. In addition, at special Stone events double dry hopped versions of their IPAs are frequently served to showcase the potential of hop flavor in an IPA. Lastly, in general IPAs that have a nice amount of bitterness (not overwhelming, but appropriate for the style) are great for food pairings (contrasting sweet flavors and complementing spicy flavors). If Stone’s (or other breweries’) IPAs are too bitter for you or not what you prefer; then thanks to the variety of craft beer available in our area, you have plenty of other IPAs etc to choose from.
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