Hippo Manchester
October 13, 2005

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Ask me about beer
By Mike Roy   beergasms@aol.com

I guess I see things differently than some people. Let me rephrase that, I know I see things differently. I used to spend my time wondering why my mind sometimes worked at opposite ends of the pole than most, but now Iíve just come to accept it. I believe itís all part of getting older. It has its perks, yet the most important one doesnít always come with age; itís more a matter of experience.

I speak of wisdom, having the insight to distinguish between the complicated situations that life rolls our way every day. Now, Iím not going to claim to be the ďwisest,Ē as I have my moments from time to time where even I want to slap some sense in me. Lessons are learned and we usually have the insight not to repeat those mistakes again.

Wisdom in the world of beer can be a little bit hazy at times, so sometimes itís best to sit back, cool it down and let things clarify. Simple combinations like water, barley, hops and yeast become very complicated when an ingredient called humans is added. People tend to complicate things rather than simplify them and in the world of beer thatís really Ö confusing.

Iím always amazed at how we all have ďourĒ experts in our lives. As for myself if I have a mechanical question I will ask my father.  A question about real estate I direct towards my brother and even though she probably doesnít appreciate me saying this, all my domestic questions are the property of my mother. Computers, cars, health and wellness, sports and so forth ó we usually know someone who can give us the answers we seek. With all these experts in so many fields around us I only have one question to ask you:

Who do you ask when you have a question about beer?

Would you ask your father about the difference between ale and lager? Maybe your mechanic can explain why beer is boiled?  Perhaps the 18-year-old server at your local watering hole can shed some light for you on the history of India Pale Ale?

OK, timeís up ó whatís your answer? Iím sure there is an array of answers across the board but I think one answer is staring you in the face. That answer is, of course, me. Maybe Iím dreaming or just have high hopes, but I want to be your expert on beer. In fact I want to be Manchesterís answer for any question about beer. Itís the goal I set when I started writing this column and itís what I will continue to strive for.

So I challenge all of you to challenge me to prove myself in my quest. Send me e-mail with your questions, no matter how simple or complicated you think they might be. I will answer every question asked and even print ones that might help clear the fog on beer for everyone around us. Together letís educate this town on all that is beer and wash the ignorance down like we would pretzels.

Mike Roy is the brew master at Millyís Tavern at 500 Commercial St. The Beer Cellar appears semi-monthly in the Hippo. If you have any questions or suggestions for future columns, or would like to comment on The Beer Cellar send e-mail to Beergasms@aol.com

 

Beer of the week
Dead Guy Ale
*** (out of 4)

I picked this little beauty up at the North End Superette on Elm Street in Manchester the other day.

Dead Guy Ale is made by the Rogue Brewery out in Newport, Ore. The Rogue line was founded in 1988 by Jack Joyce, Rob Strasser and Bob Woodell, three suits who opted to go into the beverage industry.

Personally, Iím glad they did. Dead Guy Ale, which I picked mostly because of the name, is now my eighth favorite beer. Dead Guy Ale was created to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead (Nov. 1, All Souls Day) for Casa U Betcha in Portland, Ore. The Dead Guy was incorporated into a bottled product a few years later.

Dead Guy is a German-style Maibock made with ale yeast. It is deep honey in color with a malty aroma, rich hearty flavor and well-balanced finish. In a word: Yum. And, with a skeleton/zombie guy on the label, itís perfect for drinking around Halloween. (P.S. The label glows in the dark.)

ó      Robert Greene