Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Six Session Beers of Session Beer Day, 2016 (Ch. 3): Bluegrass Brewing Company Altbier.

3rd of 6 previews.


The Six Session Beers of Session Beer Day, 2016 (Ch. 1): Falls City Kentucky Common.
The Six Session Beers of Session Beer Day, 2016 (Ch. 2): Gordon Biersch Golden Export.


Thursday, April 7 is Session Beer Day 2016 ... and since it's one of my favorite holidays of the year, I'll be celebrating it.

Join me on a Session Beer Day Brewery Crawl on Thursday, April 7.

On April 7, I'll start before lunch (circa 11:00 a.m.) and traverse downtown Louisville on foot, walking from brewery to brewery and having a session beer at each. Most usually have at least one 4.5% choice on draft. The brewery list, traveling roughly west to east, would be: Falls City (Over the 9), Gordon Biersch, BBC 3rd Street, Against the Grain, Goodwood and Akasha.

For all intents and purposes, session beer consciousness as we know it today originates with Lew Bryson's Session Beer Project.

For our purposes, 'session beer' is defined as a beer that is:

  • 4.5% alcohol by volume or less
  • flavorful enough to be interesting
  • balanced enough for multiple pints
  • conducive to conversation
  • reasonably priced

Has it really been five years? I included the recently opened Bluegrass Brewing Company 3rd & Main location as part of my Food & Dining Magazine column in the 4th quarter, 2010 edition. The issue isn't yet available on line, but I reprinted it here in early 2011.

For the new Arena BBC (300 W. Main), directly south of the KFC Yum! Center, the ever industrious Hagans took on their most labor-intensive start-up project to date, and in a truly venerable structure. Dining, drinking and brewing space to the tune of $1.4 million now occupies the basement and first floor of the seven-story Louisville Orchestra Building, formerly known as the Kentucky National Bank, a splendid 120-year-old example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This was so long ago that Against the Grain didn't yet exist. The AtG boys still worked for BBC, and Sam Cruz showed me the brewery at 3rd & Main.

Altbier is one of the most delightful experiences you'll ever have during German beer hunting, particularly in Düsseldorf. Trust  me. The late Michael Jackson provides background in an excerpt from his pocket guide.

For my purposes today, a comprehensive overview of BBC's Altbier isn't necessary. It should suffice to say that it has been a staple for a very long time, since David Pierce's original tenure at BBC, perhaps following our shared "Sticke" experience at Zum Uerige in 1995.

See? Best by 2001. Like I said, it's been a while  since BBC Altbier appeared. For a while, it was tagged as Amber. Now it's both.

BBC Altbier Amber Ale

Altbier, literally translated as "Old Style" beer, is a classic German ale. BBC Altbier is brewed with additions of Munich, wheat, caramel, and chocolate malts creating a delicate, but flavorful malt profile. This delicious amber colored session beer is balanced with additions of tradtional spicy German hops creating a light and floral bouquet to compliment its complex malt profile.
• ABV: 4.20% • IBU: 24

With Falls City, Gordon Biersch and BBC 3rd Street under my belt, a few long blocks east on Main Street will bring me to Against the Grain.


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