“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” - Maya Angelou, Writer and Civil Rights Activist

I found this (& many other) inspirational quotes from women when I was searching for an intro to this column.  This quote is as inspiring to me as it is a reminder.. a reminder that “life happens” and it is good policy to keep moving forward as best as one can.

I’m fortunate to have two strong and persevering women in our home who lead by example and absolutely are not letting adversity (in the form of a pandemic) bring them down, per Maya’s advice.  Their actions serve as role models for the other men-folk in the family (yours truly included).

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How and when am I going to relate this to beer you may ask?  Now, and here’s how:

The fastest growing craft beer demographic is women.  Loyal readers may recall similar statistics from about a year back and the fairer sex is still atop of the leaderboard.  That’s no surprise as my experience has been that when women are curious they actually do something about that curiosity.  I imagine that what is behind the demographic statistics, hearing about new beers and actually making an effort to give them a try.  Me?  I’m curious about a lot of stuff, but I just add them to a list…

On a related note, there are more women taking lead roles in the brewing industry such as Brewer and Owner than ever.  The four Yuengling sisters, representing the sixth generation of the Yuengling family, are celebrating 190 years of successful brewing. Westchester’s own Tuckahoe’s Broken Bow Brewery is majority women owned.

I was reading about Talea Beer Co. from New York City and founded recently by two avid homebrewing women.  It intrigued me that they position their lineup of beer as characterized by low bitterness and being fruit flavor forward.  I think this is a great approach as does The New York Times food critic Florence Fabricant. “They saw space in the market for easy-drinking beers, perhaps to replace that glass of rose,” she said.   

I figured that, in honor of the recent American Craft Beer spotlighting small and independent brewers, I try some Talea beer.  So, I strapped on my hazmat, disinfected the car inside and out, arranged a no contact pickup and had Matt and Hutch from Brew & Co. toss me, with gloved hands, a few through purified air from 7 feet away.  I highlight their Raspberry Gose here as I’m curious about the style and thought Talea did a terrific job with it:

Talea Raspberry Crush Gose:  Have you heard of this style of beer - Gose? I’ve tried a few here and there but can’t quite get my head around it.  So, I consulted the World Wide Web to get a little more info: 
• Pronunciation: Gose rhymes with Rosa, emphasis on the “o”
• Characteristics: sour, herbal, and… saltiness (as in the taste, not the nasty “Breanne was salty to me today” way)

Talea’s Gose is a Fruited Gose, which like a Fruited Sour has some kind of fruit added to balance out the other taste components of that style.  At a perfect 5.2% the Raspberry played very well with the herbal aroma and salt character and was a brilliant vermilion color.  (no credit to me for fancy word as I found it while googling “orange red color”)

Also notable for Talea is that they are a contract brewery which means they brew at someone else’s facility (for a cost) to take advantage of the existing equipment and infrastructure to quickly sell beer on a larger scale.  Does anyone my age remember the (genius) Matt’s Beer Ball?  55 beers conveniently encased in a soon to be giant kickball after the last drop was poured.  Brewed by F.X. Matt Brewing Company, they were pioneers in contract brewing renting out their Utica space for up and coming breweries and are still doing so today.

Check Talea out: taleabeer.com and also available at Whole Foods

Hard seltzers

So… Hard Seltzer.. What the heck is this stuff?  At first, it harkened me back to 1993 and Zima… Not a particularly fond memory. 

Then our daughter brought some market leading White Claw hard seltzers to the beach last year after she finished college.  I was tentative but was very pleased indeed.  Crisp, clean, refreshing, about 5% abv, and pairs well with the sun.  Though as I was enjoying them, she also told me the White Claw catch phrase was “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws”….  This worried me on several levels, the least of which was wondering about the ratio of academics to White Claws during her higher education, but I decided to button up.

I did some reading on the topic (thanks Vox.com) and sales of hard seltzers increased over 200 percent last year and 164 percent in July alone.  Turns out hard seltzers are a fermented rather than distilled beverage which means yeast is added at some point to eat sugars and produce alcohol.  This may seem quite familiar to those that attended my (virtually) standing room only Beer Class™ as part of a recent Library Zoom series.

Alcohol strength wise they trend in the 4% - 6% abv territory though, Pabst – always the innovator – comes in with an 8% “Stronger Seltzer”.  The Double IPA of seltzers?

Many traditional beer makers have jumped into the ring as well: Bud Light, Corona, Pabst, Natural Light (yes.. Natty Light) all within the very dietetic 100 calorie range.  I’d say an excellent option for those of us seeking the rotundness reversal path…

Mrs. KBM kindly bought an array of hard seltzers for our household while we are shelter-in-placing and I can honestly say I like both the Truly (owned by Boston Beer Company) and Corona brands, especially the berry flavors.  An excellent alternative to beer.


And, by the way, what day is it?

The Katonah Beer Man
e:  TheKatonahBeerMan@gmail.com 
i: Instagram thekatonahbeerman, who wants to be the 1,003th follower? watch out Kylie…
s: Smithsonian archive of past articles can be found here: https://www.tapinto.net/ and searching “thekatonahbeerman”