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    Sunday, 30 September 2007

    Toasting Michael Jackson With A NZ IPA

    Today was chosen as the day to toast the passing of Michael Jackson. The chosen time was 9pm EST but as that's the middle of the night here in England, I chose 9pm BST.

    Due to family commitments (my wife is due our second child in four days), I chose to stay at home to toast him. It was a difficult decision which beer to chose. Clearly I don't have unlimited supplies of beer or even access to most beers, so my choice was limited. I could have chosen a Yorkshire brew in deference to where Michael was born, or I could have chosen a beer from Lithuania in memory of his roots. Instead I chose a style of beer he championed, from a country not renowned for its beer.

    I think it's partly down to Michael Jackson that India Pale Ales are so popular with beer geeks now. This style, originally created by British brewers in the 1700s was written about by MJ in his pocket book of 1997 thus: "the hoppiest examples of the style are made by the new generation of American brewers". And it is Michael who played a huge part in the American microbrewery revolution. And out of this revolution, interest grew in other countries.

    So for my toast I chose to drink Emersons 1812 India Pale Ale, an IPA from New Zealand. It is very American in style. A wonderful aroma of piney hops and an excellent bitterness to the taste with notes of lychee.

    I am sure Michael would have been flattered by today's events and would have loved hearing about all the different beers chosen to mark the event. I don't know if he ever drank Emersons 1812 IPA - he probably did - I'm sure he would have liked it.

    Here's to Michael Jackson, and a big thanks for all you did for beer.


    Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

    He certainly did taste it, he also listed it in his 500 Classic Brews book, page 160.

    maeib said...

    That's one of his books I haven't read. Did he enjoy it? I certainly did

    Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

    Richard Emerson brews some very good beers, and would be generally considered our most successful micro brewer.
    1812 has changed alot through the years,in a column MJ described "1812 IPA, very English-tasting, refreshing and spicily hoppy, with beautifully combined flavours" Richard has swapped to NZ malt from Marris Otter and uses NZ hops in most of his beers. I would argree that 1812 doesnt taste english although Im not sure it tastes American, its tstes very New Zealand, wuth lots of NZ hop character.
    It will be interesting to see what you think of the Pilsner, its part a group of NZ pilsners which are using masses of NZ hops for aroma. There is a move to create a new style guidline at the moment.

    For some of MJ's note on NZ & Emersos

    maeib said...

    Wow, yes. Not an English style beer at all. The hopping is far too heavy for that.

    Those NZ hops are certainly more US in style than UK. It's been a while since I had Little Creatures but this tasted like a slightly more grown up version from memory.

    Looking forward to the pilsner. I know my friends who had a bottle from the same source as me were very impressed.