Beer School 101
Recently I learned a new term to describe beer. Moreish, /ˈmɔːrɪʃ/
(informal) (of food) causing a desire for more: these cakes are very moreish
I love it. This, I hope describes most of our beers. You must exclude our Imperial Stout and Scottish ales their alcohol content is too high.
When we set about making a recipe we consider the tradition of that beer and its true drinkability. Our goal is to quench your thirst, whet your appetite, cleanse your palate and grease your conversation. Five stars on some amateur review site don’t thrill me as much as seeing someone order a second or third of the same beer.
Some styles can be moreish and then again, not so much. Take IPA’s. They can be wonderfully bitter with a palate cleansing citrus or earthy flavor great for meals or they can be a taste bud numbing hop bomb. Think pepperoncino vs Carolina Reaper peppers. Both have their place in this world.
The appearance of beer matters to its moreishness. We do sometimes taste with our eyes. A cloudy beer is much less appetizing to most folks. A chef tries to “plate” his creation so it looks as good as it tastes. A brewer must do the same with his brew. Unless the beer is a wheat beer it should have clarity. There is a trending towards cloudy beer that I find unappealing.
Darker beers fool some folks. Stouts have a reputation for being heavy and filling. Our Charon Stout is a dry Irish stout. It has fewer calories, carbohydrates, and alcohol, not to mention carbonation than most styles. Yet not a day goes by in the pub without someone saying, “oh stouts fill me up after just one”.
An English brewery did an experiment. They took their very popular pale ale and dyed a couple of kegs black with a flavorless dye. When they served the original and the dyed beer customers describe the dyed beer as too flavorful and too heavy.
Balanced flavors are also needed to make a beer moreish.
Malt without the correct balance of hops makes for a sweet beer. Most people do not reach for a cola to quench a thirst. Ice tea, lemonade or the original green Gatorade are some top choices. They have a degree of bitterness that helps a dry mouth. Hops give beer its bitterness.
Too much hops and your tongue is coated with a “sticky” sensation that requires water not another beer.
Now I am feeling moreish, Slainte!