I have had my amber on tap for awhile and I decided to look for a few other ambers for comparison. My amber is malty with some roasted notes. I happened upon JackieO’s Pub and Eatery ‘Firefly Amber’ out of Athens Ohio. It was in a pretty can which drew my eye with the cool artwork on the back.
But it wasn’t an amber at all. It was a pale ale. Pale ale in color. Pale ale in flavor. It was a good pale ale, but hop flavor and aroma was the dominate theme instead of a more neutral flavor of the malt. There was no amber color but more lighter and tannish characteristic of pale ales. It was also lightly filtered or unfiltered as it was ‘opaque’ – though not cloudy. So is what I tasted an ‘accident’ in bottling or should it really taste like a pale ale? In my opinion they are two totally different beer styles.
Me, for some reason, am not a fan of the new ‘unfiltered’ beers that are flooding the market. Sure, there are certain styles that should be unfiltered and/or bottle conditioned. But I don’t buy the argument that filtering to get bright beer ‘strips out flavor’. If properly filtered, you can remove the yeast and have an exceptional beer that has been finely crafted from start to finish.
I have a feeling that a lot of new ‘nano’s and ‘micros’ are just eliminating filtration, not for the sake of ‘taste’ but for the sake of not having the money and time to invest in the proper equipment to put out a highly tasting, though refined product. And if you are going to let gravity do all of your filtering…you are not going to let it sit around in a fermentor for weeks and weeks to get bright beer, instead you are going to bottle/keg it before it’s ‘really done’.
I’m sorry…but we are in the 21st century. Beer should be filtered. We are not in the dark ages where beer more closely resembles mud. Why are we going backwards?
But that’s just like…my opinion…man.