Color in beer naturally comes from the ingredients. It goes to follow then, that if you change the color you change the virtue of the beer. So says the highly knowledgeable John Mallett of Bell’s Brewing in Kalamazoo Michigan.
When John was giving his salon at SAVOR recently, he indicated just that sentiment: when you change the color, you change the virtue. I think that’s a good way to educate about color in beer. FYI – Salon title = Fade to Black: The Effect Dark Color has on Food and Beverage.
Beer has many virtues, one of which happens to be the first thing we generally notice: color. Because we notice it first, we can also be a premature beer racist. We call it ‘beer racism‘ if you decide to judge the beer by its color BEFORE the you give the beer the opportunity to give you all it’s got, on all fronts.
Sam of Dogfish tells people to ‘not be afraid of the dark’ – another good way to think about it. Martha – if you see this – he’s right. You should have at least courtesy sipped his beers on your show.
Try all the beers you can. If you use any kind of color descriptor, make sure it’s only explaining color. Since color does not automatically mean this or that. It means color has been imparted by the ingredients in the recipe. Yes, it can lead to some general patterns YET dark is just dark to start. Light is the same way.
There’s always way more than meets the eye. Let your taste buds lead the charge in enjoying beer with you eyes closed for good measure.