Unless you're an enthusiast of craft-brewed beer, you've probably never heard of barley wine. It's not something you'd pop open after mowing the lawn, but it's a lot more interesting than that sort of beer. If you're adventurous and don't have plans for the evening, now's a good time to find and try one. Not mentioned by the Times is a local favorite produced by the New Glarus Brewing Co. called Tail Wagger. Snip:
Barley wine is not a wine at all but a beer, or to be geekishly precise, a top-fermented ale of exceptional strength, power and length. Barley wines are not for chugging after a workout. They are not refreshing but thought-provoking, sip by contemplative sip. Many even benefit from cellaring, most for a year or two, but some for a decade or more. Barley wines are sometimes dated with the brewing equivalent of the vintage year, and, even more so than wine, vintages can be entirely different. I like to think of Bilbo Baggins, comfortable and secure in his paneled Hobbit hole, with a cupboard full of seedcakes and a mug of barley wine.
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