Saturday, July 31, 2010

Belgian Rye 2.0 and Misc

Starting with Misc:

- We bottled 5 gallons of the brown ale that was used as the base for two other souring projects that make up 35 gallon's worth of longer term projects.  As it turns out, the base beer (thankfully) very good.  It is a rich brown ale that the malt is surprisingly not heavy handed.  Instead the aroma and taste are closer to dried fruits.  This one is just now bottle conditioning and we'll be ready to provide samples in about a week.

-  If there was a benefit of running the Napa to Sonoma half marathon, (beyond raising raising a lot of money for a good cause, getting in shape, being around great people. . .) it's that when it was over we finally got to visit Lagunitas Brewing.  Great tour and people.  Need to head back when the beer garden is open.  That's where all of the experimental goodness we see in their Twitter feed meets the public.

- Our prior brewery visit was just a bit east of Lagunitas at the Spring House Brewery in Lancaster, PA.  While in the area for a wedding, we stopped in to this really great brew-on-premise spot.  The owner (Matt) is pretty close to a one man show and is cranking out a year round Seven Gates Pale that is bottled and distributed while keeping growlers filled with some great seasonals.  Great spot and project.  We wish him the best and will keep on keeping tabs.  Here's a shot from the back door of the brewery.  Napa of corn?  Beautiful.

- On the same trip got to spend some time in Philly and was reminded just how great of a beer town it is.  Eulogy had Petrus Aged Pale on draft (a rarity) and National Mechanic was a great beer backdrop for us to watch the World Cup Final.  We won't get into how we missed the goal due to a flight yours truly wasn't even slated to be on. . .

- Locally, Alembic never ceases to surprise.  They had the Bruery's Coton on draft.  At 14% abv it's a wallet forgetting goodness.  Went well with jerked duck hearts and waygu tongue sliders.

- Our own beer finally found its way to a draft handle over at Elizabeth Street Brewery.  Our Amarillo Wheat was officially the first Die Hipster brew ever tapped.  Tasted great and was served nice and early during the World Cup Quarterfinals.  Keg was kicked before the second game was over.  Until we get our own draft system going, we're happy to contribute!

Finally to the next iteration of our Belgian Rye.  This is one is probably our most popular all around and also the one we used to experiment in our blending project (only one bottle of that one left sadly).  For this time around we made some adjustments.
-  Target of 10 gallons versus the previous 7gallon batches.  To keep our numbers and bump up the backbone just a bit we;
- Added two pounds of Belgian Munich light malt.
- Switched to Belgian Pilsner as the base instead of domestic.
- Blended the Belgian Ale and Belgian Golden Ale yeasts then split them into the two fermenters.

We're probably at least a month away from getting to try this iteration out but really looking forward to this one.