Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicago Brewings

Hey all,
The inaugural Chicago-branch brew has been sitting on the shelves for two and a half weeks now and it tastes great. It is called "The Critique of Brew Reason" in honor of Immanuel Kant. A solid American Ale: not too bitter, not too sweet, but definitely both. This was the first time i worked with actual hops rather than pellets, and i can taste it. Nice work all.
And now its time to make some more. We traded a six pack with some friends and are looking to expand our markets (bartering), but we need some to drink for our self, no? Wu and i are thinking about doing a dry hop this time. So my questions are thus:

(1) What are the best beer types for dry hopping?
(2) What are the best hops to dry hop with?

any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Little Kingdom

OK so the last few months the updates have been few and far between. Well, that's because not too much has actually been going on! With school bearing down, and my recent pseudo-addiction (OK, full fledged...) to beer trading, I've been spending more of my cold hard cash on this. But, in my eyes, the more beer you try and sample as a home brewer, the more you learn and the more ideas you have to add to your next batch. One of the ideas for an upcoming batch would have to be the re-make of Man, but this time a 4gallon batch, with a 1gallon mix of God into the carboy, with a host of champagne, High Gravity, Scottish and Brett yeasts contributing to the final mess. It's going to be funky. And quite possibly one of those most interesting, complex beers you'll ever have. So once this all gets up and running, I'm sure we'll have a host of new batches to report on. The Bleeding Hop Bucket has yet to be bottled, but I am certain the time is almost near! Actually, it's been nearly 3 months since brewing, with around 45 days of dry-hopping taking place. Which means, yep, it's ready. We'll bottle that within a week.

Keep checkin back and the updates will roll, I promise!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Reprise

So looking through some old posts, I came across my "Top 5 beers" and got a slight chuckle. That is, not because the choices aren't great ones, it's simply interesting to see where I've gone as far as beer in the last number of months. For instance, last year around this time I was excited to hear about the new, upcoming "Miller Chill," gearing up to hit shelves, and was ecstatic to find it on vacation last June. Although I'll probably pick up a few bottles to have on the beach again this year, my taste buds have been on a roller coaster ride ever since my first Chill moment.

In the spirit of great beer, here is a newly fashioned list of one mans palatial favorites:
And although I have them numbered, that really means nothing. A good beer in the right context can potentially beat out any of these for top-runners.

5. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Masala Mama IPA: Had the pleasure of tasting this delicious IPA at both Dark Lord Day as well as the Cincinnati BA get together at the Catskellar a week and change ago. Just a great overall brew, with nice spice and citrus notes, great session brew to enjoy.

4. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout: What can I say? It took WAY too damn long to get my hands on this brew. WAY too long. But it was worth the wait - thanks to Adam and a fellow BA trader, I got my hands on 5 of these. I'm a sucker for a Coffee Stout/Porter these days. This one is top notch; each wave is complementary to each other and is incredibly drinkable for the 10% ABV.

3. Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel: Another lucky pickup. These came around in Cincinnati just this past week, and with a little heads up, I was able to get more than my fair share. I enjoyed my first whole Peche Mortel after having just a sip at Dark Lord Day this past Thursday while watching Lost. As I noted then, this brew seems like it may have some amazing cellaring power. Rich coffee, toffee, chocolate and sour notes over what could be considered a bed of Motor Oil. Pick this up if you see it out. Now.

2. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron: Incredibly complex and fulfilling, the Palo Santo Marron was my #1 until last night (see below...). Another thick pourer, the PSM delivers waves of rich, spicy chocolate, vanilla, palo santo wood, and alcohol. A sipper at 12%, and well worth the $15/4pk price tag. It's got a bite though, and should age incredibly well... I'll be saving quite a number of these to try in a few years.

1. Midnight Sun Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter: Thanks to our pal Frank in Anchorage, I was able to get a couple of these (have yet to try the Oak Aged version...) sent 4000 miles onto my porch. Shared this with Emma, Tim and Jenny, and each taster found this to be a fantastic beer. Incredibly well-balanced, full of rich rich chocolate, with a great complementary pumpkin "tart" that finishes off the end of the taste. I can't wait to drink the next one, and really wish these came around the Cincinnati region more. Top Notch brew. If you see this, get it. No matter what level of beer drinker you are, there is no way you will be dissapointed in this one. And if you are, for some reason... I'll finish that glass for you ;)

This list is pretty reflective of my current appetite, but with summer around the corner, I am on a hunt to track down more and more IPA's and Belgians. It will be interesting to revisit this category in a few months and see how my tastes have changed, or "matured"

Honorable mentions go to: Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale, Stone IPA, DaveDave Spiced Chai Milk Stout, Fullers Vintage 2006, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA, and Christian Moerlein OTR. I guess I am getting back into those IPA's after all....

Friday, May 2, 2008

On The Map!

After a few exhausting last few days, we have recovered (almost...) from Dark Lord Day (amazing), and just received a BA beermail from Warren, a fellow BA we met and shared a few homebrews with at DLD, who told us that the Brickstone Brewery in Bourbonaise, IL is interested in brewing some DaveDave! I don't really know what this entails, but big congrats to Batch 11, which is apparently the *chosen* brew. Once I can dig up the recipe and hop-schedule, hopefully they'll go through with it and we'll have our very first professionally brewed DaveDave on the map! We'll keep everyone posted as to the status of this... very cool stuff indeed!