ONE: Our anniversary beer
We’ve been in business for a year now and we feel pretty blessed. No, it wasn’t perfect and certainly didn’t always go as planned. We only had one fire. In fact, almost everything broke at least once, and we were invaded by woodland creatures (a bat, a snake and a chipmunk). We are here so ultimately, we prevailed! We went in thinking it wouldn’t be easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it…actually that’s next year, but that’s another story.
We have become more consistent while becoming more efficient, so this is a relief to all on board. We took apart machines whose operations we understood and, more importantly, we took apart machines that we really did not know how they worked (armed with a third-generation Xerox of an Italian language manual). All of these devices got reassembled and they run — hallelujah!
So onto the celebratory beer, ONE. This is a new mash up: Belgian Imperial Stout. Stout is the first beer I fell in love with and I like its many incarnations. When I worked for Nick Funnell, at Sweetwater, he made an incredible Imperial Stout. It is one part dark chocolate, and one part Christmas pudding with flavors of dried fruit and booze. Lovely beer and Nick has won a bunch of accolades for it.
I wanted to do a twist by taking this style out of British territory and making it more Belgian. I made the character malt bill much leaner and added 1/5 of the gravity with candy sugar. I still used 6 different malts but in smaller proportions. The OG is 22p.
The hops are both European (Fuggles and Magnum) and American (Columbus and Amarillo Chinook),with almost a pound per bbl of dry hop. At 65 IBUs it is on the low end of the style, because it was intended to finish very dry, about 3.5p.
Last, it was the yeast that made it Belgian. I used a Westmalle clone; it is the same yeast we use for the Optimal Wit. There are lots of fruity and spicy flavors imparted by this monastic yeast. I taste plums and cooked apples and also spices like allspice and nutmeg, though no spices were added.
This beer fermented vigorously and was done in ten days. At first it tasted like Caffe Corretto, with lots of roast and alcoholic heat. It is 9.5% abv after all. However, this gradually faded with aging. What first presented was some sweetness, then dates and tree nut. This beer was designed to age and morph.
Thanks again to everyone who has supported us. Its great to be ONE year old and we’re looking forward to see what TWO brings to us and to you.
My next post will be about our upcoming Spring bottled seasonal: Tartan Ale.