So I'm facilitating a small tasting education and beer/food pairing for friends who sold tickets for a charitable cause. I'm a trained facilitator from a past career and I'm a sucker for charitable causes.
I've done the training and pairing before - I recommend the beer and food pairing, serving order, do a tasting and evaluation 101 thing, and walk the guests through the courses with a little education on how to choose pairings. It's always a great combination of serious learning and fun.
Usually I'll slip a couple of my own beers into the mix. I assume that a few of the guests will become craft beer fans, and there's no harm in pimping my brand so to speak.
Here's the lineup:
Beancurdturtle Brewing, Nelson Ate a Persimmon
Palate and mind opener (no food pair)
Allagash Brewing Company, Allagash White
Napa cabbage and radicchio chiffonade salad, with lime juice coriander walnut oil dressing
Ballast Point Brewing Company, Sculpin IPA
Sharp cheddar Mac and cheese with shaved bresaola
Brasserie Dupont sprl, Saison Dupont
Mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes on pesto
Brasserie de Rochefort, Trappistes Rochefort 10
Torch seared, sous vide boneless beef rib on crostino with coarse sea salt
Epic Brewing Company, Big Bad Baptist
Chocolate dipped Coconut Macaroons
Beancurdturtle Brewing, Black Lingerie Batch 3, Closer (no food pair)
I craft recipes for extraordinary beers. No foolin' - extraordinary. Then I brew a pilot batch, you know, just to prove them out. BCT BFU is a recipe for lots of black malts (roast) and lots of dank hops, cradled in an Oatmeal Stout backbone for balance. And it works - very well.
In a small operation like Beancurdturtle Brewing, everyone (that would be me) has many functions. Brewing, bottling, corresponding with Craft Brewery collaborators, labeling...
Right... Labeling. In this photo you can't see the witty description "Roasty as hell, bitter as a bad breakup, cradled in dark malts and lucious mouthfeel."
The Art Department misspelled "luscious". I'd fire them all, but it's me. *sigh*
In “Other Brewery’s Brews” I will present tasting notes and/or thoughts about beers that creatively inspire me.
Appearance 3/5: Warm amber color. Slightly cloudy. Firm white head that lasts well.
Aroma 3.5/5: Honey and hay. Peaches and rye crackers. Forest floor moist leaf tannic. Slightly piney.
Flavor 4/5: Pilsner saltine cracker sweetness. Boozy sweetness like invert beet sugar syrup. Pepper and pine in the astringent bitterness.
Mouthfeel 4/5: Medium bodied and slippery to start. Astringency develops around the edge of the tongue, the creeps to envelop the palate. Finishes dry with a long lasting resiny sticky bitterness.
Overall Impression 4/5: This very complex beer sits strongly on a tripod of Belgian Golden Strong, aggressive Czech Pilsner, and American Double IPA. It confidently expresses the stronger characters of all three of these styles while remaining balanced on three sturdy legs – clean malts, complex DIPA style hops, and warming alcohol. The yeast characters are in the honey/fruit background and peppery mouthfeel.
Very good beer, but why “Boo!”? Maybe because it’s scary delicious?
Berry'd Alive® the morning after brewing it up. I checked the blowoff vessel - the usual 1 gallon vessel for a small batch - before going to bed last night. Good thing I did as it was ready to overflow. I changed it out for a 5 gallon brew bucket.
It looks like about 3/4 gallon of blowoff happened in 8 hours while I slept. It would have been a helluva mess to clean up if I hadn't brought in the big guns.
The fermentation chamber smells like Strawberry Shortcake this morning. Here's a link to a video - Berry'd® Alive being... well, Alive! - and photos below for fun - you don't always get a chance to see pink blowoff.
I have a hybrid American White Ale/Belgian Witbier base that is tweaked to carry the flavors and character of delicate fruits - like berries, kiwi, loquats - and present them like a fruity bouquet from a fresh poured chalice. One of the beers I use it for is Berry'd Alive.
It's more than a cool name because it's actually quite literal. There's about a pound of crushed mixed berries for each gallon of beer. And it's fermented for a couple weeks and goes straight to the bottle to carbonate and condition with the live yeast that carries over from the fermenter to the bottle.
And the yeast keep working. The yeast character goes from astringent and peppery when young, to smoothly fruity and comforting after a few months in the cellar. And the way I deal with the fruit ensures that it's always the star of the beer. It remains fresh, prominent, and fruity for a long time.
In a 5 gallon batch: 3 pounds of dark grains (2.5lb being 300SRM to 500SRM, black), and almost half a pound of Ahtanum, Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe hops.
Well, I failed. Not on the color, roastiness, or hop bitterness - I failed on the "edge of offensive" thing. I thought I would have a beer that would steal the Arrogant card from a famous Bastard. But "arrogant" doesn't describe this beer.
Instead, BCT BFU is 57 SRM, deeply roasty, and 103 IBUs - and it's gorgeous. Nobody is going to call a beer "Gorgeous Bastard" - I'll keep the name "BCT BFU" because that was the original intent.
Bottled yesterday, I can't wait for it to carb up and be ready to serve.
I'm going to a Guys' Night thing tonight. I know the guys of course, so they are all craft brew fans. I'll be bringing two versions of one of my favorite beers, and the tribute beer, BCT Quad 2013, that I brewed for my annual Quad last year.
Incidentally, you can find Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel on tap most of the time at a great place for good beer and good food in my neighborhood, The Globe - Belgian Gastropub.
You can always count on me to bring the light beers.