Refreshing, brightly complex, slightly spicy, herbal and floral. And the aromas and flavors evolve as the beer warms and opens up.
This is a great beer that suits a warm Southern California - or Canary Islands - afternoon very well. I handed the recipe off to Tierra de Perros cerveza artesanal, the brewery on the Canary Islands for whom I crafted the beer.
There will soon be some lucky craft beer lovers off the west coast of Africa enjoying this unique Specialty Saison.
Something new for Beancurdturtle Brewing. Project labels. Because (at least not right now) we don't sell beer. The beers we make are of two kinds.
A pilot batch - a proof of concept. The beer is a unique recipe, crafted to meet the equipment capacity of a specific brewery and fit with the typical inventory, while simultaneously embodying the concept for the beer and expressing a little personality of the brewery and/or the region where the brewery makes its home.
A sample recipe - which is a seasonal or specialty ale that usually uses new processes, creative ingredients, or exacting old school techniques. These beers are intended to demonstrate that great beer is always grounded in tradition and process, enhanced with something unexpected but not overwhelming.
The brewery that makes the beer will design their own label when they bring the beer to their customers. Sure, Beancurdturtle Brewing will get credit on the final label - but the beer is crafted so the brewery that brews it can proudly say that they own the concept, and the personality of the beer expresses something about them, and their home.
The Pilot brew for the Porter Alcoiana project was ready for bottling today. A two stage fermentation and a little coffee goes in for the last part. The color is dark and wonderful, especially for a beer with such restrained roast characters. And just enough residual sweetness to balance the coffee characters.
Photos for fun. Have a look. This is going to be a really nice beer.
Subjective Target: Unique and refreshing beer with enough complexity to be enjoyed in all seasons, and particularly appropriate for warm weather, and/or as an accompaniment to food.
Well it is refreshing, complex, and slightly savory from the herbs grown on the Canary Islands where it will be brewed. But today I had a sandwich with cured meat and cheese, and olives - things typical for a light Spanish treat. I decided to test the "as an accompaniment to food" part of the target.
May I just say "Wow!"
It is absolutely on target, and such a perfect compliment to cured meats, cheese, and olives. And I'm sure it will also a great accompaniment to many other foods. Target achieved!
So I'm making a cup of coffee this morning, pouring the water into the drip filter, and this inkling of "Seems like I'm forgetting something." goes through my head. I think, "Coffee, why does coffee shake this thought out?"
A quick update for the Porter Alcoiana Project for Cerveza Spigha. Three days after fermentation starts, it's time to switch from a blowoff tube to an airlock. While doing so we can check the color, aromas and flavors, and take a gravity reading. Comments are in the captions.
I will be brewing in Spain again. This time with Cervesera Alcoiana, the brewers of Cerveza Spigha. Spigha brews three year round beers - a Pale Ale, a Blonde, and a Brown Ale. All are well done beers. I'm going to help them develop a specialty beer that represents the city of Alcoy Spain where the brewery is.
What makes it "specialty"? For a Spanish beer it is richer, higher in alcohol, uses unusual processes (for Spain), and special ingredients. Still, I have crafted the recipe to remain well balanced and very drinkable, so it won't be a shock for the emerging Spanish craft beer drinker (they are called "Freakies")
When I was in Spain in November of 2013 I met Pau, the head brewer for Cerveza Spigha. Pau is a smart, passionate, and knowledgable brewer. I heard that some people believe he will grow to be one of the best brewers in the country. I'm pleased that I am preparing a special beer for Spigha, and Pau, to brew. I know Pau will brew it well.
Here's the description for the project:
Concept Name: “Porter Alcoiana” Concept Description: A dark chocolate colored, medium bodied beer, in the style Robust Porter, incorporating the aromatic and flavor characters of coffee local to Alcoy Spain, famous for Aperitivo Café de Alcoy. Subjective Target: A dark and rich beer with chocolate and coffee characters, and a balancing base of residual sweetness. Spanish coffee beans will be used in brewing the beer to give it a character unique to the region of Spain where Cerveses Spigha brews.
Ok then, enough chit-chat. On to the photos. I've included some information in the captions about special processes, considerations, and ingredients used to brew this beer.