So many good beers are on our shelves right now it makes for a wonderful problem to have! One thing is for sure though, you never have to worry about the freshness of beer when you are buying local from our breweries in the area! Talk about good problems to have, we are pretty spoiled in having such great quality, great tasting, wonderfully brewed beer just miles away from our doorsteps. So what’s new from our local breweries? Here’s a start! (if I missed something let me know! Try to post on any Iowa breweries so feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org)
*Big Grove Brewery – the constantly rotating lineup of beers makes for a weekly must stop for the Baron and this week the announcement that Que Amarillo is back and Que Ondo Retaca is on the line made my week! But what’s new? :
**Love Potion – a rye beer that checks in at 6.5%
Maybe the most exciting news for Big Grove right now is what we can’t drink yet! Bill, Rabbit, and Tee have been busy with some big time brews. A Lambic, more Richard, a Brett Double IPA, and Mellow Drama will be hitting lines in the future. Damn, thirsty after typing that out. Here’s the updates from Big Grove’s Facebook page:
From 11/6/15: Today we’re brewing the next batch of lambic using a traditional TURBID MASH. We’ve done the coolship thing on the last batch, and we’ve always used stale Iowa grown hops, and we’re fermenting a bunch in oak, but this giant pain in the ass mashing technique is, I believe, the next step in making real lambic. We’re also going to a 40% raw wheat grist instead of flaked wheat to try and build a more complex protein matrix.
Here’s the deal: we’re going to step the mash through a few rests, starting with the peptonisation rest at 113F, then a quick bump to 136F to extract more protein from the grain. After the first bump, we will start pulling turbid runnings off of the thing into the kettle for heating. We will hold the runnings at 176F or so to stop enzymatic conversion and leave a bunch of starches and dextrin in the liquid.
After that, it’s a sacchrification rest at 149F, more runnings to the kettle, a rest at 162F for more long chain sugars, then a mash out at 176F when we put the turbid runnings back into the mash tun.
Two hours of boiling, ambient cooling, and a pitch of some hot bugs should round things out nicely. This first batch will go into some new Opus One barrels we recently procured.
This is going to be a long damn day for two wine barrels worth of lambic somewhere down the road.
Welcome, Tree Chuggers, to the great month of November! It’s a month with lots of ups and downs. I mean, we get to brew tons of Richard, Lambic, Englert Brett DIPA, and Mellow Drama Maple Imperial Porter, but you don’t get to drink those beers for quite some time. Sorry.
In the mean time, satiate your thirst with some 2015 Richard, Que Amarillo (it hit the lines last night), and Love Potion (obviously I didn’t name that one).
*Lion Bridge Brewery – I wasn’t able to get to the cask-conditioned Disaster at the Meaux w/ maple syrup tapping and I’m kicking myself for it, but more good news from Quinton and Alec at Lion Bridge is the re-release of Yard Sale! Loved this beer the first time and I’m guessing I’ll love it again. With that being said it’s hard to walk out of Lion Bridge without a coffee comp, a disaster, and one of my personal favorites a Sorachi Liberace. Here’s more on Yard Sale:
**Yard Sale – American IPA coming in at 6.4% – a must try for hopheads! Wonderfully balanced and delicious!
**Turner Alley Brewing in Cedar Rapids continues to pump out some great beers. Travis has a new brew in the works and it’s going to be Foreign Extra Stout and we should be seeing kegs of this popping up soon. Make sure to check out Turner Alleys’ other offerings, I’m digging their pils and the newly renamed Wood’s Pale Ale.
**Firetrucker Brewery – a couple of newer releases from the fine folks at Firetrucker in Ankeny. Make sure to check them out, a very cool place to visit and have a brew or 10.
*Smoking Pumpkin Porter –
ABV = 6.1%
IBU – 24
“Light up the bonfire, call your friends and enjoy this smoked pumpkin brown porter! Notes of allspice and nutmeg mingle with pecan smoke on the nose. Flavors of pumpkin and spices linger with a smokey finish. The porter base provides roasted malt flavors that tie it all together. This limited, seasonal beer is the perfect companion for a chilly fall day!”
*Acova Black Walnut Ale– their winter seasonal, Acova Black Walnut Ale is now out and is a smooth easy drinking brown ale made with local (fresh) black walnuts. This brew checks in at 6.8%.
I have an IPA with Citra and Mosaic coming up shortly. It currently doesn’t have a name. Our Imperial Stout this year is called “Endless Decent Into Ruin”. It is big (12%) but really smooth. To be brewed we have Coffee Cobra and an Imperial Porter. That should get us through the year.