Tuesday, January 22, 2019

7th Annual Barley's (Greenville) Biggest Little Beer Fest Fun As Ever

Were you there Sunday?

At Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria (Greenville) for the 7th Annual Biggest Little Beer Fest? If you missed it (it did sell out), well cheer up buttercup, I was there sampling an amazing assortment of beers and took lotsa photos; many of them in focus! So, grab a brew, get comfortable and off we go!

(Next group will feature Trappe Door pix)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Et Tu, Brut?

Et tu, Brut? (Cliché of the day)

IPAs have been the most popular craft beer styles for several years now with new variations being released weekly it seems. In my case, I'm drinking a lot of NEIPAs, aka New England or North East style, with its characteristic haze, tropical flavors and moderate ABV.
So now here comes another new one: Brut IPA.

As you may know, brut is a term used to describe sweetness in champagne or sparkling wines. Brut in this case means dry. So the Brut style is a very dry, light colored Champagne-like beer that is low on bitterness but very high in hop aroma.

This style is credited to Kim Sturdavant, brewer at Social Kitchen in San Francsco, who brewed it first in 2017.

The grain bill will consist of a light base malt with slight coloring from an adjunct. Friend of mine made one using pilsner malts and flaked corn. A properly chosen malt can also help clarify the wort which is a desirable style point.

Yeast likes sugar. Converts it to alcohol. If you want a dry beer, you help the yeast convert as much sugar as possible. In this brut scenario where extreme dryness is the goal, an enzyme is added to the wort (preferably during early fermentation stages) which makes the yeast convert the remaining sugar/carbs more efficiently. There are very technical terms for this which I will leave to you to research.
The yeast used is usually a fairly neutral ale tho I have had a brut which used a champagne yeast. To me, a noticeable difference in flavor results.

Then come the hops. Lots of hops. Mosaic is a common choice as is Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin, Huell Melon, all dry hopped and double dry hopped sometimes. By keeping the specific gravity at 1.00 or lower, the perceived bitterness usually associated with hops is actually more than the final IBU readings.
The result is a very dry, very drinkable hop forward beer, hopefully with extra carbonation to complete the champagne-like experience. Go try one for yourself and report back!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The 48 Beer Project

t's a well known fact that when you head to a favorite taproom (brewery or otherwise) you invariably meet interesting people.
Such was the case yesterday while having a new beer at Birds Fly South Ale Project. Met and talked with Heidi Geist who is in the midst of an "insane goal" type of campaign called the 48 Beer Project. Heidi, a graphic artist, intends to collaborate on a beer label design with a brewery in each of the lower 48 states. That brought her and her traveling bus home to BFS which has become the SC representative. You can learn more about Heidi and the 48 Beer Project at her website.

The Studio of the Collective Unconscious.

Cheers and safe, successful travels, Heidi.