House Beer: New Friends and Familiar Faces
I’m pleased to announce that our Spring Irrational beer, Rover, is back on tap! For those of you who don’t remember, Rover is a strong Belgian ale consisting of 25% Local Wildflower Honey from Goodflow Honey Co. Probably one of the palest, crispest beers we make, this Irrational treat weighs in at 9.2% and has a beautiful, subtle bouquet of flowers, fruits, and spice. There is a major change in this year’s batch versus last year–the yeast. Last year, we used White Lab’s Trappist Ale (WLP500); this year, White Lab’s Belgian Style Ale Yeast Blend (WLP575). As you might expect, much of the Belgian flavors come from the special yeasts used in fermentation. Different strains of Belgian yeast can have big impacts in the flavor, body, and aroma. In short, the change in yeast was to produce a less banana-y, phenolic-y Rover, without compromising the overall floral/fruity character. The Belgian Blend we used this year is a combination of 2 types of Trappists yeasts and a Belgian ale type strain. Dr. Chris White of White Labs said the blend was made for American brewers to more accurately produce the traditional Trappist Ale flavors. Generally, he says, if you’re not a Trappist Monk brewing these beers, you’ll tend to overdo the fruity character. I’d have to agree with with him in that American versions of Belgian beers can often be too aggressive. Look for Rover to be around for the next couple months, then get ready for the second Member-Owner designed beer–Number 6!
Celebrating our 6th year as a co-operative, a distinguished panel of Member-Owners and a journeying New Zealand brewer pooled their ideas together to produce a pretty darn good sounding beer–Number 6. Unfortunately there’s never enough time to explain where the beers get their names, so if its information you want, you’ll have to get it by hook or by crook. Number 6 is a relatively pale Belgian style ale using the same yeast as Rover. The main concept behind this beer is to have a tropical fruit/wine-like hop forward character to be carried by the refined flavor/aroma of the yeast blend. I was able to procure some New Zealand “Pacific Jade” hops which are described as a bold infusion of fresh citrus and crushed black pepper. Coincidentally sitting at 6% abv and 6 SRM, Number 6 will be drinkable, yet complex.
Also this month, welcome back one of our most popular Irrational beers–Rebellious Dockhand! This member of the Dockhand series is sour mashed for 2 days and then has raspberries added during fermentation. The result is a complex, tart, roasty, raspberry-y swirl of flavor and aroma. You know what this means, don’t you? Our beloved “Waterloo” is just around the seasonal corner.
Be seeing you!
Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in seeing how the house beers link together, Jeff has created this neat House Beer Guide. I love that guy!