Cheers to Belgian Beers: The Ultimate Primer
Post has been updated: Lucky Lab Doggie Kong added to the list.
Over the past couple days, I've been trying to track down as many breweries as I could to find out more about the beers they made for the Cheers to Belgian Beers fest. I was interested in the methods as much as ingredients of the beers. Many got back to me, and below are excerpts of their responses.
I considered trying to recreate their responses in neutral Jeff-speak, but I like the way each told his own story. As you'll see, some breweries went to elaborate lengths to create interesting beers. As a consequence, it's a looooooong post (though I've put in a page break). I hope to hear from more, so I'll update the page as needed throughout the day. I'll also post a pdf with this whole document in case you want to print it off for the fest.
AmbachtName: Ambacht Black Gold
Concept: Brewer Tom Kramer described his beer: "Ambacht Black Gold that we brewed for the PCTBB is a variation on our regular Ambacht Black Gold that brewed with the Farmhouse strain of yeast and bumped the OG up a bit to make it a bit more festive.
Method: "We brewed it early February, just after the yeast became available and it spent two weeks in the primary getting up to 80°F, we then let it age for a month at about 50°F before kegging/bottling. We carbonate all our beers withhoney which we find leaves just a bit of residual sweetness to the taste."
Comments: "The farmhouse yeast added some new flavors and we are very happy with how it turned out."
Stats: 15.2P, 6.8% ABV, 25 IBU
Big Horse BrewpubName: Cuvee Du Ferme
Concept: If you haven't been to Big Horse in the past year or two, you need to go try new(ish) brewer Jason Kahler's beers. "Describing "Cuvee Du Ferme" gets a little complicated, because two of the three beers going into it were experimental in process. All three use the selected strain; I suspect people will assume that it involves other "yeast." It does not."
Method: " I brewed the 2 younger beers in early Feb. and allowed them to condition warm until about 2 weeks ago. Sour Mash Wheat: 72% of the blend, FV temp. 78F, sour mashed 1/2 the grain for 48hrs. Rye Saison: 24% of the blend, FV temp. 80F. The Old Gold: 4% was a beer I did years ago with the [same strain of yeast], I put up a 1/2 barrel of it with pediococcus/lactobacillis and let it ride at ambient temps, hot in summer, cold in winter. This beer on its own is very acid, it's one that I use strictly for blending."
Comments: "[The soured beer] adds a layer to the cuvee that I really enjoy. As far as the [festival] strain is concerned, it is probably my favorite of the commercial Belgians.
Stats: Final, blended beer 6.3% ABV
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