Monday, February 27, 2006

How Now, Brown Ale?

I just figured out that I've NEVER brewed a brown ale. Charlie Papazian's article and recipe for an American Brown Ale in the Mar/Apr edition of Zymurgy has inspired me. I think I'll brew my own version of this for my next "session beer" to have on tap. Session beer is defined by:
"Any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV, featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish - a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability. The purpose of a session beer is to allow a beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or session, without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication. (Yes, you can drink and enjoy beer without getting drunk.)"

I've never felt a need to have a brown ale on tap. I absolutely hate the sweeter versions of the style that lots of clone-happy extract brewers love, (like Newcastle). Mine will be crisp and clean, with a twist, (no doubt). I've tasted some very nice versions of this style over the years, but nothing comes to mind as "outstanding" or especially memorable. I would like to at least try to brew a "very decent" tasting beer that some would say is at least memorable.

For the last 2 years or so, my session beer of choice to have on tap has been a Kölsch. Non-beer-snobs who are scared to venture "out of the box" usually like my versions of a Kölsch, so it's a nice beer to have on hand. It's also a nice palate-cleanser between high-gravity beer tastings. It's just always been a decent beer to have around. (I used to have American Pale Ale on tap for the same reasons).

I'll try a brown, for a while, instead. I'll let you all know what I come up with for a recipe. I won't be able to brew it for a couple of weeks, though, due to time constraints. Darn!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Party for a Friend

I'm going to have the ol' homebrew flowing for a bachelor party next week. I'll have a Kölsch, an Imperial Stout and a Belgian on tap. The party will be for my buddy Alexander. I'm going to be best man at his wedding in April.

My big Russian friend Alex and I have been through a lot together. We've done 100-mile trail runs together, had way too many drinks together (more than a few times), and have gotten up at 5 AM to train on long cold runs (with hangovers), always talking about life and its intricacies.

He has a great sense of humor, is very soulful, and is strong as a fucking ox. He also has a penchant for drinking my beer and falling asleep with his arm around my big, furry dog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Picture of one of My Kids

Last night's entertainment:
Here's a (semi-blurry) photo of my latest Imperial IPA, which turned out darn wonderful. I made it with my own homegrown hops, so it's a true "harvest" ale. I was watching the Winter Olympics at the time of the photo, and had a glass of my Kölsch to warm up for this powerful brew.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Back To Brewing!

Finally, I'm going to homebrew again! I'll actually be brewing an IPA for a friend's relative's wedding. He will purchase the ingredients and help me brew this Sunday. It's going to be cold in the Bad Ben Nanobrewery this weekend. I'll be cold enough to freeze my snot.

I've had a busy two weeks. You can read about it on my other blog.

I had some buddies and volunteers over last weekend after "the big race." The Hyperdrive Imperial IPA and the Gute Träume Kölschbier were well received. Oh yeah: we also had a free keg of Miller Lite from a race sponsor.
The photos show some of the festivities.