The arrival of the last of Bell’s “Batch” series is eminent. Up to now we knew it would be an American strong ale. What we really didn’t know was that it has 191 ingredients! That’s right! Kitchen sink brewing. To end this series, Larry Bell wanted to use a little bit of all the malts & hops he’s used for 25+ years.
Batch 10,000 uses 101 fermentables (malts), 58 different hops in the boil, and is dry hopped with 32 different hop varieties. Sounds complicated, but potentially awesome.
Click the image to the left to see the whole line up.
[Update 12/10 – Confirmed arrived next week]
It’s marzen season. Fall is technically here, and thus it’s malty lagers follow with it. There is an oktoberfest/marzen beer that is a stands out each year. It’s a big one, which is nothing new to Avery Brewing (Boulder, Colorado). This aggressive beer bears the name “The Kaiser”. This is no 5% lager.
The Kaiser sonce said, “Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.” If the Kaiser and his significant other had tipped this bottle, we’d all be “sprechenden Deutsch!” We took all that is good in a traditional Oktoberfest – gorgeous, deep copper sheen, massive malty backbone and spicy, floral, pungent noble hops – then intensified each into this, an Imperial Oktoberfest.
Hops: Magnum, Sterling, Tettnang, Hersbrucker
Malts: Two-row barley, Vienna, Munich 10L, m-100, aromatic
Taste Expectations: Sweet toasty bready malts. Caramel malts, slight twinge of brown sugar. Nice and grainy too. Dark fruits, slight hint of raisin. It’s 10%, but the alcohol doesn’t make a star appearance.
Food Pairings: Fall soups, chicken, turkey, brats, dried meats, light cheeses.
Availability: Vintage dated 22oz Bombers. Limited draft. Brewed Aug 1st seasonally.
Some drinkers see the word organic and they grimace. I guess the word organic has gotten a “bean sprouts and tofu reputation.” I won’t lie, even I am guilty of that thought before my first taste of a Peak Organic brew.
Let me do tell you that there is no reason to grimace. Peak Organic Brewing is a very well intentioned brewery with an emphasis on the good things in life. Recently, Peak released Summer Session Ale, a wheat ale. As craft beer gets more bold and extreme, it is easy to lose touch with session beers. (Ideally less than 5% ABV) As the weather gets warmer, I find my desire for light, refreshing beers increasing. While extreme, inventive, strong, and bold beers make craft beer great, I think its time to focus back on some session beers for a bit. In honor of summer, hammocks, beaches, and lawnmowers.
This is the first release of Peak Organic Summer Session. I spoke to Rob Lucente, owner of Peak about Summer Session. Rob is a great guy with a lot of passion for his business and craft beer. Peak has almost been overwhelmed with the great response from Summer Session’s release. Rob describes Summer as “a wheat beer marries a west coast pale ale.” Summer Session is brewed with locally grown Maine wheat. Ingredients –
Hops – Amarillo. Dry Hopped generously with Amarillo
Malts – 2 Row and a touch of Carapils-
Availability – 12oz/6 pks and Draft. Summer Seasonal
Taste Expectations – Very approachable, light & crisp ale with notes of citrus and lemon peel. Light hop aroma.
Fun Fact – The images on Peak Organic beers and 6 packs aren’t stock photos. They are photos ( with stories) of people enjoying a “Peak” moment in life. Its feel good drinking! More at www.peakbrewing.com
Like I’ve said before, I’m not here to rate beers. You should really get out there and try beers for yourself. Make your own decisions on what you like and don’t like. All I aim to do is spotlight some standouts you might find enjoyable. I also try to help by letting you know some aromas and noticeable flavors to help advance your palette. That said, let’s move forward.
Haandbryggeriet is a small brewery just south of Oslo, Norway. In fact, they are so small the brewery is run on a voluntary basis in the brewers spare time. Haandbryggeriet is very innovative, as they experiment with numerous ingredients to make some really interesting brews. One in particular — Dark Force.
Dark Force, officially classified as a Russian Imperial Stout, is a about the only wheat stout that I know of. When I say wheat stout, it’s brewed with not only wheat malt, but also a wheat yeast. First and foremost, that is what gives this stout some depth and complexity. Using this yeast gives this stout some fruit tones that wouldn’t be present using an ale yeast.
Since roasted malts are used, you’ll notice a good bit of roasted malt flavors. Dark fruity flavors are also present from the yeast, and coffee is also present. Bitter chocolate/cocoa helps round out this stout, giving your taste buds a lot to sort out. It’s a really interesting stout with a lot to offer.
Dark Force is offered year round when brewed, in 22oz bottles (around $8) and rare draft offerings. ( Brick Store Pub and The Porter both have carried the draft recently.)