It was inevitable, like a bright Spring day after a miserable Winter.
As our portfolio of amazing beer grows, we need a means to offer the additional variety to our discerning customers. Bottling seems to be a reasonable solution to that problem.
Bottling beer has its own challenges. It turns out that people keep bottles hanging around for awhile, and expect them to always contain excellent beer. This is true even if the bottle of said beer rattles around in your car’s trunk for 6 months through the summer, or sits on the ledge of your kitchen window all winter. As I’ve experienced this myself, I know its true.
Gigundous breweries have lots of $$$ equipment to stabilize beer prior to bottling. Plate filters and centrifuges are the best means of removing the “stuff” from the beer so it ages better in bottles. My problem is that I like the flavors the “stuff” add to the beer. So what’s a brewer to do?
I was cleaning old home-brewed beer out of my basement a month ago. Most of the bottles I emptied we’re well-aged, having turned into the beer equivalent of vinegar. Surprisingly, I found a number of bottles that had not gone bad, but in fact had improved immensely. If you’ve attended a Community Brew Night this year, you may have gotten a sample of my 5-year old Belgians. It turns out that beer with lots of alcohol tends to age really well. I guess the applies to wine and Scotch too, right?
So that’s the solution: brew beer specifically designed to age well in the bottle — brew it with lots of alcohol. Hey, we can do that!
This week, we bottled our first batch of beer designed specifically to age well in bottles, a Russian Imperial Stout we call “Cossack’s Revenge”. With tons of rich malt and a hint of Noble hops, it tips the ABV scale at just under 9%. The beauty of this beer is that it’s fabulous when fresh, but it’ll be increasingly epic as it ages.
Stop by the brewery and grab a bottle or two of Cossack’s Revenge, you’ll find in our new cooler along with the last of our 2015 Grand Cru. Drink one now, and save the other in the trunk of your car.
Our next special recipe we’re calling “Farther Up Yer Kilt”. This is a version of our current Scotch Ale with the ABV amped up to bottling strength. It should be another great beer.
In planning is a version of our “Bitter Divorce” equally modified for bottling. It’ll be cool to see how this amazing double IPA ages in a bottle.