Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Brewvet 2015: My Submission

So here it is, in all its masterful glory: my Brewvet summary for 2015. I covered 233.8 miles in eight rides, which is not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I hit a little bit of everything: a couple of breweries, a brewpub, a homebrew club meetings, a grocery store, and even managed to fit in a couple of your old fashioned hanging out on the lawn drinking beers after a bike ride. Well, really only one of those, as one was actually inside, and the other one got rained out. But the real winner—besides me for all the beer I got to drink along the way—is craft beer. And John Roche. Plus bicycling as well. Or even everyone’s fitness. So a lot of winners. And for those of you that may have missed any of the various rides along the way, here are quick, easy links to my eight different rides:

Brewvet 1: Yellow Springs Goat’s Eye IPA
Brewvet 2: Founders All Day IPA
Brewvet 3: Hoppy Brett Beer
Brewvet 4: Fifth Street Herbivore No. 2
Brewvet 5: DRAFT Homebrew Meeting
Brewvet 6: Warped Wing Tres Carnales
Brewvet 7: Blank Slate Movin’ On
Brewvet 8: Boulevard Radler

Probably my favorite part of this year’s Brewvet were the longer rides—I used the Brewvet as a chance to get out on some of the local bike trails I haven’t recently ridden. While the first couple of longer rides certainly hurt, the last one in particular was much easier. And those primed me for the 100+ mile I managed to complete a couple days ago, the first one that long in over twenty years. So thanks again to John Roche for combining beer and bicycling. It does make for good outdoor fun. Oh, and in the off chance that it is not self-evident, I “borrowed” the Brewvet graphic above from portajohn. Hope to see all of you out there next May for Brewvet 2016. 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Land-Grant Brewing Company

One of the fun perks of traveling for bicycle racing is visiting the new craft breweries that are springing up everywhere. Today we headed to Columbus for the Tour of Franklinton Criterium. And as luck would have it for me, Land-Grant Brewing Company was right on the course. So while Elli got all her bike gear together and warmed up, I went to the brewery, ordered a sampler, and headed to the front windows to watch some bike racing and sample some beers. They only had four of the five beers listed available—they were out of Greenskeeper, the session IPA—so the beers left to right in the picture below follow the comments from top to bottom.

Creamsikölsch: Their dry-hopped American Kölsch infused with orange and vanilla. Nose carries creamsicle, as does initial flavor in the front, followed by graininess and hop bitterness. Good flavors, but a bit uneven across the profile; would be more enjoyable and balanced without the bitterness in the finish, but I am sure it does well as a summer beer. 

1862 Ale: This is their dry-hopped take onm a traditional German Kölsch. It has the doughy rounded malt character of a Kölsch; it is clean and bright, with hop flavor and bitterness coming through in the middle, and some lingering grainy bitterness in the finish. Overall, a nice American interpretation of a German classic.

Son of a Mudder: Described as “a drinkable and balanced American brown ale.” Chocolate and caramel in the nose with a slight creaminess, with a medium body and mouthfeel, followed by cocoa and chocolate flavors. Bitterness comes in in the middle to final third. Balanced and clean overall, although it could use a touch more body. Very drinkable, though. 

Stiff-Arm IPA: A West Coast IPA interpretation with orange, orange pith, and pine resin hop aromatics in the nose. Orange citrus and slight candy malt in the front, followed by a clean, pleasant bitterness in the middle. Citrus and pine lead into the finish, with some lingering resin bitterness. Well-balancednot as extreme or punchy or aggressive as many West Coast IPA interpretations, which is meant as a compliment. 

Stiff-Arm was my favorite of their offerings, although the 1862 Ale was a close second. As a whole, all of their beers were clean and well-made, And it appears that cans are soon to be released, so I’ll be certain to keep my eye out for those. Especially since I’ll be spending a fair amount of time in Columbus in July! 


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion Root

Quite similar to the first batch, but with a few modifications. I just used dandelion root in this version, lessened the late hop additions, and cut the sugar addition. Hopefully, I will be able to discern the flavors contributed by the dandelion root. At least that is the intended goal. I’ll bottle a couple to try later before racking the rest into the barrel. Check back!

210. Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion Root
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. flaked maize

Mash @ 148° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water and 6 g. gypsum; collected 1 ½ @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 164° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water; wort collected 5 @ 1.026

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: ½ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
1 oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
1 ½ oz. dandelion root, coarsely chopped

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA
3 ½ oz. table sugar

w/0 to go: ¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
2 g. coriander
2 g. grains of paradise

Chilled, & pitched mason jar of saison yeast blend from 207. Dandelion Saison

Brewed: 5/31/2015
Barrel: 6/14//2015 @ 1.002

OG: 1.044

Tasting Notes: 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Brewvet Ride 8: Boulevard Radler

Time to finish out this year’s Brewvet. For today’s ride I started with a circuitous meander to the local Second Street Market—fresh summer produce is just starting to appear!—followed by a quick lunch, them a short jaunt up to the grocery store for a new six pack just for the occasion. I like treating myself right, after all, and nothing says indulgent like choosing a fresh new summer beer. Since I’ve run through most of the session IPAs on the market, I figured it was time for something new. And there it was: Boulevard’s Ginger Lemon Radler. Boulevard makes good beer, and it was hot as bejeezus outside, so I grabbed it and headed for home. Along with some cheese for dinner, might I add.

I managed to outrace the looming thunderstorm on the way home, ducking onto the porch as the first drops started to fall. Once inside, it was time to try the beer. Apparently, I’ve bad-mouthed Radlers in the past—no so much this specific one, but Radlers in general—as I got called out almost instantly on Instagram when I initially posted my Brewvet picture. Oh well. Like Mayor Quimby, I am officially flip-flopping. Because this beer was delicious. Boulevard describes the Ginger-Lemon Radler as a “zesty, refreshing take on the tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally ‘cyclist’) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago.” There was one more sentence they included, but it was annoying, so I deleted it. As to how the beer tastes, it is sweet and slightly lemony with a dry ginger bite that runs into the finish, all supported by a soft, delicate, pillowy malt body. And some bright carbonation. Quite a nice way to finish out this bike ride, and this Brewvet. Oh, and I covered 13.2 miles all told on today’s ride. Cheers!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Brewvet Ride 7: Black Slate Movin' On

Today seemed like a good day for a longer ride, one designed to push my bicycling limits, so I headed out early with Elli on her morning bike commute to Xenia, and then continued on to Jamestown before turning around and retracing my steps. Yes, I saw a lot of bike path today. All told, I covered 70.8 miles. 

For my reward, I stopped by the Barrel House on the way home to partake in the beer I had so justly earned. I choose Blank Slate’s Movin’ On, an American Session Ale that weighs in at 4.2% ABV, not only because I think Scott LaFollette is awesome, but because he brews interesting, well-made, and esoteric beers. And we share a love for interesting facial hair. But maybe I have revealed too much, my dear reader.

Blank Slate describes Movin’ On as an American interpretation of the “English ‘session ales’ used to keep the working man happy all day long. Lower in alcohol but still flavorful, this beer won’t keep you from being able to ‘move on’ with your day. Blank Slate’s take on the English Best Bitter style combines Maris Otter and Brown Malt with American 2-Row Malt. Classic American hops include Cluster and Cascade up the ante from its traditional namesake and round out the flavor profile of this American Session Ale.”

And not surprisingly, I had two.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Brewvet Ride 6: Warped Wing Tres Carnales

Since I didn’t drink any actual Warped Wing beer during my most recent visit to their establishment, I figured that I owed it to them to at least partake in one of their beers at some point during my Brewvet antics. And, since there is no time like the present, I decided to fit this beer in while doing some other errands, between school and lunch and home and the likes. As you can tell by my repetitive route, I didn’t get far, but had fun going over the same streets again and again. Oh, and my afternoon pit stop was at Jimmy’s Ladder 11. 

Today’s Brewvet selection is TresCarnales, a Pan American IPA. I can already here you asking: “Pan American IPA? What pray tell is that?” Lucky for you, I can cut and paste like a pro: “Once upon a time in Mexico 3 brewers met. They shared a common passion. Their love for exceptional craft beer. Over time the brewers became good friends. One day they decided to put their collective beer knowledge together. Their quest was to create 1 truly outstanding beer. Introducing Tres Carnales. 3 minds. 3 friends. 1 beautifully crafted beer.” Everyone loves a backstory, right? But wait, there is more: “With the perfect blend of American and Mexican brewing influence this Pan American IPA is pale orange with copper highlights. The hop character explodes with Mandarin orange aromatics and resinous pine undertones. All from copious amounts of Mandarina Bavaria and Centennial hops. The malt character is slightly bready. You’ll find mild hints of sweet and tart from the addition of select Blue Agave and Hibiscus flowers. The finish is dry with an assertive yet elegantly refined bitterness from German Magnum hops.” The hibiscus and blue agave flower elements are more subdued than I would like—they get lost a bit in the malt and hop components—and the resin hops flavors and aromas out compete the softer, subtler orange ones, but this is a tasty and drinkable beer.

Today’s ride was all of 6.2 miles. Bit longer than some, bit shorter than others. But same final result: beer. I win.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion

This batch (along with 210) will replace the cider that currently calls the ten gallon barrel on my dining room table home; I’ll fill and soak the barrel with boiling water after I empty it to give the claussenii that is getting added in the secondary a head start over previous bugs and wild yeast that are already in the barrel. As with American Saison w/ Dandelion Flowers, this is another Jeff Alworth-inspired beer intended to experiment with the rustic elements of corn in American craft beer.

209. Barrel American Saison w/ Dandelion
6 lbs. Best Malz Pilsen
2 lbs. flaked maize

Mash @ 150° F for 80 minutes w/ 3 gallons RO water, 4 g. gypsum, & 2 g. CaCl; collected 1 ¾ @ 1.072
Batch sparge @ 163° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 ½ gallons RO water; wort collected 4 ¾ @ 1.032

Collected 6 ½ gallons; topped off to 7 gallons, brought to a boil (70 minutes), & added:
w/60 to go: ¾ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
1.95 oz. dandelion root, coarsely chopped
1.8 oz. dandelion leaves

w/10 to go: 5 g. Wyeast yeast nutrient
8 oz. table sugar

w/5 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding leaf 3.7% AA
3 ½ oz. table sugar

w/0 to go: ¾ oz. Azacca leaf 9.9% AA
¾ oz. Comet leaf 10.9 AA
4.4 oz. dandelion leaves

Let stand for 20 minutes, chilled, & pitched mason jar of saison yeast from 208. American Saison w/ Dandelion Flowers

Brewed: 5/26/2015
Secondary: 5/31/2015 @ 1.002; added a vial of WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii
Barrel: 6/14/2015 @ 1.002

OG: 1.048

Tasting Notes: