So, what’s on tap?

That’s pretty much the question whenever I have people over: So, what’s on tap?

Right now there is a nice variety on tap, the California Red, Chocolate American Brown Ale, and the Pepper Sage Saison. All three are pretty good to good, so I can live with that. Sometimes we need to take risks to find out where the world of good taste ends the world of homebrew adventure begins. I’ll go through each briefly.

The CA Red is a big hoppy yet malty beer. It is probably one of my top three favorite types of beers, the over the top hoppy IPAs that are dripping with malty stickiness. Arrogant Bastard from Stone Brewery is a prime example and Racer 5 from Bear Republic, a bomber of either of them and I am a happy guy. So this IPA is brewed in that style, an excessive amount of hops, but still plenty of Crystal malts that add that non-fermentable caramel sugar love to the brew. It’s like candied hops, similar to candied orange rind, but not really, know what I mean? You think it isn’t going to be good, but instead it is delicious. When this beer was fresh this summer it was spot on. This is the second keg with a good six months on it, the hops have definitely faded. The beer is still good, just not as good as it was fresh.

The Chocolate American Brown Ale was the second keg of two. The first I left traditional style and is a beer I have brewed before, it turned out great, nice and malty yet hop forward enough to be balanced, and more flavorful than your typical american brown. This batch I added a pound (if I remember correctly) of powdered straight cocoa. It’s an OK way to add chocolate to your beer. This is the third variant of chocolate I have tried and I’d put it in the middle. The best was straight cocao nibs, though if I used them again I may grind them finer, straight cocoa powder being second, and chocolate syrup being third (not recommended). This beer is nice for one or two, but after that it seems to be a bit too much for real drinkability for my palate.

The Pepper Sage Saison was probably the most anticipated out of the three beers currently on tap and probably the one that fell the flattest. It’s OK, don’t get me wrong, just a little under-attenuated. It’s too sweet for a Saison which then masks too many of the other flavors. Saisons are suppose to be dry, crisp, kind of like a ray of sunshine, mine was definitely sweet, a little heavy, and more like a gray cloud. I think the peppercorn and sage is a GREAT idea for a Saison, but it was just to masked by the sweetness to really tell. The sage was more of an overall flavor, kind of the same from front to back, but the peppercorn had an initial taste on the front of the tongue, than gone, than a soft burn in the back of the throat. I think I used twice the amount of black peppercorn from the original time I used it and honestly I would double that again. Makes me wonder what a black peppercorn and rose petal Saison would taste like … hhmmm.

So anyway, that’s what’s on tap, hit me up if you want to try anything, the bar is always open :). Next lined up are a bunch of hoppy beers (yeah!), there is a simple pale ale brewed with Saison yeast, the SAW Pale ale, the January IPA (Sticky Jr), and I think maybe something else … can’t remember, 10 gallons of each, so plenty to go around. Until next time.

5 Responses to “So, what’s on tap?”

  1. John Says:

    You can always use rose “water” for the next batch vs. real pettals. Very intense concentrated flavor.

  2. Brian Says:

    Hey John, great idea, thanks!

  3. David Says:

    Must stop by and have a couple.

  4. John Says:

    Yep new job in November…. Selling Stevia an all-natural sweetener. Actually happy about what I sell and can sleep at night 

    Have a trip to Vermont set for February, will hit Magic Hat and a few others! You Ok? Glad to see your back in the game with brewing and posting. I ENJOY your web site!

    #1 fan…….


  5. John Says:

    Have some vermont updates for you…. Where can I send them?


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