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Brewer Q & A – Spring 2016 (Issue 23)

For beers that receive a score of "Excellent" or above (91+), we've asked the brewer a few questions regarding that beer's origins.

 


94 Rating – The Hop Concept – Tropical & Juicy

Responses from The Hop Concept's lead brewer Steven Burchill.

Who came up with this beer's recipe?
Our former Head Brewer Matt Webster and I.

What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
The aroma is definitely a great part of this beer, but I actually really love the color of the beer. It's straw-colored with a slight hint of red/orange.

Where does this beer’s name come from? 
The name comes from the flavor and aroma profile of the beer. With the Hop Freshener series, we strip away all the story and make the name the literal taste and smell of the beer. 

Is this your "desert island beer?"
As much as I enjoy this beer, it’s a bit too big to be my desert island beer. I'd have to go with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. 

Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Tropical, juicy, hoppy and bitter.

Photo Credit: Studio Schulz


94 Rating – Boston Beer Co. – Old Fezziwig Ale

Responses from Boston Beer brewer Jennifer Glanville.

Who came up with this beer's recipe?
With most of our beers, our brewers work together to create recipes. For Old Fezziwig, we really wanted to create a beer perfect for celebrating the holiday season and a beer that incorporated a variety of holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger and orange peel. Getting to the point where all of the ingredients were in perfect harmony takes a lot of experimentation, but it's always a lot of fun.

What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
What I love about this beer is the aroma of sweet toffee and caramel. The rich malt character creates notes of sweet toffee, caramel, & roasted chocolate while classic holiday spices like cinnamon, ginger and orange peel add warmth and flavor.

Where does this beer’s name come from? 
We named this beer after a character in A Christmas Carol, the classic holiday novel by Charles Dickens. Fezziwig is the counterpart to Ebenezer Scrooge, who we all know to be cold-hearted and stingy. Fezziwig, on the other hand, is jolly and generous, and this beer evokes the celebratory and jovial feel of the season.  

Is this your "desert island beer?"
That’s a good question. Old Fezziwig is the perfect beer for the holiday season because of the combination of rich malt character and holiday spices. But the beer that I would refer to as my “desert island beer” would have to our Boston Lager. To me, it is the perfect balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness and the beer I’d want to drink if stranded on a desert island.

Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Old Fezziwig is like a Christmas cookie in a bottle!

Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Old Fezziwig is a perennial favorite with my friends and family around the holidays, and particularly my dad who loves heartier, full-flavored beers like Old Fezziwig. It’s sort of a tradition in our house that the first beer we drink on Christmas Eve is Old Fezziwig.

Photo Credit: Boston Beer Co.

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