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Brewer Q & A – Summer 2016 (Issue 25)

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

 


92 Rating – Oskar Blues Brewery – Beerito Mexican Lager

Responses from Oskar Blues head brewer Tim Matthews.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
The brewing team at OB collaborated to create this. We had multiple employees taste test a bunch of different fermentation techniques and then do chews on different malts. Then we paired two hops, Aramis and Hallertauer Mittlefrueh, that we had used in past amber lagers that we felt accentuated the malts in the way we desired. Then we ran multiple test batches in Lyons to dial in the grain bill before we let loose in NC and CO.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
How bright the malt flavors are without a fatiguing sweetness.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
The musings of our resident OB innovator, Jeremy Rudolf. He sent a mysterious midnight text about a year ago that simply said "Beerito."  Next day we all chatted it up and felt like it would be great name for a Vienna/Dark Mexican Lager.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Complex yet approachable, this malt treat sinks into your tongue.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Walnut, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette salads plus creamy, chocolaty desserts.


92 Rating – Monday Night Brewing – Slap Fight

Responses from Monday Night lead brewer Josh Johnson.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
I worked for about 6 months to perfect the base recipe. The dry-hop was chosen by our tasting panel at the brewery.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
My favorite aspect of the beer is that it's a tomahawk slam jam of flavor, but is still so sessionable. We can drink this beer 24/7 here at the brewery.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
We wanted to create a beer that slapped you in the face with hops, so we did.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
Oh, most definitely. I would love to drink Slap Fight out of a coconut. 

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
A tasty cold snack.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
BBQ, steaks, soft cheese, a body of water (i.e. swimming pool, beach, etc.) and of course, other Slap Fights.

Photo Credit: Jason Travis


92 Rating – Heavy Seas Beer – The Partner Ships Series: Maine Beer Co.

Responses from Heavy Seas brewer Courtney Lacey.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
It really was a collaborative effort, we went up to Maine and were sitting around with their brewmaster at the time discussing the general processes we use to make our beers and noticed a lot of similarities. We all agreed Zoe was our favorite Maine Beer Co. offering, so making a Red IPA just seemed to be the next logical step

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
I like the balance between the maltiness and the hop character.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
We love our seaworthy puns here at Heavy Seas.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
An easy-drinking, ruby-colored beauty.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
It was a challenging filtration, but I am very proud and happy with how this beer looks in a glass.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Personally, I love drinking this beer with a freshly grilled cheeseburger in my backyard.


92 Rating – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Festina Pêche

Responses from Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
We brewed a stronger lambic-style beer with local peaches about 13 years ago called Festina Lente, which people dug. I read a story on historic Berliner Weisse beers in Germany and though there might be an opportunity to revive the style in the US. I believe our Festina Peche was the first bottled Berliner Weisse in the US and it was definitely the first fruit-infused version to be packaged and distributed in the states. Now there are hundreds, which is cool, and shows the explosive growth of sessionable sours. Via IRI data, Berliner Weisse beers have seen over a hundred percent growth over the last 12 months. 

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
How light and refreshing it is. It appeals to white wine drinkers as much as beer drinkers.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
Festina Lente means "makes haste slowly," since sour beers take a long time to make. But Berliner Weisse can be made more quickly than lambics, so (long story short) Festina Peche means "swift peach."

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
It is one of them for sure – so light and refreshing. And the fruit can’t be bad for you. ;-)

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Sessionable sour! Stand up and salute: Tart and fruity reporting for duty! Oops – that’s 12. 

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
When we first distributed this beer about a decade ago – about one-fifth of what we sent out got returned to our brewery by distributors – some of them and some of our retailers thought the beer went bad and wasn’t supposed to taste tart. It shows you how far beer lovers' palates have evolved in ten years. 

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Festina is a great beer to pair with all types of food, especially citrusy salads and grilled fish.


92 Rating – Rogue Ales & Spirits – Good Chit Pilsner

Responses from Rogue founder and brewmaster John Maier.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
I wanted to create a beer that lets you experience the barley we grow and floor malt by hand. Floor malting is an old fashioned, eight-day process that not many people are doing any more. Good Chit lets the barley speak and floor malting speak for itself. 

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
The chit is the start of the rootlets of the barley that emerges from the kernel once steeping is done and germination then begins. We think it's pretty good, too. 

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Crisp, clean, refreshingly bitter.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
We had no idea how to floor malt when we first started -- we wasted so many batches of barley to finally get it right. We also didn't have a lot of space so it went from a small space above one of our pubs in Portland to now next to our barley fields located in Tygh Valley, Oregon. 

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Black bean chili or a nice summer salad with Oregon pink shrimp and lemon-herb vinaigrette.


92 Rating – Back East Brewing Co. – Tony Goes Dancing

Responses from Back East co-founder Tony Karlowicz.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
This beer was designed by our former Head Brewer Stephen Andrews. As with any new recipe, all of our brewers collaborate and give suggestions too. This is a limited release for us and it is exciting because we’ll be changing the hops each time, so each time Tony Goes Dancing, it will be a somewhat different dance. We just brewed a new batch, designed by our new Head Brewer Brian Flach, and this one will be a little bit different from the last.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
I love the body of this beer. It is a double IPA with a nice body, lending it some complexity, but also has nice stone fruit and juicy flavors and aromas that you’d expect from the newer East Coast-style IPAs.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
This was only our second DIPA, and following up on the popularity of Palate Mallet (our first), we knew we had to come up with a good name. Stephen Andrews actually came up with the name, and as soon as he suggested it, I loved it. He basically said, how fun would it be to go to a bar and say “I’ll have a Tony Goes Dancing.” I do like to dance, but I’m not very good at it.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
I don’t think this is. I think my desert island beer would be our Summer Ale, which is light, crisp and hoppy. I don’t think Summer Ale is a desert island beer just because it's a crushable, lighter ale, but also because I could probably be happy drinking just that beer for the rest of my (short) life on that island.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Soft and delicate with juicy stone fruit flavors and aromas.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
I’m a fan of simple pairings, and I think it would actually go great with a sweet BBQ pulled pork sandwich (and we’ve got quite a bit of good BBQ here in CT).


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