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Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Co-Owner Aaron Heaton Talks Little Red Cap

94 Rating - Exceptional
Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Co-Owner Aaron Heaton Talks Little Red Cap

We spoke with Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Co-Owner Aaron Heaton about Little Red Cap.

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
This is a recipe that Don [Chapman, fellow co-owner] and I created when we were still homebrewing. Don brewed it first and I liked it so much that I took his recipe and adjusted it. He liked my changes, but then he took it and modified it. We went through a variety of changes until we came up with something we both liked. When we first brewed it on the bigger system it wasn't quite right. But since we adjusted it so many times, we were able to make the changes on the following batches to get the right flavor that we wanted.

BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
Little Red Cap is one of my favorite beers to tell the story of. Alt means "old" in Germany. So when the lagers starting to take over Europe in the 1800s the northerners, like in Dusseldorf, refused to lose their beer style. Instead of the new lager yeast they preferred the older, traditional ale yeast. Little Red Cap is brewed to a more traditional Dusseldorf style, as it is a bit more hop-forward than you might see in other parts of northern Germany. We use Pilsner malt as a base and add Munich and Caramunich with just a splash of Chocolate malt for flavor. Hopped with Magnum for bittering and Saaz and Hersbrucker for aroma and finishing hops. We do use a hybrid Kölsch yeast so it is fermented at a bit lower temperature than a more traditional ale yeast. This leaves a clean and low ester, low phenolic taste and finish.

BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
Here at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, we name our beers after the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales. Little Red Cap is the original story of little red riding hood. There are over 280 stories that the Grimms wrote so it gives us a lot of stories to tell through beer. The artwork is really fun. Josh Emrich was the artist and I think he had fun on this one with the ax behind her back.

BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
I am not a desert island beer kind of guy but what is nice about Little Red Cap is that it is well balanced. Enough malt to give you flavor but not overly sweet and enough hops to really balance including a soft earthy, floral hop finish that blends well together.

BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Should be malty and should be hoppy but balanced.

BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Little Red Cap was the first beer we ever received a medal for at Great American Beer Festival. A gold medal at that! It has gone on and won a medal five out of the last seven years. I'm not sure there is a beer that has won so many times or not. It has won at World Beer Cup and a variety of other competitions as well. So we are very proud of her.

There is a local beer blogger who got with a variety of other bloggers, and beer writers and created a GABF who created a little game where they picked out different breweries. They would get points for a gold, silver and bronze medals of the breweries that they picked. It was about 20 blogger/writers and they each got to pick 20 breweries. After Little Red Cap won at GABF, the blogger, who is a friend, told me that just before he was going to pick us another writer beat him to the punch. We won 2 medals that year and the blogger lost by 2 points.

BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
I have been to Germany once and one of the most unique foods I have had was spargel. This is white aspargus that you will see mostly in the spring time. Although I was in southern Germany but I believe you can find this through out Germany. My favorite is spargel soup.

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