Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008 Scotch Ale & Really Old Brown Dog

Well, it looks like we’ve made it through the Summer of Sans Hops. We received our first shipment of 2008 harvested Cascades last week and it was almost enough to make this old brewer cry. The initial reports are of a bumper crop and it looks like we’ve turned the corner on the hop shortage. Of course the prices haven’t come down yet, but I guess expensive hops are better than no hops. Even though new hops are slowly arriving we’re still have a few malt forward beers lined up in the Big Beer Series.

Right now we have our Scotch Ale bottled and in the stores. This is a classic Scottish style ale which we’ve brewed with a touch of smoked grain. Last year we tried peat smoked malt, but returned this year to a beech wood smoked malt as we felt it added a smoother character.

Next up will be the long awaited return of the Really Old Brown Dog Ale. This beer was initially brewed in honor of our friend and mascot, the late Olive Francis Egelston. The original batch was more in the vein of a brown porter / old ale. We’ve revised the recipe to be more like an old ale / English barleywine. It’s fermenting away right now and smells amazing. We’re planning on finishing the beer with a few weeks on some port soaked oak chips. I have really high hopes for this beer and can’t wait to check out the blend of big malt notes with the port wood. As we head into winter here in New England I can only imagine how great this beer will be on a cold evening. You should be able to see this beer in stores by mid-December.