Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here Come The Hops!

Monday, October 29 marks the anticipated return of our award-winning Big A IPA!  After a five month hiatus, The Great British Beer Festival award-winning double IPA returns for a limited engagement.  We can only brew 100 barrels a month from October through January, so supplies of twelve ounce four packs and kegs will be limited, but available, throughout our distribution.  Tell your local beer store or beer bar that you need to see for yourself why the New York Times named Big A the top IPA in America and Men’s Journal picked it as one of the top 25 beers in America!

Here are the vital stats:

9.7% abv  120 IBU

Malts: North American 2-Row, British Pale Ale
Hops: Bittering: Magnum and Cascade
            Flavor: Magnum and CTZ
            Dry: Cascade, Nugget, Sterling, CTZ

Recommended Food Pairings:
Vietnamese, homemade guacamole, spicy scallops, tandoori chicken and spicy biryanis

Monday, October 8, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch 16: Lindz

Lindsey, as we'd like to remember him

When Lindsey Altshul passed away unexpectedly this summer,  our community felt the loss in a deep, wide and profound way.  When I say our community, I don’t mean just our beer community, but our regional restaurant community and our arts community. Lindsey touched a lot people’s lives, including members of our staff, our customers and accounts in our home market.  He did this in many ways, from the simple sharing of a pint or a quick origami lesson, to providing a detailed list of museums, music venues, bars and restaurants to someone visiting New York City for the first time or offering solo folks a spot at his annual “Christmas of Misfit Boys.” Diners at Pepperland Café, the South Berwick, ME restaurant he co-owned with Chef Kevin Hahn, were never asked "what would you like," but the rather telling question, "what's your pleasure?" 

Lindsey was also great lover of craft beer, well before it was trendy or common place; serving as one of the earliest treasurers for NERAX and travelling to Belgium, visiting breweries and stocking his cellar, before stocking cellars was even a thing.  He once told me a story about buying an entire barrel of Cantillon lambic that wasn’t able to find a home anywhere else (imagine that happening these days!) and then bottling it off to be better saved for a later date.   His passion for beer was also manifest on the four taps at Pepperland Café in South Berwick, Me, which he co-owned with chef Kevin Hahn.  Those four lines often have one of the most interesting and diverse line-ups on the Seacoast.

Arts and crafts folk work within their medium, so the decision to brew a memorial beer for Lindsey began not long after his memorial service.  He loved Kolsch and supported local agriculture, so this was another no brainer.  It gave us a chance to use grains from Valley Malt, a two-year-old Massachusetts maltster who seeks “to provide the Northeastern craft and home brewer with artisanal malt from locally grown grains.” 

This beer also gave us a chance to revisit a style we hadn’t brewed since the late ‘90’s.  “Smuttynose Kolsch” was part of the inaugural Big Beer Series, but to call it a success would simply be erroneous.  Our wholesalers sent pallets of cases back to the brewery, explaining that “people won’t buy it because they can’t pronounce it.”  My how times have changed….

About The Releases:  The allocations are very different for this Short Batch release than what we typically do, for obvious reasons.  Almost the whole batch is staying here in New Hampshire for a two-part roll out.  The accounts listed below, will all be tapping kegs of Lindz on Thursday, October 18 at some point in time that day.  Please contact each account for details. We hope you'll join us in raising a pint in memory of someone who’s dear to you.

As with all Short Batch releases, a limited number of bottles will be available exclusively at Smuttynose on Thursday, October 25 from 5pm-7pm.  There will be a two bottle limit.  Bottle sales will take place both inside our retail nook and outside under a tent (weather depending of course). 

About Kolsch: Kolsch (German for “from Cologne”) is one of the two German ale styles, the other being altbier from Dusseldorf.  Both of these styles are unique in the ale family because they’re cold-conditioned like a lager, while Kolsch tends to be lighter in both body and color.  If you've never tasted a kolsch, you're in for a treat.  The first sip reveals a pronounced hop bitterness and a soft, slightly-bready malt character.  You're not going to be knocked over by big flavors in one sip. Kolsch are appraochable beers that are typically well carbonated and show a great depth of subtlety- and they’re very drinkable, whether or not you can pronounce the name properly. 

New Hampshire
The Press Room
Portsmouth Brewery
Blue Mermaid
The River House
The Black Trumpet
The District

The Barley Pub

Popper’s at the Mill

The Black Birch
When Pigs Fly

South Berwick:
Pepperland Café


Novare Res Bier Café
Pi Men Miyake

Nocturnem Draught House

Vital Stats
5.27% abv  10 IBU
Starting Extract 11.1° Plato                       
Finishing Extract 1.3° Plato

Malts: Valley Malt Organic Pilsner Malt, Valley Malt Organic Munich Malt, Valley Malt Organic Wheat Malt, all grown in New England and malted in Hadley, MA.
Hops: Motueka, a newer variety from New Zealand
Yeast: WLP-029 German Ale/Kolsch

Batch Size: 30 barrels (60 cases of bottles, 20 half barrel kegs, 50 sixth barrel kegs)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Smuttynose Short Batch #17: Herbaceous

Her • ba • ceous [hur-bey-shuhs, ur-] adj  1: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an herb

It’s that time of year again, hop harvest time.  And what could be better than a wet hopped beer?  Since the East Coast is about 3,000 miles from the hop fields, our access to these beers can be a tad limited.  Thirst no more beer drinkers; Smuttynose is ready to fill your pints with Herbaceous, our new Short Batch, wet-hopped beer!  

We’ve been talking about brewing a wet hop beer for several years, but the freshly-picked hops need to either be dried and baled or, in the case of wet-hopped beers, used in a brew within hours.  Getting hops from Yakima Valley was a daunting expense for two reasons.  One, we needed 150 lbs and two, they had to travel 3,000 miles as quickly as possible.  Well, the stars aligned this year, which means we snuck the overnight shipping charges past Peter while he was busy with the construction of our new facility at Towle Farm in Hampton.

His oversight is your gain, because the beer came out beautifully.  We decided to go with a very simple malt bill using nothing but Vienna and CaraMunich II, from Weyermann Malt, to brew an amber ale as the base beer.  Bittering was done with Magnum and we used Willamette and Sterling for the flavoring additions.  The 150 lbs of freshly-picked Citra were used exclusively for the wet hop-as- dry hop component that we felt was the best way to showcase the pungent essence of hops right off the vine.  The best way for you to showcase these ethereal hop flavors it to drink the beer as soon as possible, just not on your way from Smuttynose.

We've got 46 cases of bottles going on sale on Thursday, October 11 from 5-7pm.  There will be a two bottle limit and as always, we'll have Herbaceous on tap for you taste.  If you haven't been to Smuttynose for a Short Batch bottle release, please enter through our tour entrance located in the back corner of our building at 225 Heritage Avenue in Portsmouth, NH.

 Stat Box

4.35% ABV 50 IBU
Starting Extract: 11.6° Plato Terminal Extract:  3.5° Plato

Malts: Weyermann Vienna and Weyermann CaraMunich
Hops: Bittering: Magnum, Flavor: Willamette and Sterling, Wet: Citra from BT Loftus Ranch
Yeast: WLP-001 California Ale
Batch size: 30 barrels (46 cases for sale)