Traditionally, I have tried planning brewing activities 12 months in advance. This allowed me to purchase ingredients in bulk for upcoming batches as well as create an organized, neat brewing calendar to share among friends and family. 100% of the time I’ve tried planning out for the next year, I’ve had to revise my calendar multiple times! In the end, I would end up with excess ingredients and excessive headaches.
Recently, I’ve scaled back from 12 month planning to six. While six months is still a somewhat long time frame, it does allow for more flexibility and control.
For the upcoming summer months, I’ve decided to focus on finalizing two of my favorite beers; Hoppopotamus and Beachcomber, as well as mix in a few fun batches (more on those later).
I won’t spend much time describing each beer, as I’ve done that plenty of times here, here, here, and here. Instead, below is some insight to why these beers are unique and differentiable from existing commercial offerings.
Hoppopotamus was designed as a cross between classic and new American IPAs. This means blending piney, floral, and grapefruity “old school” flavors and aromas with tropical, peachy, and melony “new school” ones. It also incorporates both West and East Coast IPA styles, falling between the dry/crisp Pacific examples and malty/sweet Atlantic ones. Highly aromatic (we’re talking from ~4 feet away!), beautiful orange color, and a creamy, pillowy, soft mouthfeel round out Hoppopotamus. As with all IPAs, the emphasis is on the hops, however the goal is to balance the bitterness and hoppiness for approachability for both hopheads and non-IPA drinkers.
Beachcomber is our Americanized interpretation of the Belgian Saison. We maintain our favorite refreshing, spicy, distinctive, effervescent, and quenching characteristics from the classic style while emphasizing the fruit flavors with the finest American hop varietals. Our goal is to blend these tropical peach aromas and flavors with earthy exotic spice notes. Most importantly, Beachcomber was designed to be quaffable with a moderate alcohol content and high carbonation. We dial back the color and let the straw-like color shine in the summer sun.
Day Tripper embodies one of our favorite beer concepts; a low alcohol IPA. Too often, commercial examples of this style are just not sessionable enough (many weighing in over 5% ABV) or they blur the line with (less hop aggressive) American Pale Ales. Therefore, we scaled down one of our favorite Double IPA recipes to a modest 4.2% while maintaining a bright yellow color, rocky white head, and dry, refreshing body. Woven into this small beer is an aggressive piney hop presence.
While many breweries have begun to offer Wet/Fresh Hop IPAs, very few use estate grown hops in their recipes. Wet Hop Harvest draws inspiration from the concept of estate wines, utilizing 100% Massachusetts homegrown, freshly-picked, wet hops. Emphasizing the East Coast IPA style, we brew Wet Hop Harvest to have a strong malty backbone to stand up to the intense wet hop character from our estate hops. This beer was crafted specifically for the autumn months, where a darker, higher ABV, and slightly sweeter IPA provides a firm foundation for the cold fall nights.
Dark Matter was designed to replace the often too-spice-forward Winter Warmer/Christmas Ale. Shifting away from an English base, we utilize a Belgian Quadruple recipe which provides rich and aggressive notes of dark malt, alcohol, raisins, plums, vanilla, chocolate and yeasty esters with a traditional warming finish. Also unique to Dark Matter is its incredible drinkability and high carbonation for a 10% ABV beer. Dark as a winter night.
Tête de Kazanovicz is our quest to craft the perfect beer. It combines countless elements from my favorite commercial beers and beer styles into one, complex recipe. Tête begins as a dark, strong Belgian Quadruple which then spends over 12 months in bourbon, brandy, and red wine barrels with a mélange of wild yeast, lactic acid bacteria, and tart fruit. Emerging from the wood is a roasty, sweet, raisiny base that falls into sharp acidity and tartness with heaps of wine, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and fruit on the finish.
These last two won’t hit bottles for many months to come, but in the meantime, you can check out our 2015 Summer Release Calendar here!