Showing posts with label bock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bock. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Golden Lights* Snuffed Out

I have a gripe with Sierra Nevada, and no it is not because they choose to set up shop in Henderson County, North Carolina rather than in Virginia - Mrs V's uncle lives in Henderson County, so we have even more reason to go visit. My gripe is simply this, they ditched Glissade.

Glissade used to be their spring seasonal, a 6.4% bock which would sit in the glass and glow, it was such a rich beautiful golden colour. It was hopped with Magnum, Perle and Spalt, as well as Styrian Aurora. It was smooth, clean, crisp and delicious, everything you could possibly want from a strong pale lager. I wanted it, and I enjoyed lots of it, and in some strange way it gave me hope that my lager lust would be satiated.

Obviously I am not party to the business decisions behind the ditching of Glissade, I have my suspicions but that could just be my cynicism coming through, but I do know that I am not alone in mourning the passing of this most moreish of golden drops. At work yesterday we were talking about Sierra Nevada for some reason that escapes me, I made a comment about Glissade and one of my colleagues mentioned that her boyfriend was as gutted by its demise as I am.

I guess that from my perspective, and I say this as someone that has never not enjoyed a Sierra Nevada beer, the shame is that they do lager so well. Summerfest is required drinking as far as I am concerned, especially on draft. When Beer Run did a tap takeover with them, the highlights were a Vienna Lager and a Schwarzbier, yes Sierra Nevada do lager with aplomb.

I haven't tried the usurper yet, Ruthless Rye IPA, but I will endeavour not to let my devotion to the former king of spring get in the way when I am back to drinking next week. One thing though I do hope for is that the Henderson County location will be more than just a production brewery. I would love to see a similar taproom and restaurant setup as they have in Chico, with a full complement of specialty drafts.

* I wonder who can tell me the reference in the title?
** I take no credit whatsoever for the picture, that's from Sierra Nevada's website.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Einbecker Project

Homebrewers, in my experience, are a curious bunch. Always engaging in seemingly odd experiments with their beer, whether it be aging it on white grapes, messing about with hop varieties or trying to prove a point. Mrs V often laments that I seem to be incapable of just settling on a recipe and brewing it time after time for consistency and reliability, a tweak here, a tweak there and so it goes.

My particular experimental side veers toward the historical. I have always loved history, much to the chagrin of my school geography teacher who seemed baffled that having got top grades in geography, I chose to study history for my Standard Grades and Highers (for those not familiar with the Scottish education system, that's kind of GCSE and A-Levels, kind of). My interest in beer history is thus only natural, and was a driver in the upcoming recreation of a milk stout for the International Homebrew Project. However, I have another historical homebrew project that I am playing around with.

Think bock and you immediately think stronger than average lager from southern Germany. Take a step back from there are you find a warm fermented beer from the town of Einbeck in modern Lower Saxony, in the north of Germany. I am sure you know that I am a Germanophile, what perhaps you don't know is that back in the 18th century my father's ancestors came from the kingdom of Hanover, which largely corresponds to modern Lower Saxony and was, at the time, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Reading Designing Great Beers one Saturday afternoon, as I am wont to do, I decided that I would try to recreate something approaching the original Einbecker bier.

Apparently the original was:
  • 2/3 malted barley, 1/3 malted wheat
  • highly hopped
  • warm fermented (sorry but using the term "ale" for a German beer just sounds wrong)
Now, I will be honest and say that I am in the process of my research, and I am not sure yet how Einbecker bier would relate to some older North German beer styles such as Mumme and Broyhan, but that is the joy of loving history - learning these things. So if you can add to or correct anything I have said so far, please do.

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