Showing posts with label shameless plugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shameless plugs. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Black and Silver

Back in February I wrote about a project I did with my friends at Three Notch'd Brewing here in Charlottesville to brew a 19th century inspired porter, which we named Blackwall London Porter after the docks in London from where the original Virginia colonists set out for the New World.


I deliberately didn't make any bold claims about it is a 'historical recreation' as the recipe wasn't based on any one single brewing record. Rather, I spent time reading various bits and bobs about Victorian era porter, including Ron's excellent homebrew book, and took the data available to create my recipe. Without the aid of a time machine, I have no idea if Blackwall would pass muster with the working men of London, but it was certainly a beer that I enjoyed and judging from comments on things like Untappd, others did too.


Imagine then my delight this week to hear that Blackwall had won a silver medal at this year's Virginia Craft Beer Cup, and is thus the first beer I have designed to win an award at a commercial competition.

As far as I am aware Blackwall is unlikely to be found anywhere on draft anymore, but the brewery does have bottles for sale in their tasting room here in Charlottesville. So, if you're in the neighbourhood, pop in, try Three Notch'd range of beers, and pick up a bottle of porter for your jar.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Club for Connoisseurs

Of the various beer and homebrewing related magazines that I pick up from time to time, The Beer Connoisseur is one of the more reliably worthwhile reads. Whether it's interviews with well known brewers or in depth articles about a given beer style, every issue has something of interest for beer lovers of all stripes.

This week I got an email from The Beer Connoisseur letting me know about a Kickstarter campaign they have started to create The Beer Connoisseur Club, which is described on the campaign page as:
the world’s common place where people meet, share, learn and organize around beer.
The campaign is looking for people to sign up as 'Founding Members' of the club at a cost of $35 per year, which gets you:
  • a year's subscription to Beer Connoisseur magazine
  • 12 months access to the new Beer Connoisseur website, including an interactive Beer School
  • a veritable raft of discounts and benefits from participating breweries/organisations, such as Starr Hill, Allagash, and Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
The club certainly seems like a good idea, and I imagine the discounts at various breweries, pubs, and restaurants would cover the annual fee pretty handily if you're a regular beer traveller and brewery hopper. If the club sounds like the kind of thing you'd be interested in, pop along to the Kickstarter campaign and sign on up.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#Cville Beer and Pizza

Beer and pizza, the staple of many a Friday night in, it really is a classic combination. Obviously it helps when the pizza is better than your bog standard Pizza Hut fare, and when the beer is better than a couple of cans of Tennent's Super.

In Charlottesville there is a pizza place called Brixx, which boasts wood-fired pizza and an extensive beer list. Mrs V and I have been a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed both, as well as the live music that was playing on the patio that afternoon.


Tonight Brixx is hosting a tap takeover for my friends over at Three Notch'd Brewing (yes, I know I talk about them alot, and no I am not on a stipend), and one of the beers that will be available is Session 42, the beer I brewed on my birthday.

The official launch of Session 42, as I have mentioned before, is this Friday at the brewery tasting room, but those that make it down to Brixx tonight will get a preview of what I hope is an on the money bitter that would grace any pub back in Blighty.

Yes I know I am biased.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tis The Session

Today is the beginning of 'the Holidays', five and a bit weeks of parties, soirees, over-eating, and, best of all, plenty of free flowing booze.

Seasonal beers, as the nights shorten and the mercury plummets tend toward the boozy. Barleywine, Imperial Stout, and many a Belgian over 8% abv. While they are all wonderful styles to drink ensconced in the warmth and comfort of your home, I sometimes wonder if they are the best thing to drink at the company Chrimble bash, the homebrew club festivities, or just your annual meet up with friends to do a pub crawl (note to self: organise a crawl with Mark).

You likely know that I am a fan, and even perhaps an advocate, for session beers. Those wonderful pints, proper pints naturally, of complex, flavourful brew that weigh in under 4.5% abv (no 6% is not sessionable). Sadly many relegate session beers to the warmer months, disparaging them with terms like 'lawnmower beer', but I am convinced that with so many parties to go to, this is the time of year when session beers should come into their own.

With several hours of socialising to get through, why not a nice dry stout, a best bitter, or even a well made mild (other than the fact that the latter two are rarer than hen's teeth)?


Forgive the shameless plug, but I get the feeling that I will be drinking lots of Session 42 in the coming months. I tried it the other day from the fermenter, where it is conditioning beautifully, and to be honest, and in no way objective, it is lovely. As I said to Dave at Three Notch'd, if I were served that in a pub back home I would not be disappointed. As I sniffed, swished, and sampled, I started to realise that a best bitter is actually a great winter beer.

Think about what a best bitter is. A beer where hops are the very heart of it, though not the grapefruit, pine resin thing of Cascade and it's C-brothers, but the orange and spice of something like Goldings. I don't know about you, but growing up, Advent and Christmas were redolent with the aroma of spice studded oranges. In terms of malts, the highest quality pale malt lays down a base for amber and/or caramel malts to shine through, adding complexity so the hops don't have it all their own way. So take that spicy orange thing from the hops and smear it on top of the warm toast of great amber malt, and at between 4-4.5% abv you have a beer you can drink all night, or even indulge in a quick pint with lunch - and all food tastes better with a beer than an insipid ice tea or post-mix fizzy drink.

Session 42 ticks every box for me when it comes to best bitters. 4%, a beautiful orange colour, 38 IBUs of pure Goldings, and a drinkability that is, quite simply, moreish. As with any British style beer being served in an American pub, give it time to warm up...

For people reading this in the Charlottesville area, Session 42 is being released on December 6th at the Three Notch'd tasting room, with a sneak peek at Brixx when they have a Three Notch's Tap Takeover on the 3rd. If you run a pub in the area, it will be available in distribution from the 9th....just in time for Christmas drinking!

Beyond January

Dry January is over, but my beer fast continues. Well, it continues until Friday. As a general rule I only drink at the weekend, thus my win...

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