Monday 1 April 2013

Respire-t-elle? Oui, mais tout bas

It doesn’t seem like a fortnight since my last post. Time flies exponentially these days, and we will soon all be dead! A couple of exciting bits of news to share. Firstly I am off to Canada next week to see some beer friends and plan to sample my way around Vancouver. From what I can make of it the Canadian beer scene is just about to blossom so it’s a great time to go. Any recommendations from you beautiful people for places to go and things to do would be very welcome.

Secondly I am in the midst of universe-demolishing excitement about and invitation from THE Hedwig Neven for a tour and a beer at Moortgat. I make no secret of my undying love for Duvel. To be able to learn about it and walk in the glorious palace of brewing excellence that produces this liquid miracle with Mr Duvel himself is as close to heaven on earth as it gets. In fact I’m not sure that celestial heaven would measure up particularly well to this. There was also talk of a Californian craft beer road trip with Jean-Marie Rock and Hedwig later in the year. It is best that I do not contemplate such a thing as spontaneous combustion through overexcitement would be on the cards. 
My blog title is now out of date. WIGIG  has now been rechristened craft discovery brand. Marketing are aiming the range exclusively at Range Rover drivers in order to control demand.

My latest discovery brand is being brewed with Lucy Britner, winner of the Drinks Writing Industry Award for most relevant hairstyle 2013. I’ve known Lucy for nearly a decade. We share a sense of humour and a love for Morrissey and Linton Travel Taverns. She introduced me to my favourite film and I introduced her to Paddy Considine. Lucy is not a beer writer and focuses more on spirits. It is fitting then that our beer has a link to the distilled. Lucy has managed to get her hands on some of the juniper berries used at Plymouth Gin to flavour their spirit. I’ve got a few kilos next to my lap top at the moment and the smell is bloody wonderful. I am hoping that with Lucy’s connections and my charm (just her connections then) I may be able to get into Plymouth Gin and do a short run of hopped gin. I’ll let you know how I get on.  

Our beer like Ms Juniper’s hair will be flaxen due to using only pale malt along with some low colour cara malt for sweetness. To this I am adding 2012 crop (just in!) Cascade and Citra and fermenting it very warm to encourage an ester fruitiness. The beer will then be spiced in conditioning with the Juniper (about 2 berries per litre). I want to achieve a really sweet and fruity beer balanced with the natural dry acidity of the spice and the citrus of the US hops.            


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