Saturday 20 April 2013

With Glowing Hearts we See Thee Rise

British Columbia is a charming place. Canadians are a charming and welcoming race. So welcoming in fact they even named a street and a brewery after me. 
 My trip took in 7 breweries, 68 different beers (not all pints!) in 3 days and was pretty much wall to wall pleasure albeit experienced through the jaded lens of jetlag.
My most Canadian moment was in a Canadian brewpub, surrounded by ice hockey fans listening to Bryan Adams, drinking a beer made with maple syrup. I only needed to get arrested by a Mounty for assaulting a moose with Celine Dion to complete the set.

Turning Point in all its glory

Beer-wise the highlight was a Flemish Oud Bruin (tasted more like Rodenbach Grand Cru than Rodenbach Grand Cru) from Yaletown Brewery and a staggeringly accomplished Pilsner and Amber from Turning Point. My namesake brewery Howe Sound made some crazy, crazy brews such as the Megadestroyer Imperial Stout brewed with star anise which helped me forget how tired I was. Franco and Dave there were so impressed with my reaction to it they gave me a T shirt! My Molson Coors Craft comrade Vern Lambourne at Granville Island made an excellently balanced Imperial IPA and was very generous with his time.
Vern Lambourne and an ugly English bloke

There were some beer low points. All the smaller breweries seemed to me most comfortable brewing hop forward beers. I didn’t taste a poor example of an US IPA or Imperial IPA at any of the brewpubs. UK brewers could learn a thing or two about this style from these guys. This was not always the case with the other styles. Obviously in keeping with national politeness I will not name names but a couple of the brewpubs’ attempts at lager were so heavily polluted with diacetyl that you could smell them from 10 yards away. I can only assume that the entire brewing team, serving staff and managers are anosmic to it. Aside from the Yaletown Oud Bruin the Belgian strong style beers seemed to be the biggest challenge, two tripels and a saison were horrific.

Back to the UK and Monday saw the last in the 2012 Connoisseur’s Choice beers return from bottling. Dubbel Coffee Stout is better than it was when it left and it was pretty bloody good then if I do say so myself. I have to admit to not being the world’s biggest fan of stouts. Monolithic, uber-hopped, black-as-pitch imperial stouts which are so thick they resemble a non-Newtonian fluid are probably my least favourite beers. They seem to me like a teenagers half-pissed cookery experiement where they put as many ingredients in as they can in the hope the positive aspects of each ingredient combine to make the perfect combination. 

My stout therefore had to embody the elements of a strong dark ale which I enjoy most yet retain my beer’s trademark subtlety, balance and finesse. I wanted the beer to be fruity, rich, sweet and warming but to finish cleanly with a moreish linger. The selection of one the world’s fruitiest yeast strains was intended to boost ester levels to compete with the malty and burnt notes from the special malts. I also used a vigorous 2-hour boil to flash off the most fervent burnt aromas. The coffee was used to work with the esters and alcohol to give the beer an Irish coffee feel.

So far those in the brewery and the flavour panel who have tried the beer have enjoyed it. Some have loved it. A lot of people have started off feedback with “I don’t usually like dark beers but…” This could be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s not likely to prosper in competitions where styles must be adhered to but should hopefully convert some people to the dark side.

With the tropical weather we are currently enjoying, spontaneous Panzerfaust has awoken. There is a good 10cm head on the beer and it is smelling like a very musty brewery fermentation. As long as it doesn’t start to head down the rotting meat/faecal route Adrian and I could be onto a winner.

Next week, not only do I get to receive Sharp’s IBA medals at London’s Guild Hall but I also get to visit the palace of ultimate brewing excellence that is Duvel-Moortgat and meet St. Hedwig Neven and thence head down to Leuven for the Zythos Bierfestivaal. Can’t type…. any.....more….. too……… excited!   


realaleguide said...

Oh man, that trip sounded great. Nice work Stuart very interesting read.

BeerReviewsAndy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BeerReviewsAndy said...

in the last photo it looks like you are gripping the bar a little too tightly...were you about to fall off your stool

Roseline said...

I was been suffering hardship from HIV/AIDS since 9yrs now, and i happen to have 2 kids for my husband, and now we cannot proceed to have another kids all because of my disease and now i have do all what a human like i and my husband can do just to get my disease healed, i have went to several places to seek for help not even one person could ever help, until i melt a comment on the daily news paper that was commented by Miss Maria about how this powerful traditional doctor help her get cured of the disease (HIV-AIDS) " my fellow beloved" i firstly taught having a help from a spiritual traditional healer was a wrong idea, but i think of these, will i continue to stress on these disease all day when i have someone to help me save my life?" so i gather all my faiths and put in all interest to contact him through his Whatsapp number +2348057353647, so after i have contact him of helping get my disease cured, he respond to me fast as possible that i should not be afraid, that he is a truthful and powerful doctor which i firstly claimed him to be. So after all set has been done, he promise me that i will be healed but on a condition that i provide him some items and obeyed all his oracle said. I did all by accepting his oracolous fact and only to see that the following week Dr.yakubu write me on my email box that my work is successfully done with his powers, i was first shocked and I was been suffering h to be the happiest woman on earth after i have concluded my final test on the hospital by my doctor that i am now HIV- Negative. My papers for check are with me and now i am happy and glad for his miraculous help and power.
With these i must to everyone who might seek for any help, either for HIV cure or much more to contact him now at these email or his Whatsapp number +2348057353647

Post a Comment