Well I am officially 1/6 of the way through my time to do my leapbeer project. I’m well ahead in the beer count which sits at 68 now. This is just another post with my thoughts on how the process is going.
I am pleased with the pace I’ve been able to muster for this. I’m well on my way to being able to complete it in time. I still hear a fair amount of nay sayers that believe the project won’t work because I’ll run out of beers. I still have only covered about 1/3 or less of the available Vancouver Island beers let alone what else is available from BC. If I were to sit down and drink/review all the beers I have in my fridge I’d be well over 80 consumed in just over 2 months. However, I find the process works better when I can space it out a bit. Doing 1 or 2 reviews during a night tops.
So what did I learn this month.
2 things come to mind. 1 is the vessel that you are consuming from and 2 is the serving temp. If you’ll recall from my review of the De Ranke Guldenburg Abbey Beer I noted that I was drinking it from a Tulip Glass. This made a big difference with this beer for me. It helped for the fragrances of it to hit my nose in advance of the beer to my lips. In fact, since starting this project I’ve been drinking all my beers from a glass. When you do this, and pour it properly, you help to activate the flavors and aromas of the beer. I went onto YouTube to watch a few demonstrations of proper pouring technique. 1 good all around one was this one, and the one I look forward to trying for my next hefeweisen is here. Note on the last video the bottle shake at the end and last drip is to get the active yeasts that are still in a hefeweizen. There’s even a way to pour a hefeweizen with the bottle inverted. I tried to find the link to that one, but it eluded me. I’ll include it when I get my hands on some to review.
The second thing I got schooled up on was serving temp. When I initially tried the Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine I really didn’t like it. It was far too sweet. I did research on Driftwood’s main site about the brew, and they suggest serving it at a cellar temp which is usually 13c. I got another one, and it serving it at the right temp made a world of difference. The problem I had about this is the fact that Driftwood didn’t include the suggested serving temp on the label. Instead I had to get the information from their website, an oversight on their behalf I’m sure.
Generally speaking there are 2 suggested temps for proper beer service; Cask Ales and Cellar Ales. Cask is around 4c or fridge cooled, whereas Cellar is 13c as previously mentioned. When you are consuming a specially designed craft brew please at least check the label for its proper serving temp. I tried a ‘warm’ tasting of a couple of other beers this month, the London Style Porter and Courage Directors Ale by Wells & Young’s. Both times, consuming it at the 13c made it better. In fact I have another bottle of Mass Extinction Ice Barley Wine that I had previously reviewed that I plan to re-review at 13c.
As far as the beers that I reviewed this month, the few that stand out for me were The Longboat Chocolate Porter & Mass Extinction Ice Barley Wine by Phillips , The Black Chocolate Stout by Brooklyn Brewery and the Overboard Imperial Pilsner by Lighthouse Brewery. I especially enjoyed doing that last review because I did it with my lovely wife.
Well I hope you enjoyed this update on the project. I plan to do some posts breaking down beer as I see it. And hopefully I can get into a brewery soon for an inhouse tasting. If you have questions send them in via comments or over twitter @heavycf
Thanks for Reading
Chris Frederiksen, Leapbeer