Saturday October 23, 2010 @ 16:22 PM
About to be released is the "Kung Pow Enter The Hop", the first in the Triad series of far-eastern influenced beers. "Kung Pow Enter The Hop" is a strong IPA hopped with 100% Japanese Sorachi Ace hops. It gets only Vienna malt and flaked rice for grains. The idea is to do some beers with some Asian ingredients and / or inspiration. Kung Pow is a simple beer with one malt, one hop, one yeast, and one adjunct (rice). Sorachi Ace hops are known for an intense lemon like citrus character. We use Sorachi Ace in our summer beer "Summer Haze" but that beer is not a hop forward beer like Kung Pow. "Kung Pow Enter The Hop" will be around 6.8%abv, 75+ IBU's, and served unfiltered for extra purity. It will be on tap around Thursday 10/28 and should be on tap for about a month. It should be like a karate chop of hops to the mouth.
The second beer in the Triad Series will be "Bock Choy". It will retain the simple and pure formula of one malt, one hop, one yeast, and one adjunct. "Bock Choy" will be a bock beer fermented with plum juice. It will be made of 100% Munich malt, Sorachi Ace hops, lager yeast and plum juice. It should weigh in at around 7.5% abv and 20 IBU's. I want to blend the rich malt notes from the Munich malt with the dark fruit character of the plum juice. The hops will be there only as a supporting measure. I should brew that in late November for a February release. It should be a good winter beer.
The third and final beer in the Triad Series is yet to be decided. My friend Barrett, the head brewer at the District Chophouse in Washington DC suggested a name of "Mothra" but the style is to be determined. Perhaps it will be a "monster" of a beer!
Friday October 1, 2010 @ 21:32 PM
We got back from the 2010 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) two weeks ago and brought back the Gold! Actually 2 golds and two bronzes. We received medals in the following categories:
Gold medal in International-style Pilsner for "Gold Leaf Lager" (second year in a row). One of our house beers.
Gold medal in Coffee Flavored beer for "Baltic Coffee". Last spring we won a bronze in Coffee Flavored Beer at the 2010 World Beer Cup. Both times we used locally roasted Trager Brothers coffee from Lovingston, VA (Nelson County)! Check out their coffee http://www.tbcroasters.com/.
Bronze medal in South German-style Hefeweizen for "Wintergreen Weiss". One of our house beers.
Bronze medal in English-style Mild for "Ale of Fergus". We opened the restaurant with Ale of Fergus. It has been our most brewed seasonal beer having returned 5-6 times so far. Nice to see it get the props it deserves, especially it being a session beer, aka low alcohol.
So far in less than two years being open we have accumulated 8 Great American Beer Festival medals and 4 World Beer Cup medals and the World Beer Cup Champion Brewery & Brewer award for the small brewpub category. Not bad for a brewery located in the sticks! Three out of our four year round house beers have medaled at GABF, one twice.
Big thanks goes out to Aaron Reilly our assistant brewer, without whom we could not have achieved so much. Also thanks must be giving to the Crandall's who have created an environment in which this could have been done. The whole staff here at DBBC also helped create the environment which good beer can be brewed and enjoyed, a big thanks to you all. Thanks to the local breweries on the Brew Ridge Trail http://brewridgetrail.com/ who have been wonderful neighbors, especially Mark Thompson and crew at Starr Hill who have been like a big brother to us and who's brewery acted as a drop off point for GABF festival beers & entries.
I also want to thank our patrons, local and afar. You are the reason we are here. Thanks for drinking our beer.
Friday October 1, 2010 @ 20:50 PM
Man, am I behind on my blog or what? Lot's has happened since I last pecked away at my keyboard.
The "Blue Ridge Hop Revival" is now on tap! It is brewed with 100% Nelson County VA grown hops. I used 105 pounds of wet fresh picked Cascade hops from Dave "Mad Hops" Bernard's hop yard in Maisie's Mill. This was my first wet hop beer and it proved to be a fun brew. Wet hop beers are brewed with fresh picked hops that haven't been dried or processed. It's akin to cooking with fresh spices opposed to dry. Look for a wet hop ale every year. This years beer is a hoppy harvest brown ale that has rye, wheat, and flaked barley along with the malt and lots of hops. It is a rustic hearty brew that blends malt richness with fresh hop goodness. Many brewers will use hop pellets for bittering during a wet hop brew and only use the wet hops for aroma and flavor. I am proud to have used only Nelson County hops in this beer for both bittering and flavor / aroma.
The Trukker Ur-Pils is now on tap as well. This was the historic re-creation of the first Pilsner from Pilsen 1842 (now Czech Republic). We used a recipe from Horst Dornbusch and the New Brewer magazine which had an article on re-creating this beer. We used Weyermann floor malted Bohemian Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops. Alastair Reece, a local beer blogger and ex-Czech resident came by and brewed with Aaron (our assistant brewer) and myself. We did a triple decoction mash, which is the traditional method of brewing this beer. It makes for a long day but also makes for authenticity. Being a history major, I appreciate historical techniques. Anyway, this version of the Trukker pils (I do several) is the Czech inspired one and named Ur-Pils which roughly means "original pilsner". In the next three months look for a "Trukker Weizen Pils", which will be brewed like a German pilsner with the non-traditional addition of 50% wheat malt.
Also just on tap is our O'Fest which is our old school type Oktoberfest beer. I say old school because modern fest beers are gold in color and this one is deep amber and is more of the Marzen-style fest beer of old. It uses lot's of Munich malt for richness and gets a single decoction mash. Most breweries in this country do the old fashioned type of fest beer. I really like the modern type as well but I just had a Dortmund-style Lager on tap which is very similar to a modern fest beer and having it back to back with the Dort would be too confusing. I think people in this country expect fest beers to be amber.