Monday, March 06, 2006

Browning’s Imperial Stout firkin suffers fatal blowout.

Of the bung, that is.

On Saturday night, brewmaster Brian Reymiller of Browning’s Restaurant and Brewery brought a firkin of his Imperial Stout to the NABC brewery walk-in for a period of stillage prior to being tapped later this week.

At some point over the weekend, internal pressure blew the bung, depositing the fruits of Brian’s efforts in a gooey black stream that occupied much of our assistant brewer Jared’s (and the mop bucket's) Monday.

I hated having to make the sad phone call to Brian today to let him know that none of the elixir could be saved.

Such are the vagaries of living, cask-conditioned ale. Since it was the only firkin of Imperial Stout that Brian had to offer, there’ll be none at Gravity Head 2006. However, we plan to get together for firkins in the future.

Ironically, there’s an unlisted replacement ready to take the Imperial Stout firkin’s place on the hand pump after the Gale’s Christmas Ale 2005 is depleted: Burton Bridge Thomas Sykes Ale, a 10% “winter ale” recently arrived from B. United International via Cavalier (Indiana), and in the company of a non-gravity firkin of Wye Valley Victory Ale (more information forthcoming).

Meanwhile, Bell’s Batch 7000 gave up its last precious ounces on Saturday, and I suspect the JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (Sherry cask) will have done the same by Tuesday morning. Great Divide Hercules Double IPA replaces the Bell’s, and Gravity Head rolls on into its second full week -- with a Belgian wave massing on the horizon.

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