Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reformulated Beak's Best to return to NABC draft lineup.

Yesterday I made reference to Beak's Best in a posting about the forthcoming Best Of Louisville bash.

Accordingly, it’s as fine an opportunity as any to revisit Beak’s and see what the future will hold for it.

Many of you already know that Beak's Best – named for my cousin, renowned scholar and traveler Don “Beak” Barry -- was the second ale brewed in 2002 by founding NABC brewer Michael Borchers. Originally Beak’s was intended to be a staple of the everyday draft offerings. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t work out that way, and Jesse Williams eventually refashioned it into what we now call St. Radegund, which in terms of style falls into the Extra Special Bitter (ESB, English style) category.

In recent weeks, with the Bank Street Brewhouse expansion underway, we began discussing the desirability of our having a “poundable” house ale for the taproom in downtown New Albany. At the same time, it was recognized that even if our desired niche in the Louisville metro marketplace would be bigger and bolder beers, we’d need something of a more introductory nature – rather like an English-style Best Bitter, lower in gravity (circa 4.5% abv), with an enticing hop nose, and without the heavier body of many other NABC selections. Community Dark fits the bill in some ways, although it may not be sufficiently well hopped to travel far.

The answer is Beak’s Best, recalibrated as a Best Bitter. It will be sold off-premise in kegs, and at the downtown taproom, we’ll it will be served exclusively in the cask-conditioned, hand-pumped version.

The formulation is being plotted, and artist-in-residence Tony Beard will be working on a fresh graphic design. Stay tuned.

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