Friday, November 27, 2009

NABC seasonal brews: Bonfire of the Valkyries, Naughty Claus & Solidarity.

Each year during Saturnalia, which is NABC’s draft beer festival and a leering bow to the pagan roots of the holidays, we release two of our own creations: Bonfire of the Valkyries (Smoked Black Lager) and Naughty Claus (Spiced Ale). This year, there’s a bonus selection made possible by the additional brewing capacity downtown: Solidarity (Baltic Porter).

Saturnalia begins on Friday, December 4, so here’s an update on NABC’s listed contributions.

Solidarity, which might be considered a Saturnalia pre-release, is on tap now. It was ready to drink, and we saw no sense in holding it.

Bonfire will be ready for pouring in about three weeks, just before Christmas. Naughty Claus has undergone its yearly recipe modification (see below), and will be released around the 10th of December.

The 2009 batches of Bonfire and Naughty Claus were brewed by Jared Williamson at the Garage Brewery (Pizzeria & Public House).

Meanwhile, David Pierce honed the original Michael Borchers formulation of Solidarity, which also was previously brewed by Jared and Jesse Williams, and he joined with Jesse in putting a batch through the new Bank Street system.

I sampled Solidarity last week as accompaniment to Chef Josh Lehman’s Pastrami sandwich, and the combo is dynamite.

Here are the specs:

Bonfire of the Valkyries 09
Burning away the hours 'til Ragnarok
Although it’s probably there somewhere in the German brewing playbook, we couldn’t find the rule prohibiting the crossing of Black Lager with Smoked Lager, so we brew Bonfire each year in autumn and let it age until release during Saturnalia, just before Christmas.

Malts: Weyermann Rauch Malz, Simpsons Black, Castle Aromatic, Castle Special B

Hops: Magnum (Bitter, Flavor, Aroma)

Yeast: Garage Brewery Frisco Lager

ABV: 7.2%

IBU: 10


Naughty Claus 09
Santa needs daze off, too
A rich, full-bodied holiday spiced seasonal that changes wardrobe a bit each year as we experiment with festive additives.

Malts: Simpsons Golden Promise, Rahr 2-row, Weyermanns Vienna, Castle, Biscuit, Castle Aromatic

Adjuncts: Belgian Candi Sugar (Dark), Molasses

Hops: Summit

Spices: Fresh Ginger Root, Cinnamon Sticks, Rose Hips

Yeast: Bank Street London

OG: 1074

ABV: 7%

IBU: 9


Solidarity or Death
In the 1080’s, the Solidarity trade union movement in Poland sought and achieved an end to the official Communist Party’s hegemony over the workers’ movement. We tip our hats to the activists with Solidarity, a robust reminder of Baltic foresight in activism and strong beer.

Malts: Simpson Golden Promise, Special Pale, Simpson Aromatic, CaraPils, Simpson Dark Crystal, Simpson Chocolate, Simpson Black

Hops: German Perle, two additions (one at each end of the boil)

Yeast: Garage Brewery Frisco Lager

Color: 26 degree SRM (or, almost black)

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: 18

No comments: