Wednesday, June 09, 2010

NABC World Cup Series starts Saturday with the debut of "USA vs England – Ordinary Bitter."

A little history is in order. In Brazil in 1950, USA played football (soccer) powerhouse England in the World Cup, and the result was the Miracle on Grass, a 1-0 USA victory. Reading the score in the newspapers next day, many Englishmen assumed it was a misprint and that England had won 10-1. The victory remains a benchmark in US football history.

Sixty years later, South Africa is the scene, and kickoff for the renewal of the rivalry is at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, New Albany time. NABC's Bank Street Brewhouse will be the scene of a special tapping to commemorate the occasion, as the first of three small batches, designed to debut on the same day as USA's first three World Cup matches, goes on tap.

First up is "USA vs England – Ordinary Bitter," with a firkin tapped at 2:00 p.m. at Bank Street Brewhouse, and a keg of the CO2 version on at the Pizzeria & Public House at the same time.

NABC's Jared Williamson conceived the project, Jesse Williams collaborated on the recipes, and I've added style notes to the report below.


USA vs England – Ordinary Bitter

Malts: Simpsons Golden Promise, Simpsons Medium Crystal

Malts note by Jesse: "Simpsons Golden Promise is early maturing barley primarily grown in Scotland. It produces sweet, clean wort that I have always preferred to the more famous Maris Otter, which can be a bit nuttier. Golden Promise in fermentation and beyond has a depth of flavor that is perfect for balancing any hop, be it our mostly fruity/citrusy US varieties or the traditional herbal/grassy English varieties. A small Crystal malt addition only adds to the depth of flavor and allows a little color into the malt palette."

Kettle hops: Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo
Dry hops: Columbus, Amarillo

Hops notes by Jared: "To bring out the American aspect of this ale, I used pungent and aromatic Pacific Northwest hops, but in keeping with the style, kept the IBUs low. I dry hopped both the cask and draft versions, resulting in a wonderful floral and citrus nose."

Yeast: House London Ale

ABV: 3.9%

IBU: 26

Color: 5.4 degree Lovibond SRM

Style notes by Roger:
"Historically, the emergence of efficient kilning techniques during the malting process roughly 200 years ago led to paler malts and new types of well-hopped ale. Since then, 'Bitter' has been understood as a low-gravity, English pale ale (as opposed to 'brown' and 'black' ales), seen most often in cask-conditioned form in the UK. Ordinary generally describes the lowest strength of the Bitter range (including Best, Extra Special and Premium), at less than 4.1% abv."

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