Friday, December 30, 2011
NABC Smoked Abzug ... later in 2012.
One of the major themes of my year in beer was a growing preference for session-strength pints.
"Session" is a topic that has been discussed here many times in the past, and I always like to follow the trail backwards in time to Lew Bryson's pioneering advocacy: The Session Beer Project.
Hence, the gorgeous specimen pictured above: NABC Smoked Abzug. I hasten to add that currently, the only place on the planet where this beer is on tap is the keg box in my home garage, so don't get any ideas.
Former NABC brewer Jared Williamson originally formulated Abzug as a low-gravity lager (California Common yeast) with a short maturation curve; it was our first attempt to produce a session-strength golden lager for serving at our two on-premise locations. We've since started using Bavarian yeast to brew Bat Out of Helles, which will be the inheritor of the Abzug notion.
Later, Jared came up with the idea of lightly "smoking" his Abzug, thereby creating a lower gravity version of something resembling Bamberg's Spezial. The last keg of it is in the garage, and with around nine months of down time, the liquid is now a brilliant "bright" amber, and as MASH's late and lamented Colonel Potter might have said, there aren't enough O's in smOOth to describe it. The Weyermann smoked malt is beginning to fade in intensity, but it's still present. The flavor is clean and delicious, and at less than 4% abv, you can have a few without hitting the floor.
Look for the next batch of Smoked Abzug in October of 2012. It will be available on draft at the Pizzeria & Public House, Bank Street Brewhouse, my garage, and selected Cavalier Distributing accounts in Indiana that opt for NABC's forthcoming "session tap" program. As always, stay tuned.