Thursday, November 15, 2012

Coming this Saturday (November 17): OG APA Brew Day.

This Saturday, NABC's David Pierce joins Jeremy Hunt at Bluegrass Brewing Company's original Shelbyville Road location to brew BBC American Pale Ale (APA), but with a twist.

(We're) brewing a throw-back batch of BBC APA ... dialing back the formula to 1995. Brewery tours and autographs will be available during our brew session. We will mash-in circa 07:00 a.m. and be complete by early afternoon.

Of course, David opened BBC in 1993 and brewed dozens of BBC beers over a period of 16 years. Of course, you needn't be a beer aficionado to spot the obvious question:

If you're dialing back the recipe, does this mean it changed in the interim?

David Pierce
"To the best of my knowledge the production formula is the same/unchanged from my original from the Pub. The Pub formula has changed, but I'm not sure how. Maybe Jeremy can tell us."

Dylan Greenwood (BBC brewery staff)
"From my experience at the brewpub the formula has somehow morphed, multiple times across multiple brewers. ... when Jerry was there the recipe called for a lot of c-120 but he told me that was the recipe that was given to him. I don't know if Cameron changed it or what. To my knowledge the APA from the production side is to the og recipe but they use special b instead of 120, also san diego super yeast."

Jeremy Hunt
"I arrived here in Louisville a year and twelve days ago. The recipe, aside from some aroma hops, has been unchanged in that time here at the St. Matthews pub. That said, I wanted to brew with David and had heard that the current recipe was different from the original APA. So... I asked David, poked around the brewery and found the OG APA Brewsheet. Then, I begged David to bring his 'OG-ness' to help us bring it back. Now.. We're getting it done, son!"

We'll find out the details soon enough. I'm going to try to be there for a while on Saturday morning.


Way back in 2005, I contributed a column to Food and Dining magazine, in which I described "five great beers," the only other criteria beyond my personal opinion being their consistent availability in the Louisville market

Here, alphabetically presented, are five great beers. All are personal favorites, and while they don’t begin to tell the full story of beer’s stylistic diversity, they can be found locally.

Number one on the list? BBC APA, but with a caveat. It had to be APA as brewed at the production facility. I can't remember whether this reflects a perceived change at the time, but I'm guessing it did.

BBC APA (American Pale Ale), (Louisville, Kentucky)

The best microbrewed beer brewed in Louisville is BBC APA, as crafted by its original brewer, David Pierce, at the BBC Brewing Company downtown on the corner of Main & Clay.

Dave’s signature APA originally was formulated along the lines of an English-style pale ale, but with American hops and yeast. He says, “Eventually Centennial hops became available, and I stayed with them because they give a more crisp bite.”

Fusing elements of different brewing traditions into a delicious and innovative hybrid is the defining glory of contemporary American microbrewing. APA’s medium body is malty and slightly toasty, as with English ales, but the hop kick is all-American, with some citrus notes and a long, satisfying bitterness at the end.

BBC APA holds its own with spicy ethnic food, and is my all-time favorite with chicken wings.

At the same time, I also remember enjoying APA at the BBC in St. Matthews, even during those times when it seemed to me to be different.

The moral of this story: I may well have consumed too many beers over the years.

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