Over the past couple years here at Bertus Brewery there have been countless requests to brew a Fresh Squeezed clone; about 98% of which happen to come from Mrs. Bert. Since I also really love that beer, and I’m currently woefully lacking an IPA on tap, it seemed that the day has finally arrived! Fresh Squeezed is a really interesting IPA. It’s not very bitter, nor is it in-your-face-hoppy. It has a pretty big caramel malt character, but it makes up for all of that with really juicy, citrusy, fruity aroma. It’s smooth, approachable, and really well brewed.
What if I told you that most of what we knew about Pliny clones was wrong? Well, about six months ago, I received an email from a fan of the blog who happened to stumble across some info about the Pliny recipe that looked pretty different than what we’ve heard from Vinny in the past. I’m intentionally leaving out some details, out of respect for Russian River, but I have every reason to believe the info to be accurate. The same recipe info was later posted to a popular homebrew forum, although it surprisingly didn’t garner much attention. With that said, please don’t ask me for specifics, as I’m already pushing my moral boundaries here. I really debated whether or not I was going to post this recipe at all. After some deliberation, and considering just a cursory search will turn up the same details now, I decided that I’m not exactly divulging any secrets. So here’s my experience brewing this newer (more accurate) Pliny recipe.
Well, it’s been long enough. While this brew wasn’t exactly a recent beer, it is still on tap at the house, and worthy of writing about. Today we’re talking about German Kolsch. This is one of those beer styles that isn’t exactly sexy, but I still really enjoy. We have a local brewery here in Tempe (Four Peaks) that makes a really fantastic, true-to-style, Kolsch. It’s a really nice beer to drink during the hot summer months here, and it’s been one of their staples for years. Aside from that, last year while in Europe we spent a couples days in Cologne, and I can’t explain how awesome it was to drink Kolsch in some the venerable beer halls there.
Things have slowed down in the realm of brewing for me lately. The Wife and I purchased a house, which while awesome, hasn’t left much time for beer. Between the house-buying process, packing, moving, and unpacking, it’s been a busy couple months.
I think this is like the 4th or 5th time I’ve brewed this beer, so sorry if it’s getting a little repetitive. With the holidays fast approaching, and 1lb of last year’s Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy in the freezer I needed to use up, this recipe was kind of a no-brainer. I also find it interesting, as Stone has started to release this beer with wider distribution, I think a little of the novelty has worn off. It’s still one of the best DIPAs available these days, and one of my all-time favs. I have a theory regarding the availability of a beer and how good it’s perceived as a result, but we’ll save that topic for a later date.
I’ve been excited to write about this beer for a little while now, as I’ve been trying to craft a session IPA recipe for well over a year. Session IPAs (or whatever you want to call them) are polarizing beers. Personally, I love the concept, as I love a good IPA, but want something I can drink on a weeknight. Those 9% DIPAs take their toll. So I set out to create a really tasty low-gravity IPA, although I didn’t realize quite how hard this style would be to get right.
Two dark beers in a row!?! I know, this isn’t my usual M.O., but tis the season for dark beers. Quite a few months ago I remember reading that Stone was going to release a Coffee Milk Stout, and thought, hrm that sounds pretty tasty. Since I couldn’t get my hands on a 6 pack of this, I just decided to brew something similar myself.
In words of the great Ladies Love Cool James, “Don’t call it a comeback.”
It’s time for me to start writing again. I want to start by saying thank you to all the loyal readers. I’ve received countless emails and comments(yes, I’m definitely still alive) over the past year with nothing but nice things; you guys rock. I have to admit, I underestimated the ebbs and flows of writing(or any long term hobby) until I hit a bit of a lull. If anything it’s a testament to some of those blogs that have been going consistently for the better part of a decade; it’s not easy. With that said, the keys are clicking again.
Short post today, as the wife and I are off to Europe for the next couple weeks. We’re going to Amsterdam, Brussels, Ghent, Brugges, Cologne, and Dusseldorf, and would love to see if any of you guys have any beer-related advice (breweries, bars, or beers to try).
We’ve already checked out the European Beer Guide (great reference), as well as looked into going to Westvleteren (too far), but I was wondering if anyone had personal recommendations from their experiences.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have some pictures and stories in a couple weeks when we get home.
Of all the beers I made last year, one of my absolute favorites was my American Amber Ale. It wasn’t the biggest, it wasn’t the hoppiest, and it might not have been the most exciting, but I really enjoyed having it on tap. So it was long over due that I made another batch of this.