Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Nov 28 - 12:47 PM: Blended Beers - The Results : Joe McBane

    The history of blending beers can be traced by at least as far as the 18th century. A pub guide to the London beer scene titled ‘Guide for Malt Worms’ describes one of the common beer styles as mild and stale. A blend of young and old beers. Both beers offer different complexities of flavor.

    Mild and bitter is a variation of the same idea. This was drank in the 20th century. Another historic style that has become popular over the years was called ‘three threads’. Often drunk by porters this was a blend from three casks that the publican had available at the time. Nowadays porter comes from a single fermentation and is probably a little more roasty in flavor. Porter was much more like a brown ale than a stout.

    We think of a porter as someone who earns a living carrying bags. Centuries ago this would have encompassed much more than bags. General goods would have been delivered. An old fashioned UPS if you will. As many as 11,000 porters worked in London at one time and were by all accounts avid beer drinkers due to the calories that could be quickly consumed in a pint.

    Common blends that most people have heard of are:
    Black and Tan
    Black Velvet
    Half and Half
    Snake Bite
    Lager and Lime
    We are going to avoided these at our Social and came up with originals.

    What didn’t work during our experimentation??
    Stout with hot coffee
    Too much sherry
    Reisling with barley wine
    Shiraz with porter

    Funny names and mixes found during online reading:
    Old Crusty Bastard: 25/75 blend of Rogue Old Crustacean and Arrogant Bastard
    Labatt 50 and clamato
    Beauty and the Beast: 50/50 Kaliber na and Milwaukee's Best Light

    Mixes from the Social:

    Full o’ Ginger.
    2 parts Fullers ESB to 1 part Saranac Ginger Beer.
    This was fairly well received and is a play on a shandy which uses Sprite and beer. It is important not to substitute ginger ale for ginger beer as the ginger flavor is not even close in intensity. Proportions can be played around with slightly and different beers can be tried.

    Hoppy Haze.
    2 parts Konig Ludwig to 1 Sierra Nevada Celebration.
    Inspired by the Schneider, Brooklyn collaboration Hopfen Weisse. A hit with most people. We played with different hoppy beers and found that the Celebration provided the most character. Play around with different amounts and brands. Just make sure the wheat beer is good, thick and cloudy.

    Ommeberry or Framagang
    12 parts Ommegang Abbey to 1 part Lindemans Framboise.
    The abbey ale has a lot of dried dark fruit flavors to begin with. The raspberry just adds another dimension. It was shocking just how strong the raspberry flavors were. The proportions had to be spot on for this one. Other Lindemans and Liefmans beers would work well along with other dark Belgians. Most comments were on the favorable side of the scale.

    Port in a Porter
    8 parts Atwater Vanilla Java Porter to 1 part Cockburns Reserve Port.
    The vanilla and coffee flavors in the porter are not subtle and I think this played well with the sweetness of the port. This proportion allows the port to smooth and round out the beer without overwhelming. You might enjoy a little more port if you were to do it yourself. I got a mixed response to this one.

    Dark Smoke
    4 parts Sly Fox Rauchbier to 1 part Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
    If you don't like smokey flavor in your beer forget it. However if you do keep reading. The small amount of stout made for a smoked porter like finished blend. Try adding more stout for a richer less smokey result. I found that the smoke beer was great to blend with as it had such pronounced flavor that it presented a lot of interesting possibilities.

    Santa’s Warmer.
    8 parts Anchor Christmas to 1 part Cream Sherry
    I consider sherry to be a flavor that is closely associated with Christmas. It certainly is in my home country. I wanted to create a collage of Christmas smells and tastes. The sherry, like the Framboise had to be carefully blended. Not too much, not too little. I think it worked quite well if you enjoy the flavor of sherry to begin with. A poor quality sherry would be a detriment to this blend. Most people didn't care for this as far as I could tell.

    So there you have it. Let me know if you come up with any genius blends from your kitchen at home.

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  • Nov 25 - 12:57 PM: Tap and Mallet gear in time for the holidays : Joe McBane

    We will have caps and long sleeve T's available around the start of December. It will all be available for purchase behind the bar.

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  • Nov 25 - 12:53 PM: Holiday Hours : Joe McBane

    We will be closed on:

    Christmas Eve
    Christmas Day
    December 28th after 9pm (staff party)
    New Years Day

    We wish you a fun safe holiday season that is filled with good people, good food and of course great beer.


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