Sunday, 10 June 2012

Recipe development the Anorak way

Brewday is quickly approaching and we’ve finally nailed down our recipe for Anorak.  It has been a lengthy process, beginning with our initial trials at the tail-end of March.  Cracking open some of these remaining initial brews evoked fond memories of the progress we’ve made.

Reminiscing about the past few months, Shane began daydreaming: fields of golden wheat and barley, mountains of fresh green hops, slurries of sexy yeast, the alluring aroma of isinglass…wait, what? 

Best not to ask...
At the start, we had some BIG ideas for beers – hell, put ‘imperial’ on a beer label and Denis gets that tingly feeling in his pants – but we came to the realization that we needed something more appropriate and approachable than a 10% Brettanomyces chilli espresso scotch ale (actually, that sounds pretty questionable, even for us).  An easy-drinking wheat beer for the festival season became our goal, however it needed a twist…

HOPS.  We like hops.  Nay, we f@*$ing love hops.  We adore them.  Hell, John has some weird fantasy involving hops, a sand wedge, and a handful of 9-volt batteries…. don’t ask. 

Denis feeling a bit rough after John
introduced him to Brett.
Kristen has a thing for Belgians and was really pushing for a wit-style yeast.  John was down with this, too – he seems to power through those beers that typically result in those gut-wrenching, head-throbbing, next-day hangovers.  Denis vetoed this proposal of a phenolic-producing yeast immediately for the aforementioned reasons.  A compromise was made to use a clean-fermenting American wheat yeast.

We’re aiming for full-out hop flavor and aroma to complement the crisp, clean nature of the wheat and our chosen yeast, while avoiding the harsh bitterness of American style IPAs.

Anorak blurs the lines between beer styles.  Call it a hybrid, even a beery tramp of sorts… we call it a perfect marriage. 

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