26 October 2010

WILK Friday BeerBuzz – 15 Oct 2010 (Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale & MIKE)

WILKFridayBerbuzz7 I’m not only a long time drinker of Weyerbacher beers, but a long time lover of their line of big beers.  Maybe it was the way their simple Hops Infusion spoke to me, maybe it was the way their barrel aged Insanity lingered on my tongue and in my mind or maybe it was even the smile I still remember on my face when they first premiered Double Simcoe at a beer festival…but whatever the case I am a huge fan.  Sure it helps that Brother BeerBuzz has lived 5-mins from both Weyerbacher brewery locations for many moons, and of course it helps that I like a big beer…but it’s more than that…quite simply Weyerbacher does beer the way I would do beer (if I could do beer).

imperial-pumpkin weyerbacher.jpgToday Chris Wilson, head brewer for Weyerbacher joined us in the studio to talk about the Easton, PA brewery and some of their beers.  It was VERY cool to get to try Brewer’s Reserve MIKE before it’s even released and a lot of fun sampling Imperial Pumpkin Ale with Chris.  I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, BUT Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale has always been one I look forward to every year…hell we even drink it on the beach when we go on vacation every year.  Be sure to check out Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale for yourself AND watch for Brewers Reserve MIKE coming very soon.

FridayBeerbuzz15Oct2010 Great beers and a great show!…


to  Chris, John, Nancy, Joe & Bosco for yet another fun Friday. 

The Friday Beerbuzz…bringing good beers and good people together

As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday Beerbuzz page by clicking HERE

15 October 2010

Weyerbacher Riserva 2010

From Dan: 

OK, here's the first official announcement I've put out. We've finally decided to release 2010 Riserva, likely in early to mid-November. I'll follow up with an exact date on the Beer Releases board here as soon as we know it.

We're currently waiting for neck tags to arrive, which we'll drape over the necks on the bottles with the following info printed:
Though its in the nature of a wild ale to be different each year, this years vintage is exceptionally different, and may not occur again. Riserva 2010 is a full fledged sour ale. Its tarter than ever, with notes of cider vinegar mingling with a more assertive raspberry palate than years past. The stronger acidity (tartness) of the beer has inhibited the bottle conditioning yeast, thus carbonation is scarce to low at best. But the beer is fantastic! Similar to what an Oud Bruin with raspberry might be like. Cheers!

We've been waiting months and the carbonation hasn't increased. Its about what you would call cask level carbonation. A pH test confimed its too low for the yeast to be active, they worked for a little while, but have been on siesta ever since June.

The thing is, if you like traditional sour ales, you'll love this beer! Just expect light carbonation. Its very full-bodied and full-flavored this year. I guess the third year of using the barrels has finally established a large enough microbe community.

Now you ask, "why might it not be like this again?". Good question. Answer is that every barrel is different. We had 38 barrels this year (52 gallons each) and we taste each one before we move it into the tank for bottling (I know, it is a tough job...). Five of the barrels were extraordinarily sour and the rest were just nicely sour. This is where many brewers (including traditional Belgians) decide whether or how to blend to produce the beer the way they want it to taste. We added these last 5 barrels one at a time and tasted the overall mix before adding the next one (yes, it is a great job!). We ended up adding all 5 barrels and thought this is the best Riserva yet.

You know the rest, too much tartness may lead to trouble carbonating.
So next year, we may only put in some of the extra sour barrels, keeping the pH where we need it to carbonate properly. Any sour barrels not added may be bottled as a different version, perhaps grand cru, of extraordinarily sour beer.

We agonized over the decision to release, but the beer tastes incredibly good. Love to hear any and all feedback right here. Thanks!

Dan Weyerbacher

14 October 2010

Weyerbacher News – 13 Oct 2010

From Weyerbacher:

Weyerbacher Update for October 13, 2010
Imperial Pumpkin takes Bronze! Just a few weeks ago at The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, your favorite pumpkin brew won the bronze! Brewer Dan Hitchcock was on hand to accept the medal and shake Charlie Papazian’s hand in the process. We’re thrilled our most popular seasonal has been recognized for greatness! We’ve finished shipping the pumpkin. In fact a lot of stores are sold out already. If you can still find it, snap it up fast.

Winter Ale is coming soon! We’re beginning shipments this week to wholesalers so that it reaches store shelves by the end of October.

Tiny will be back in early November in the 750 ml cork n cage bottles.

Lehigh Valley Brewfest this Saturday in Easton at Hugh Moore Park from Noon to 4. Dozens of beers and breweries and great food as well. For more details and tickets go to lvbrewfest.org.

Head Brewer Chris Wilson:
It’s October, finally, it’s time to have my first Pumpkin Ale! Ha ha ha…. I kid, I kid! As I mentioned last month, it’s time for “Mike”. The newest addition to the Brewer’s Select Series, Mike will be a Belgian Style Dubbel. I just had a sample off the tank and it is going to be awesome. It has a rich malty character and a somewhat surprising dryness. It is still fermenting, so we still have a little while to wait until we know what it will be like. It looks like it will be around 7.7% ABV and it will be bottle-conditioned. Delicious! We will also be brewing up this year’s QUAD this month. I promise to make vintage 2010 as good as ever. I would tell you what else is coming, but I have been told it’s Verboten. If you have a question, please check out our website, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!!! These are your personal gateways to ask me any questions you have.

Production Manager Chris Lampe:
Continuing in the filtration vein I started last month, I thought I’d talk a little about why we have different filtering methods. For our lower ABV beers like Hops Infusion and Winter Ale, it is desirable to have the least amount of yeast possible in the finished product. Because of the way our filter works, that means that we must apply the DE with water. If we were to use regular water however, we would end up adding oxygen to the finished beer. Instead what we do is fill a small tank with hot water (which has very little dissolved oxygen) from the brewhouse and bubble CO2 through it over the weekend. This gives us deoxygenated water for applying DE before filtering the beer. Once filtered, we have very bright beer ready for carbonation and then bottling, without introducing oxygen.


Holiday Shopping
Don’t forget your favorite beer geek over the holidays. Weyerbacher.com can help you find the perfect gift in our online store of Weyerbacher wearables and glassware. Blithering Idiot t-shirts are always a hit! And don’t forget to treat yourself as well. Cheers!