This is my unauthorized imagined collaboration between the monks of Sint-Sixtusabdij Westvleteren and Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval. The malt, hops, and primary fermentation are inspired by the flawless Westvleteren Blond (Green Cap) and the bottle conditioning is pure Orval. The result is fantastic around two months in the bottle when it has herbal hops, peppery yeast, and a mellow earthiness.
This beer is all about showcasing an alternative universe where Germany developed the saison and wild culture of Belgium. Rather than trying to get my hands on Alsatian Gewürztraminer grapes, I blended in a bottle of wine post fermentation. The fruity notes from the wine meld beautifully with the new German hops and lemony-funky-minerally Brettanomyces. The extended warm conditioning also provides an opportunity for the Brettanomyces to free aromatics from glycosides in the hops and wine, and to work under pressure to create flavors quickly so that the fresh hop nose is still evident.
Don’t have space for a fermentation fridge? Control fermentation temperature with heat and cooling wraps.
In the September 2016 column I discussed cleaning techniques in the brewery, so now we must look at sanitizing brewing equipment, since that comes after cleaning. That’s a very important statement in
Rock Art uses a cleaner American/California Ale strain in this beer compared to some of the other New England IPAs, the unfiltered product still has a glowing haze thanks to the huge late bursting of hops and a high dry hopping rate.
Foundation Head Brewer and Co-Owner Joel Mahaffey says, “The characteristics that I feel are the hallmarks of a Maine IPA are a soft body, modest but solid malt backbone, low bitterness (but sufficient to avoid cloying sweetness), and a dominating hop flavor and aroma profile. Characteristics should lean towards fruit, be it citrus or tropical, but notes of pine and resin are also perfectly acceptable.”
Trillium brewers describe this beer on their website as, “Opaque orange-yellow in color with floral aromas of lime zest, grapefruit peel, pine sap, and candied orange.”
This “New England style” IPA is bursting with American hops filled with mango, passionfruit, and citrus.
While the recipe for Focal Banger has been known to change over the years, the hop combo has been one thing that hasn’t changed.
When I wrote American Sour Beers I ignored extract brewers (sorry), other than a brief note on page 307 about adapting all-grain recipes. I mentioned malt extract several other times, but only
In 2012 Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project in Denver, Colorado included me in an email chain of 20 Brettanomyces-and-bacteria-focused brewers. Chad’s hope was to get the group to agree