November 19, 2009

Now on Tap - Toddy Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal stouts are generally medium to full bodied & have an unreal smoothness to them due to the addition of oats to the mash. The oats not only add a lot of smoothness to the mouthfeel, but give a touch of sweetness that is unlike any other type of stout. Ours is a very smooth and delicious, malt forward stout that is nitrogenated to make it even more smooth & creamy. This time around our good friends at Broadway Cafe put together a very special roast to compliment and enhance our tasty oatmeal stout.

Brewer's specs:

Pale malt
Carapils malt
Munich malt
Roasted malt
Black malt
Honey malt


Bravo & Willamette hops

Fermented with McCoy's house ale yeast

Cold extracted Broadway Cafe Toddy added after maturation

OG 15.5 Plato
45 IBU
6.1% ABV

A great way to start your day!

November 18, 2009

Back on Tap - Double IPA

That's right - the 3rd batch of our big & bold Double India Pale Ale is back on tap since we polished off the Cask IPA. This keg has been resting for a few months and I think the hop bitterness has mellowed substantially and the honey flavor has become a bit more balanced, making this a sweet & smooth, big DIPA. Check out the original post with more detail and brewer's specs here.


November 17, 2009

Now on Tap - California Uncommon

Introducing the California Uncommon - our Imperial Steam beer. Steam beer may be defined as a highly effervescent beer made by brewing lager yeasts at ale fermentation temperatures. It has two distinct but related meanings:

- Historic steam beer produced in California from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s;
- Modern California Common beer, the official name for the beer family which includes Anchor Steam beer.

Historic steam beer, associated with San Francisco & and the U.S. West Coast, was brewed with lager yeast without the use of refrigeration. It was an improvised process, originating out of necessity, perhaps as early as the Gold Rush. It was considered a cheap & low-quality beer as shown by references to it in literature of the 1890s & 1900s.

Modern steam beer, properly known in the brewing community as California common beer, was originated by Anchor Brewing Company, which trademarked the name Anchor Steam beer in 1981. Although the modern company has corporate continuity with a small brewery which was still making traditional steam beer in the 1950s, Anchor Steam is a craft-brewed lager. The company does not claim any close similarity between it and turn-of-the-century steam beer.

Explanations of the word "steam" are all speculative. The carbon dioxide pressure produced by the process was very high, and one possibility is that it was necessary to let off "steam" before attempting to dispense the beer. According to Anchor Brewing, the name "steam" came from the fact that the brewery had no effective way to chill the boiling wort using traditional means. So they pumped the hot wort up to the large, shallow, open-top bins on the roof of the brewery so that it would be rapidly chilled by the cool air blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. Thus, while brewing, the brewery had a distinct cloud of steam around the roof let off by the wort as it cooled, providing basis for the name. It is also possible that the name derives from "Dampfbier" (literally "steam beer"), a traditional German ale that was also fermented at unusually high temperatures and that may have been known to 19th-century American brewers, many of whom were of German descent.

In 19th-century California, not only ice, but even sources of naturally cold water, were probably unavailable to brewers. California brewers were forced to use lager yeast at higher ale temperatures.

Final flavors of beer are influenced by the strain of yeast and fermentation temperature. Lager yeast is best used at temperatures from 55°F down to 32°F. Classic lagering of beers takes place over a period of time from weeks to many months at a temperature of 45°F. Lager yeasts are bottom fermenting, which is to say that they ferment the wort while sitting on the bottom of the fermenter.

Ale yeast is best used at temperatures from 55°F to 75°F. Fermentation by ale yeasts produces a beer that has a distinctive ale flavor. Ale yeasts are top fermenting, in that they settle out on top of the wort after fermenting. Steam beer uses bottom fermenting lager yeasts at ale temperatures, which results in a very distinct flavor profile that includes both ale & lager characteristics.

While Steam beer is considered a specialty microbrew style of beer today, it was originally a cheap beer made for blue collar workers. Wahl & Heinus's American Handy Book of Brewing and Malting (1902) describes California steam beer as "a very clear, refreshing drink much consumed by the laboring classes." And while Anchor Steam is an all barley malt beer, additives were often used in the earlier days. According to the book, "malt alone, malt and grits,or raw cereals of any kind, and sugars, especially glucose, employed in the kettle to the extent of 33%... Roasted malt or sugar coloring is used to give the favorite amber color of Munich beer." take all of that and double it, and you have Imperial Steam Beer!

Brewer's specs:

90% Pale
5% Crystal
5% Munich

75% Northern Brewer
25% Cascade

Fermented at 18°C (64.4°F) with McCoy's house lager yeast

OG: 23.3 Plato
10.2% ABV

A postmodern twist on a modern revival of a classic American beer

November 11, 2009

Christmas Ale Dinner - 12.01.09

Oh yes, back at it once again! This month's Brewmaster's Dinner features holiday-inspired dishes paired with big "winter warmer" beers from Boulevard, Delirium, St. Bernardus, Samichlaus & McCoy's, concluding with our very own wassail! Tickets are only $45 including tax & gratuity. We are already over halfway sold out so please come by or call us at (816) 960-0866 to make your reservation today!

Six courses featuring:

Warm brie phyllo cup with cranberry-ginger chutney & toasted almonds with Delirium Noel - 10% ABV.

Chestnut soup with porcini mushrooms, maple glazed onions & sage croutons with Boulevard Nutcracker Ale - 5.9% ABV.

Cornish game hen with spiced apple-prune stuffing & maple-pecan Brussels sprouts with McCoy's Winter Warmer - 8.5% ABV.

Beef Wellington with mushroom duxelles & St. Bernardus ABT 12 - 10.5% ABV.

Christmas plum pudding with eggnog whipped cream & Samichlaus Bier - 14% ABV (!!!)

White chocolate pretzel bark with warm holiday wassail - our own Winter Warmer simmered with spices, port wine & cider ale.

November 04, 2009

Pics - Trappist Beer Dinner

Last night was yet another succesful Brewmaster's Dinner. This month's event featured beers from 6 of the 7 Trappist breweries, which are brewed in monasteries located in Belgium and the Netherlands under the control and guidelines of Trappist monks. Each dish featured autum-inspired ingredients that paired wonderfully with each of the bigger, bolder, higher alcohol beers. Many, many thanks to those of you who made it out, but for those who didn't, here's what you missed:

Guests began pouring into the Foundry around 6:30.

First course: hazelnut encrusted Chevre goat cheese truffles with rosemary honey.

A goat cheese truffle with Chimay Tripel - 8% ABV.

Round #2: Pumpkin ale soup with sage croutons, nutmeg whipped cream and Orval - 6.9% ABV.

Onlookers watch as Guffy is about to break into the Running Man while collecting empty glasses...

Third course: roasted duck salad with sun-dried cherries, candied walnuts, Roquefort cheese and Trappistes Rochefort 10 - 11.3% ABV.

Achel Bruin prefers it with the lights down... - 8% ABV.

Seared diver scallop over butternut squash with brown butter sauce, prosciutto & Achel Bruin.

Owner James Westphal explaining how flavorful some of the Trappist beers are: "they taste THIS big!"

Westmalle Dubbel - 7% ABV. Truly a remarkable beer; available at the Foundry.

Braised beef short ribs with shiitake mushrooms & parsnip-turnip puree, paired with Westmalle Dubbel.

Double-layer butternut squash pecan pie, apricot glaze and maple whipped cream with Koningshoeven quadrupel - 10% ABV. Koningshoeven is an absolutely incredible beer - find it & drink it!

Class in a glass, baby!

'til next time - cheers!