Spring Is Here! (Kinda. Sorta. Maybe.)

It’s April and the sure signs of Spring are all around. Gray skies. Sun. Rain. Dry. Who knows…  But the nettles are coming up, the cherry trees are blossoming, and our hops out front are starting their annual climb.  So I take that as a sign that Spring is here.

NEW BEERS

Another sign is the arrival of a new beer – Spring Session IPA!  Based on our experimental Triple IPA Hoptopus Rex, our seasonal session IPA shows all the best qualities of Amarillo, Cascade and Belma hops, while chiming in at a sessionable (for an IPA!) 4.9% ABV.  It’ll be on tap until Summer Saison rolls out in June, so stop in and give it a try!

The next new beer currently on tap is a returning favorite from last year, Bainbridge Blonde.  A crisp Belgian-style blonde ale, it has a complex flavor and refreshing spiciness from the yeast strain.  Look for it on tap until June!

Coming up soon: 3-T Rye Tripel, our Belgian-inspired Tripel.  Also some barrel projects are nearly ready…

Get in mah barrels!

WEEKLY EVENTS

  • Monday Nights: Trivia Time Live! hosts our weekly trivia game. Free to play, fun to win!
  • Wednesday Nights: Music To Our Beers hosted by Ethan J. Perry and The Remedy Band.  Live local music, live local beers!

UPCOMING MUSIC

Our rotating music calendar continues to grow!  Note that we do sometimes charge a cover after the band starts, typically $4.  It’s on your first pint, and all cover proceeds go to the band.  This allows us to get a wider variety of bands in, and to make sure starving musicians get to eat!  There’s no cover for DD’s or anyone coming in to fill a growler to go.

  • 4/19 : Chele’s Kitchen Bluegrass, 7-9, no cover
  • 4/26: Tycho Brahe, live jazz, 7-9, $4
  • 5/3: Middle Age Panic, old and new classics, shaken and stirred, 8-11, $4
  • 5/10: Dirty Beat Duo, live house music dance party! 7-10, $4
  • 5/23: Down Goes Frazier, classic rock, 6:30-9:30, no cover
  • 6/8: Blind Willies, 7-10, $4

UPCOMING EVENTS

SEATTLE BEER WEEK

Once more that glorious slate of fantastic beer fun is coming around.  This year (so far) we’ll be at:

  • 5/9: Barleywine BBQ @ The Hopvine
  • 5/9: Kitsap Pale Ale Project with Sound, Rainy Daze and Valholl @ Downtown Spirits
  • 5/12: This is WA Damn It! @ The Beveridge Place
  • 5/13: East Meets West @ Naked City
  • 5/16: We’re at World of Beer on Capitol Hill
  • 5/16: It’s also Bodacious Beverages @ the Beveridge Place
  • 5/17: Really fun one, we’re putting five or so of our special barrel projects on at once @ The Sixgill

More on those events as we get closer to Seattle Beer Week and we finalize the details.

BREWMASTER’S CORNER

ON HOPS – We’ve been playing around a lot with our hoppy beers lately, trying to get as much hop aroma and flavor as we can without making the beer overly bitter.  The Hoptopus Rex project was instructive, teaching us a lot about our hops, our dryhopping protocols, and also just how much malt we can fit in the mash tun! (It was 10.3% ABV…)

One thing we’ve been doing recently is recirculating our dryhops in the tank.  This allows us a couple advantages. It chops up the hop pellets and distributes them evenly through the beer.  It seemed like before, some would break up, but a lot would just pile up at the bottom.  This also allows increased contact with the whole batch of beer.  We’ve also started to filter our hoppy beers.  Filter?!? Hoppy Beers?!!? Yes! But with the coarsest filter pads we can get for our plate and frame filter.  What this means is we can filter out the dryhop flecks without noticeable loss in aroma or flavor, allowing us to make a clearer beer, while using a greater amount of hops, and salvaging beer we otherwise would have to dump due to the chunder layer between the solids in the cone and the beer above.

We’ve also moved all our hoppy beers towards a heavy whirlpool addition.  The idea is that between whirlpool and cooling, those hops are going to sit in the near boiling wort for over an hour.  Why boil them hard for 5, 15, 30 minutes?  So now we do a bittering addition early on to help with the boil, then a big addition at flame-out.  The way I look at it is: you wouldn’t boil your tea leaves for 15 minutes would you?  Anyhow, we’ve been pleased with the results, I hope you have too!

So homebrewers, let’s put theory into practice.  Here’s a scaled down recipe for Eagle Harbor IPA.  Yep. Our Flagship IPA. I’m a firm believer in the ‘Two Brewers, Same Recipe, Two Different Beers’ rule.  Also back when I was first starting homebrewing Dick Cantwell shared some of Elysian’s recipes and I’ve always admired and respected him for it, so I figure I’ll share too. Give it a whirl and I’d like to try what you come up with!

Bainbridge Island Brewing – Eagle Harbor IPA

6.0% ABV, 60 IBU, 5 Gallons

90 Minute Boil, 30 minute Whirlpool, 30 minutes to cool 10bbls

Malts:

  • 75% NW Pale Ale Malt
  • 8.5% Munich
  • 7.5% Crystal 40
  • 7.5% Wheat Malt
  • 1.5% Acid Malt (adjust to suit your own water if it’s harder than ours)

Hops:

  • 35 IBUs of a strong bittering hop, we use Apollo, at First Wort
  • 15 IBUs of another or the same bitterer, we use Nugget, at 60 minutes
  • Flame Out: 3/4 oz each Crystal, Cascade and Centennial.  Let them steep for about 20 minutes to half an hour.  Then cool as you normally do.
  • Transfer off the yeast to a secondary carboy and dryhop with 1 oz each Cascade, Crystal and Centennial for 5 days.  Swirl the carboy for a couple minutes, get those hops to break up, soak in the beer, and spread around!

Water: a little gypsum, CaCl2 and Epsom Salts will help round out your water profile.

Yeast: standard American Ale yeast, standard 68 degree ale fermentation.  Clean and clear, that’s the way!

Blast From The Past

Finally, check out this video the Beer Commission put up.  The State of Washington Beer: 1984.  There’s lots to like about this, including ads for Beverly Hills Cop and Dune, but of special note is the interview with Will and Mari Kemper at the original Thomas Kemper brewery, which was out on Day Road right here on Bainbridge Island. That segment starts about 5 minutes in.

 

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