The Novemberfest lineup revealed!
As we're now less than two weeks away from Novemberfest 2010, Leah and I figured we might as well let you all know what you'll be drinking. So without further ado, here are our offerings for Saturday the 13th:
Hoar Frost Oktoberfest (5.2% ABV; 26 IBU's)
A fairly traditional interpretation of the German Märzen style, we started with equal parts Pilsner and Munich malts to give it a nice bready backbone and then added a touch of roasted malt to give it a copper color and just a touch of nuttiness. German hops give it just enough bitterness to keep it from being sweet. John Daley, as in Da Mayor's brother, turned down a sample at our church's Oktoberfest (said he had another event to go to; what kind of Irishman turns down a beer because he has to go somewhere else later???) but it was his loss; this beer just took second place in its category at the Chicago Beer Society Spooky Brew Review so it can't be all bad, right?!
Jade Bräu Schwarzbier (4.6% ABV; 28 IBU's)
Ordinarily this is our Bear's Cage Schwarzbier, but our friend Jade lamented earlier this year that nobody's ever named a beer after her before, so we figured we could take care of that. "Schwarzbier" literally means "black beer," but if you don't think you like dark beer you still might want to give it a chance. Most of the grain bill is the same as a traditional German lager, but a small addition of very dark, debittered roasted malt turns the whole thing black. It has some coffee-like notes but is much smoother and lighter than a stout. Even my Mom likes it, and I don't think she ever liked a dark beer before this one.
Great Storm Novemberfest (6.5% ABV; 67 IBU's)
Every year we brew an Oktoberfest beer for Novemberfest. This year it occurred to me that maybe we should come up with our own "Novemberfest" style. I wanted to keep it in the German tradition, so I started with an Altbier, which is a hoppy German ale. Then, since it's for a party, I figured I would make it extra strong (often referred to as a Sticke Altbier). To make it unique, I ditched the dark grains and added 25% malted rye to give it a hint of spiciness. Next I decided not to filter it in the tradition of a Kellerbier. And finally, right before the party I am going to dry-hop the beer with Hallertau hops. The end result actually tastes like a slightly fruity Maibock. It has a lot of hops, but also a really nice malt profile that keeps it in balance. We can't wait to see what people think of it.
In addition to our three beers, we'll have some sort of non-alcoholic offering as well (probably our Swearengen's Old Tyme Root Beer), and we have an assortment of hard liquor for the gluten-intolerant or those who otherwise don't want to drink beer. Hope to see you there!