It feels like it’s been a zillion years since we last released a large-scale batch of something new. One of the downsides to brewing at max capacity is that there’s been no room for one-offs. With the arrival of our two new 120bbl monster fermenters, we finally have the tank space to start scratching our collective creative itch again.
And, well, we scratched pretty hard right out of the gate here. Releasing 3 new beers all at once wasn’t quite how we intended to do it, I assure you, but sometimes that’s just how things shake out. The good news is they’re all tasting extremely rad. In fact, I’m overjoyed and incredibly proud that these beers are as good as they are.
All three are on-tap right now at the Lomaland Fermentorium, and a healthy number of kegs will land at our distributor this week.
Let’s run ‘em down.
1) Nitro Black House
When you order a “nitro” beer, are you getting a beer nitrogenated with real, honest-to-goodness nitrogen? Or are you getting a tall, frosty glass full of lies? Unfortunately, far too often, the answer is the latter. Some “nitro” beers are in fact CO2 carbonated beers that are either pushed out of the keg with nitrogen, or partially de-gassed and then partially nitrogenated. The results do not do nitro beers justice, in my humble opinion, which is why I was determined to only do Nitro Black House when we could commit to doing an entire 30bbl batch fully nitrogenated in the brite tank. So that’s exactly what we did and what we’ll continue doing, since this is now a year round offering from us.
The best thing about Nitro Black House is that it is noticeably different in flavor and aroma than regular ol’ Black House. The flavor is bright and snappy with a big chocolate/coffee aroma, and the trademark super smooth, creamy mouthfeel and lingering head of a true nitro beer. It’s goddamn delicious, and definitely worth trying side-by-side with regular Black House. If I were to say it is “hella crushable, brah”, I would not be lying. I would not.
2) Booming Rollers
Booming Rollers is a 6.8% ABV, 75 IBU IPA brewed and dry-hopped with Citra, Motueka, and Centennial. Although it finished bone dry (1.5P), the juiciness of the hops is the main story here. Citra is definitely the dominant flavor and aroma contributor, but Motueka makes its presence felt with some darker fruit notes and that strong tropical juiciness. The malt offers enough backbone to balance the bitterness and provide a light, crackery underpinning. The finish is characterized by a briefly lingering bitterness and loads more tropical fruit. All in all, I’m very pleased with how this beer turned out, and I can say without question that it’s the best IPA we’ve made yet.
3) Black House with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Beans
I’ve written at length before about the unique process of barrel-aging coffee beans, but this is our first full-scale batch of beer produced with these beans. We dosed this beer with the bourbon barrel aged coffee the same way we do regular Black House: 22lbs per batch of whole beans for 2 days post-fermentation. The results are a beer redolent with vanilla, coffee, oak, bourbon, and chocolate. We are the first brewery in the world to make beer with barrel-aged coffee beans, and I think this beer clearly demonstrates the potential of the process, if not it’s final iteration.