Man, I just flew in from Denver and boy, are my arms tired! Ha, ha! I can't resist. So the brewery closed down for a long weekend and sent us out to the Great American Beer Festival. Thank you Al and Noelle, truly! Our first time at GABF and a great experience. A great chance to tour the US via beer. Two things: 1) tons of breweries from smaller markets all offering the same f*cking thing (pale, porter, IPA, stout, and some cheeky attempt at something "cuh-razy"!, 2) The best part of GABF is having the chance to try beers from breweries that you'll read about but have no chance of ever getting to. Ballast Point, Russian River, Cambridge Brewing, New Glarus, Jolly Pumpkin, Southhampton Publick House, and Marin Brewing; all worthy, all there right in front of you thank you very much. Thursday afternoon session; started in on the Southeast section with a sample of each brewery. That lasted about six tastes before we figured out that we were sure to get sick from either stale beer or tons of diacetyl. So we held off for stuff that just looked good, waaay better strategy and much happier with the result. Friday spent away from Denver touring New Belgium and beers at Odell's, Oskar Blues, and Avery. Loved the Lychee Tart at NB, the 90 Shilling at Odell's, and Moloch at Avery (blend of their Samael and Old Jubilation). Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning up at all the places we didn't get to on Thursday. Interestingly, the crowd seemed a bit thinner which was nice. Maybe everyone standing around at the far end of the venue for the award announcements had something to do with it? Anyway, lot's of Californian strong n' hoppy beer went down, thank you very much. Kinda funny though, for all the plans we made for extra-beericular activities, we pretty much festivaled, napped, ate, and slept. Didn't really make it out to anything else, which was fine with us. Relaxing weekend catting around drinking beer? Count us in anytime.
I am an Artist; a Poet, a Musician, a Cook, and a Brewer. This last year and a half, I haven't been paying close enough attention to some of the things that are most important to me. Living less than paycheck to paycheck is a shitty excuse for not pursuing my Art, so fuck it. Time to get back to rattlin' the kettles, playing with fire, and searching for those peak experiences.
Got 10 gals. of Dunkle-Weisse and 5 gals. of Kitchen Sink bubbling away after brewing yesterday. The Dunkle wort smelled and tasted great; 7# each dark malted wheat, dark munich, and german pils. Had to settle for the pils malt because Vienna malt wasn't available. I brought the color up with 2 ozs. Carafa II that I ground to dust in the spice grinder, more color than simply cracking it. Very nice, deep amber brown. Perking away nicely with the Wyeast 3068. The Kitchen Sink is the goods for a Wit and a Dark Strong that's been siting around, hopped with all the odds and ends that I needed to get rid of, and steeped with a pound of wet Cascades. OG 1074 and the dankest batch of beer I've ever gotten close to. Pitched the 1056 and there's still 2 ozs. of '07 Amarillo to go into the keg for dryhopping. Intensely hoppy wort; kinda moderate bitterness but huge hop resin and flavor. Really won't get a true sense of this one until the yeast flocs. It'll be interesting in any case.