Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Results

There are a couple of items I’d like to update you on before I head to Bozeman this weekend for MSU homecoming. First, as you know, the Great American Beer Festival has already come and gone. The week before the GABF was “Denver Beer Week,” which offered beer enthusiasts numerous events to get them fired up for the big finally. One of those events was a tapping of the GABF Pro-Am beer that I brewed with the Wynkoop – a Dunkles or dark German lager. (See my June 29th entry titled “GABF Pro-AM With The Wynkoop.”) My wife and I returned from Europe on Monday, September 21st, and the next day after finishing up at work I tiredly made my way down to the Wynkoop to “tap” the Dunlkes with brewmaster Andy Brown. It was surprisingly crowded for a Tuesday night, but the beer week activities and lure of a free pint didn’t hurt I’m sure. The tapping went well, and the Dunkles has been a big hit ever since. It is clean, rich and smooth with a nice, albeit barely perceptible, noble hop backbone. Our beer did not place at the GABF Pro-Am, but I am not all disappointed. People seem to love it! And it was a complete thrill just to be involved in this homebrewer’s dream, and it is truly an honor to have one of your beers served at the GABF, and to be on tap at the Koop. Last Friday there were still some of the 600 gallons left, so if you’re in the area stop by, try it out, and let me know what you think!

Second, I’d like to give you an update on the Rochefortesque beer I brewed back in April. (See my April 23rd entry titled “Rochefort Question.”) This beer turned out very well. It is a rich red color with a sturdy head. The nose is effervescent with notes of rich malt, dark fruit, and some alcohol. (It finished at 9.03% abv.) The flavor builds on the aroma with more of the above along with flavors of Munich & caramel malts and hints of caramelized dark candy sugar. The Nachtrunk is long and warming with more dried fruit character. After enjoying this beer for a couple of weeks I decided to ruin it by comparing it to a Rochefort 10. (I hate doing this because I always end up disappointed.) My beer actually stood up pretty well to Rochefort in flavor, but I noted that the Belgian classic had a better nose and finish than my beer. The 10 is an almost perfect beer for its style, and I’m just not sure how to copy something like that. It was also a touch darker and more highly carbonated than my prototype – a couple of items that I’ll touch up in the future. It is definitely a beer I will brew again. Next time I plan to slightly increase the Special B to contribute a bit more color and strengthen the malty-fruity complexity. I may even try a bit of the coriander that I was asking you all about back in April. With all of that said, this beer did take 1st place in its category at the Eastern Idaho State Fair – a BJCP certified event that happened to be conveniently timed. (BJCP category 18E) To tie this blog entry together, I’d like to take this BJCP award winning beer and do another GABF Pro-Am again next year. Hopefully the Wynkoop will be open to another Pro-Am in 2010!

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