This is one of my favorites. Born from an ethereal experience after a 5k run up in Traverse City, where they had beer during and after the race. I had this phenomennal beer with Galaxy hops. It was so delicious post-run, but was my inspiration for this beer. I’ve made it several times. This was the other beer entry in National Homebrew Competition.
Beautiful color of orange with a white frothy head. The beer is opaque and hazy from the flaked wheat. Nice perky hop aroma. Flavorful punch of hop zest on first drink that fills the mouth with exciting hop flavors, and full sweetness of the yeast. Finishes fairly crisp, with lingering hop bitterness trailing off into the distance.
Brewed: 2/13/2021. Distributed: 3/13/2021.
ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 83
Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Wheat, White Wheat, Caramel 20L.
Hops: Hallertauer, Galaxy.
Yeast: White Labs WLP008 East Coast Ale
Guinness was my gateway beer to craft beer. We went on our honeymoon to Ireland and spent 2 weeks driving around the island. Every night involved Guinness, and by the end of my 2 weeks, I was hooked, and started exploring other beers when we came back to the US. Years later, after visiting the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, I enjoyed Guinness in their brewery pub and it was phenomenal. This homebrew recipe I got from a guy’s YouTube channel where he pretty much relayed the same Guinness experience and thought this recipe was pretty close.
Mild aroma of dark malt, with hints of hops in the background. Taste is crisp and gives the tastebuds a minor kick as it hits the tongue. Mellows almost immediately and then the malt & yeast fade out slowly. Flavorful and refreshing.
Brewed: 2/26/2021. Distributed: 3/13/2021.
ABV: 4.1%, IBU: 36
Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Barley, Roasted Barley.
Yeast: Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale
I made this recipe once before and enjoyed it, then recently had a hankering to work it in to my brew rotation. That hit my rotation at the same time as I got an email about the National Homebrew Competition, so I decided I’d send it in as an entry.
Smell of dark malts with a dark sweetness. Crisp taste is sweet and coats the mouth. Full-flavored malt backed by distinct sweetness of the Scottish yeast. Full-on flavor assault on the taste buds and fades slowly.
Brewed: 2/12/2021. Distributed: 3/24/2021.
ABV: 7.4%, IBU: 32
Malts: Golden Promise, Munich Malt, White Wheat, Black Malt, Smoked Wheat.
Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Saaz.
Yeast: Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale
This is pretty much the same recipe as a previous brew (Celebration or Sadness Stout), but that recipe didn’t turn out as planned. It had much lower mash conversion efficiency than expected and the beer turned out much lower in ABV than expected. This time, with more care in the mash process, I hit my numbers. This was brewed shortly before the Presidential Inauguration, and hence the name.
Sweet aroma of dark malt. Crisp bite of dark malt and hops. Then leaves palate fairly clear, before a mild lingering of malt taste comes in. Kind of like a new president coming in with a flurry of action and excitement, but then doesn’t leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth!
Brewed: 1/18/2021. Distributed: 2/18/2021.
ABV: 5.1%, IBU: 54
Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Oats, Black Patent Malt, Melanoidin Malt, Roasted Barley.
Hops: Magnum, Chinook, Hallertau.
Yeast: White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale
British Bitter is the beer responsible for my homebrewing. Falling in love with it when we lived in England, I couldn’t find anything like it when we returned back to the US. So I decided to start brewing to make beers I couldn’t find. That said, I’ve rarely brewed it. This is my 4th time brewing it out of ~170 batches. But, importantly, this batch is finally very close to what I want!
Malty and full-flavored, with a distinct slightly sweet flavor of the British yeast. The malt is slightly roasty, and the beer finishes very cleanly, yet bold. Shocking that it is such a low ABV, but doesn’t taste watery.
Brewed: 12/28/2020. Distributed: 1/25/2021.
ABV: 4.2%, IBU: 42
Malts: Maris Otter, Amber, Caramel 20L.
Hops: Target, East Kent Goldings, Challenger.
Yeast: White Labs WLP002 English Ale.
This journey started with Barbarossa IPA, which was an attempt at an homage to Founder’s Red’s Rye. Then I made Little Barbarossa, which was made with less caramel-y malt but same hop approach. This batch was supposed to be Little Barbarossa, but got a better mash efficiency than expected, so came in at a higher ABV.
Slightly sweet, slightly hoppy aroma. Crisp taste, with the sweet/slickness of rye on the palate. Lots of hop aroma and flavor waft in as you drink it, then leaves you with a bit of lingering hop bitterness.
Brewed: 1/4/2021. Distributed: 1/30/2021.
ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 72
Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, Red X, Rye, Carafoam, Caramel 20L.
Hops: Columbus, Perle, Amarillo, Cascade.
Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale.
Still trying to get the Kolsch recipe dialed in to make the beer my brain remembers from sitting at the Fruh Kolsch brewery in Cologne, Germany. This one is the closest yet, but there will be YAK III!
Strong sweet aroma. Smooth and sweet flavor that finishes clean and light, with a bit of lingering sweetness from the yeast.
Brewed: 12/16/2020. Distributed: 1/30/2021.
ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 21
Malts: Brewer’s 2-row, Red wheat, Vienna.
Hops: Magnum, Hallertauer.
Yeast: White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch.
This was another experimental IPA to try out a new hop that had a great description and I wanted to try it out- Rakau hops from New Zealand. I then made the leap from Rakau to Rocky, and this beer was named!
Sweet/fresh hop aroma. Smooth initial taste with mix of hops and light malt. No real hop bitterness except a bit in the aftertaste. Goes down smooth, but as the hop flavors grow in the aftertaste, it gives an overall hoppy experience.
Brewed: 12/21/2020. Distributed: 1/19/2021.
ABV: 6.7%, IBU: 89
Malts: Maris Otter, Brewer’s 2-row, Caramel 20L, Flaked wheat.
Hops: Magnum, Rakau, Amarillo.
Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale.
I iterated into this recipe through 3 major iterations, and then one minor one to end up with this recipe that I’ve been very happy with. It gave me the things I like about NEIPA, without the over-sweetness.
Fresh hop aroma followed by a smooth hop bitterness mixed in with a clean malt taste. Finishes fairly cleanly, with a bit of lingering bitterness.
Brewed: 12/22/2020. Distributed: 1/13/2021.
ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 68
Malts: Maris Otter, Flaked Oats.
Hops: Columbus, Zythos, Citra, Galaxy.
Yeast: Wyeast 1318 London Ale III
I had heard about this hop from someone on a podcast talking about IPAs and how certain hops had good characteristics. I don’t remember exactly what characteristics, but I did remember the name of this hop- Idaho 7.
Fresh sweet hop aroma. Slight caramel malt flavor with a bit of hop bite. Finishes with a nice blend of malt and hop flavor, without a bitter bite. Very tasty, belies the ABV kick hidden within it.
Brewed: 12/13/2020. Distributed: 1/9/2021.
ABV: 7.5%, IBU: 128
Malts: 2-Row Brewer’s Malt, Maris Otter, White Wheat, Munich, Amber.
Hops: Columbus, Magnum, Citra, Idaho #7.
Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale