I guess giving up Gambit and Southern Brew News has given me a few extra minutes to post something here, which is good. Even though I don't get paid for updating my website, it's still all mine and an important part of communicating to the public.
OK, first, pet peeve. I reallllllly hate being introduced as/called a "blogger." It sounds like what I'm doing is a hobby instead of my career that I work on at least 5 days a week and get paid for. Now, I don't get paid a lot, but enough that it qualifies as an actual job and not, like, a hobby-tunity. I wonder if that's one of the (subconscious) reasons that I haven't prioritized keeping up with this site?
I don't know. Am I being stupid and/or overly sensitive? "Blogger" just seems so dismissive to me. I doubt that's what (most) people mean to do when using it, but still, there it is.
Second thing: My Sierra Nevada Beer Camp beer is out in the wild! It's been on at Courtyard, Avenue Pub, and Cooter Brown's, and it is delicious. A little too delicious and drinkable at 7.5%, but if that's the price I need to pay to enjoy this coffee IPA, then so be it.
Now, I didn't actually brew the beer that's on tap around town, but back in November, I attended, I guess you'd call it a junket for retailers and distributors, a Beer Camp at Sierra Nevada's Asheville location. (Note: this has really nothing to do with the Beer Camp festival and special package releases that happens annually - it's pretty confusing and I think they should change the name to one of them.)
Beer Camp was about a dozen of us hanging out at Sierra Nevada, touring the facility, eating and drinking for free, and, yes, designing and developing a beer recipe.
We talked with Sierra Nevada's pilot brewer and decided to capitalize on the expertise we had from three members of our cohort who were actually coffee shop-beer bar owners, and brew a coffee beer. But not a style generally associated with coffee. We batted around a few possibilities until realizing that the floral and fruity notes of freshly roasted, small batch coffee beans have many similarities to certain hops. We decided on the malt bill (no Crystal and added oats.)
We tested a bunch of hops in Sierra Nevada's hop fridge, which is one of the most beautiful places on this entire planet of Earth, and decided on El Dorado, Comet, and Citra. The next day, we rolled in at 9am to find that the brewer had already mashed in and transferred to the boil kettle (aka, the actual hard work) and we tore into the hop bales to get the hops we needed, and did all the hop additions (aka, dumped hops into the boiling wort.)
So I may be overly enthusiastic and proud of the beer, called 'Cuz I Said So (the naming of the beer is a whole other story that I can't really remember because of drinking, but it was a quote from Ken Grossman in a story someone was telling us that weekend.) But it's really, really good!
The coffee guys were able to go up there to taste the IPA so they could choose compatible beans/roasts, and it worked out so well. The hops and coffee notes intermingle seamlessly - even more so as the beer warms.
Freret Beer Room is doing a charcuterie pairing special with Cuz I Said So on Thursday, which should be delicious. Come check it out!
The third thing to share is that I'm trying to write a book and am wrangling with publishers, sample chapters, and the like. Expect more venting about that in the future.
OK, now I've officially spent too much time working on this, so, till the next time!