Jen and I had been in mass beer production (well maybe not mass but we had been busy). We had decided to have a beer tasting of all our different beers. Sort of like tasting at a taproom – except it would be in my kitchen since we do not have a taproom yet. We invited our friend Amy over to be the try breaker if necessary.
Jen had three beers to taste and I had two, well one really, the Black Dog Ale and my flat Irish Red Ale. I could not really count the red as a legitimate beer since it did not have carbonation, which is sort of important in beer.
Jen’s beer the Caribou Slobber, an English brown ale, was our first taster. According to it’s notes from Northern Brewer, it is a densely flavored malt with hints of caramel, chocolate and light roast coffee. None of us thought much of the beer and we all agreed it was lacking flavor.
My Black Dog Ale, a pale ale, was up next. It was well received, which pleased me although I did not really have much to do with it’s creation other than following the directions. It has a caramel and peppery flavoring and is more sweet than bitter. I was not the hugest fan of this beer when I first tasted it but as it aged it definitely got better.
We moved on to Jen’s German Blonde. This beer was slightly over carbonated making it very fizzy. It was also fairly light – which made me think of American lager beers that I am never a fan of drinking.
Up next we opened the Irish Red Ale. I crossed my fingers that I would hear the sound of carbonated air escaping from the bottle as we pried the lid off but nothing other than a slight “psst”. It was disappointing. We all agreed that if the beer was not flat that it would be a very drinkable beer. I actually liked the flavoring and will continue to work on this beer to get it to carbonate. If I am unable to get it to carbonate I think I may try a new batch again since I love red beers so much. I can’t go wrong twice, right!?!?!?
Our last tasting was Jen’s own recipe, a Scottish Ale. I am not brave enough to try my own recipe yet but one day I hope to venture into this territory. It is after all the natural evolution of beer brewing in my opinion. And how else am I suppose to open up my own brewery in Missoula Montana (a dream of mine) if I do not start making up my own beers?
Jen had struggled with this beer getting it to carbonate, coincidentally at the same time that my Irish Red had failed me. I believe her issue was that she had added brown sugar to her recipe, not that there was anything wrong with adding the sugar but it probably overwhelmed the yeast and it just took the beer longer to carbonate. It was an interesting beer that also was slightly odd. None of us could put our fingers on it – but there was just something off about it.
After tasting all the beers The Black Dog Ale was awarded the winner. Not that I won anything other than the satisfaction of having the best beer of the day. I am sure Boomer felt a little pride too as I had purchased the beer because of it’s cute name that referenced my black dog.