December Beer Series

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Beer Blog, Newsletters | 0 comments

Harvest Dance (Wheat Wine Ale)
Boulevard Brewery
Kansas City, Missouri
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Their mission is simple: to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Boulevard beers are known for their full flavor, distinctive character, and unsurpassed quality. Their beers are currently available in 20 states.

Harvest Dance is a Wheat Wine Ale. A Wheat Wine Ale is made with a fair amount of wheat malt, often more than 50%. It gives the Ale a soft, fluffy feel.

“The head does not lack at all, towering actually and rising above the rim. Slightly hazed pale orange amber glow when put to the light. Delicate perfumey aroma of raw honey, tropical fruit, wild flowers (lavender?) and a peppery alcohol. Smoothness is its middle name and with a body like that it runs pretty deep. Very bready with a thick malty start, dry though. A peppery flavor and fruitiness battle it out in the middle as the alcohol turns on the heat a bit. Yeast malt cake in the dry finish. Of the maltier Wheatwines, a sipper for sure. I’d love to see what this beer tastes like in a year or more. Lovely now.” Beer Advocate


Attic & Eaves – Toasted Brown Ale
Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
Somerville, MA
Slumbrew is all about the synergy between craft products and every day consumption. Well conceived, locally-sourced, quality products should be an every day part of our lives – not a unique occurrence. This is the spirit of Slumbrew.

Slumbrew is the research & development brand and concept of Somerville Brewing Company. Their mission is to brew unique, ingredient-driven beers that challenge common notions of what a beer should taste like. It is the result of nearly 15 years of beer travel and research by Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter; and a decade of Jeff’s homebrewing recipe formulation.

While they produce a lot of small-run, pilot beers at the Slumbrew Beerlab, but only a small number make their way to commercial production. The Somerville Brewing Company contracts with regional breweries to make the best recipes for wide-spread commercial release, but each recipe is an evolving process of refinement. This model for beer production provides an opportunity to experiment with innovative local ingredients to produce craft beers that stand apart from typical formulations.

The key grain in this ale is toasted buckwheat groats, otherwise known as Kasha. The buckwheat gives a nutty flavor and texture to the ale. Also, buckwheat is technically a fruit seed and not a cereal grain making this a good choice for those who don’t like or can’t tolerate wheat. As a seasonal, limited release beer, its nutty characteristics offer a great companion to colder climate cuisine. A bright hop finish from Cascade and Fuggles balance the toasted grain notes to create a new expression of autumn brown ales.


El Triunfo Coffee Porter (100 Barrel Series)
Harpoon Brewing Company
Boston, MA
Harpoon Brewing was founded in 1986, making it the first commercial brewery in Boston for over 25 years. The first beer, Harpoon Ale, was released in 1987. In 1988, Winter Warmer became the first New England seasonal brew. Octoberfest followed in 1990 and IPA was introduced as a summer seasonal in 1993. Over the years the brewery has outgrown its “craft” status. In an effort to maintain its small brewer appeal, the 100 barrel series was launched in 2003. This gave the brewers flexibility to try different flavors and combinations without committing to a full blown product launch. Not necessarily seasonal beers, these are released as they are ready for consumption. The 44th installment of the 100 Barrel Series is this American Porter “El Triunfo Coffee Porter”.

Caramel and dark chocolate accentuate the bittersweet notes of the locally roasted coffee beans. The end result is a balanced beer with a sweet, smooth body complemented by the delicate flavors and aromas of fair trade Mexican coffee.

Rising Tide Brewing Company
Portland, Maine
Rising Tide’s beers are brewed by Nathan Sanborn, a Portland native. Prior to founding Rising Tide in 2010, Nathan spent more than a dozen years teaching himself about brewing, experimenting with creative recipes on his home-brewing system, and serving up his beers for feedback from friends and family. Nathan is fascinated by the science and the art of beer-making. He strives to create beers that are informed by traditional styles but with a creative, modern sensibility. All beers are handcrafted in small batches. They are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and bottle conditioned. Haze and sediment from the live yeast in the bottle are a result of the natural process used to create these beers. For best appearance, decant carefully into a clean, clear glass.

Tempest is the first release from Rising Tide’s seven barrel series. A smooth brown porter, Tempest features healthy portions of dark crystal, chocolate, and brown malts, coupled with the addition of coffee beans to the mash and cold-steeped coffee during conditioning for a rich smooth balance of malt and coffee.


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