Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alpine Email

I have not retired or stopped drinking beer.  I've just been occupied with work and other things that have pushed recreational beer blogging down the importance list.  Expect post frequency to increase in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, here is the majority of an email I received from Alpine Beer Company this morning:

It seems like an eternity since I sent a few words of encouragement to the world at large. Inspiration sometimes is fleeting, and I lost a step or two recently. But, back with a vengeance we will attempt to tease you with tasty descriptions of our recent releases and some more yummy brews on their way. Nelson was gone but now it’s back, so guess what I’m drinking right now? The universe, in its infinite darkness that makes us wonder if we’re alone, aligned properly a few weeks back so our “out-of-this-world” beer is on tap again. Look for more Duet and Nelson next year, like a lot more! Anyone for a “Flanders Red?”

We have released, for your ghoulish pleasure, our spiced holiday ale “Ichabod 2012.” Available in 22 oz. bottles, no growler fills, and on draught in the pub. For those that don’t know, Ichabod is supposed to be an annually produced beer that always uses “pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg” but has a different base beer. Annually has been an issue. But, this year’s version has a base of a nice chocolaty Porter. It comes in at 6% abv and is creamy, dark and smooth with the spices and pumpkin kicking in as a nice compliment. We have always had a hard time getting the pumpkin to contribute its flavor. So this year we used 240 pounds of pumpkin puree from Oregon. We used it in the mash tun, the boil kettle and the fermenter too! That amount of pumpkin is about 5 times more than our previous versions. Dam it, I want pumpkin flavor. I even called Dick Cantwell from Elysian Brewing, the pumpkin beer king, to get sourcing and advice. Elysian only ordered about 12,000 pounds of pumpkin puree, wow.

“New Millennium” extra pale ale is fresh and delicious and available for growler fills and on draught in the pub right now! This dry-hopped gem is made with Millennium and Galaxy hops for an out-of-this-world drinking experience.

Okay, so we ran out of “Nelson,” our golden rye IPA made with New Zealand hops. But, it is back on, fresh and as good as ever. I said it tasted like candy after my first gulp returning from its hiatus.

This is potentially some of the biggest news to ever come out of Alpine Beer Company. With the signing of a couple of hop contracts we have positioned ourselves to produce an additional 2,000 barrels of Duet and an additional 2,000 barrels of Nelson starting in late 2013. A “barrel” is two kegs. We plan on new packaging with a 16 oz. bigmouth twist off can along with 22 oz. bottles and kegs. There is little more I can currently say about how we are going to pull this off but know there is a lot of work to be done to assure the quality and standards are met while stepping up production. And, with Water being the largest ingredient in beer, it becomes the primary flavor contributor and is a highly important part of beer itself. Let’s just say we found a killer water source and a place to make more beer, yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

We brewed “Ned” the other day and if all goes well we’ll see it shortly after the new year. “Ned” is our Flanders Red and is aged in used red wine barrels long enough to get the special bugs to impart their tartness and sourness, yum.