Holiday Sabbatical

I hope everyone is in the full holiday swing right now and keeping the stress level to a minimum.  One of the main reasons I’ve ramped up my brewing so much over the last 3-4 months was because I wanted to have a varied inventory of beers ready for this most festive of seasons.  And I’ve pretty much been successful.  Of the seven different styles of beers I now have on hand, six are worthy of sharing with others (the bourbon porter is still pretty woody).  Just this past weekend I had a mini family reunion with some aunt/uncle/cousins that I haven’t seen in a while and I was able to do a tasting with them.  All were well received.  I also have two more tastings coming up, one for work and one at a family christmas party.  I expect after that and giving away a few six packs for Christmas gifts, I will have very little inventory left.  So just like how we enjoy the feeling that we are starting with a clean slate come the new year, my brewery will be doing so as well.  Out with the old and in with the new.  Right now I have 12 recipes that I feel I’m going to stick with.  So my strategy for the coming new year is to brew one per month.   Of those 12, there is only one that I haven’t tackled yet and that is the one I’m doing in January.  It’s a cherry lambic, or kriek, that I’m calling Bloed Koning (King’s Blood in dutch).  It will take most of the year to finish because it requires extensive aging.  It may be tremendous or it may taste like sewage.  But like Ron used to say on those old Showtime Rotisserie infomercials, I’ll just have to “set it and forget it”.

I still have to report tasting notes for the Solaris Hefeweizen and the Plaid Lad Scotch Ale.  I have commercial examples of each of those styles on hand, so I’m going to do a comparative tasting for each to see how mine stack up.  But here’s the sneak peak.  I’m so pleased with how these two turned out, particularly the scotch ale.  I was waiting with baited breath to see if I used too much peated malt, and I think I hit it on the nose.  I enjoy drinking the crap out of that one.  So those notes will be coming soon.  In the meantime, I’m taking a break from brewing until January so I can concentrate on enjoying the Christmas season, slow down and cherish the moments I have with the little ones and my new fiancee (yeah I proposed two Saturdays ago).  So stay warm, don’t spend too much money and eat, drink and be merry!


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