Long ago during my year in Belgium I fell in love with Flemish sour ales, both the oud bruins of East Flanders, and the Flemish reds of West Flanders. When I returned to Canada, I was ecstatic to discover the existence of Storm Brewing’s Imperial Flanders Sour Red Ale in Vancouver. After many years of sampling it, but never taking notes, things finally reached critical mass when Ian became aware of its existence and offered to bring a squealer (32oz bottle) back to Vernon for a tasting notes session. Not only did he come back with the beer, but he also provided me with the following narration of his outing.
In the summer of 2015, Gavin and I graduated from extract beer kits to “all grain” kits. Except that this kit still had some liquidy extract type stuff… But it also had some whole grains and some crushed grains that we had to “steep to convert” by placing them in a bag, submerging in warm water, and allowing for the enzymes to turn into sugars. We also had to add certain hops at certain times during the boil to release certain flavours. Certainly.
When it was all said and done, we had made a batch of “all grain” wheat beer. When we transferred the beer into the secondary, we added 10 pounds of sour cherries that we had previously picked and then froze in the North Okanagan. Continue Reading
Happy Beltane/Beltain/Bealtaine and May Day to everyone! Last night, to celebrate the beginning of Beltane, we had a small bonfire near the treehouse in our gully. We drank beer, roasted smokies, popped popcorn, listened to the creek chuckle away, and then headed inside after dark to listen to a couple of tunes. As Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull would say,
“Have you ever stood in the April wood and called the new year in?
While the phantoms of three thousand years fly as the dead leaves spin?
There’s a snap in the grass behind your feet and a tap upon your shoulder.
And the thin wind crawls along your neck it’s just the old gods getting older.
And the kestral drops like a fall of shot and the red cloud hanging high
come a Beltane.”
We also shared my last bottle of Geen Kriek, which was a cherry flavoured wheat beer that Gavin and I made back in late 2012. We named it Geen Kriek because the cherries we used came from my Dad’s cousin, a certain Mr. Geen, and “geen” happens to be the Dutch word for “no” or “none”, so paired with the Dutch word for cherry beer, “kriek”, we had a delightfully punny name. I had wondered if it would still taste any good, but in fact it was the best tasting bottle yet; I suppose even homebrew made by two inexperienced youth can get better with age!