Tasting: October 11, 2012
The Bruery Autumn Maple
Patrick Rue opened The Bruery in 2008. In case you haven’t figured it out, “Bruery” is an amalgamation of the family name and the word brewery. Neat. Although it’s a relatively young brewery, they’ve made quite a bit of noise in their first few years of operation. While they mostly produce Belgian-influenced beer, they are also noted for the massive (18% ABV) barrel-aged stout called Black Tuesday and a chocolate version of that same beer called Chocolate Rain.
Another cool thing about The Bruery is that they have what they call a Reserve Society. The fee to join the society (for 2013) is $295. For this fee, members receive a number of limited edition beers (including the aforementioned Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain), the opportunity to purchase society-only beer, invitations to special functions and more. The only catch is that you need to pick up your beer at the brewery in California. Not really convenient for me.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that I’m not really a fan of pumpkin beer. Yet, for some reason I feel compelled to try a few different models each year. This one struck me as odd because it is made with yams. Yams are sometimes confused with sweet potatoes but yams and sweet potatoes aren’t related. Sweet potatoes have soft flesh and most yams have harder flesh. There are some varieties of yams that also have soft flesh, so they are labeled and sold as sweet potatoes.
The Bruery Autumn Maple is made with 17 pounds of yams per barrel (approx. 31 gallons). It is also made with the cliche cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The Bruery adds vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup and ferments it with a Belgian yeast strain. It checks in at a robust 10% ABV.
Really it’s the same old same old. The Bruery Autumn Maple presents too much allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove flavors pretending to be pumpkin flavor. Toss in the amplified clove flavor I pick up from the yeast and its not really not a pleasant experience at all. I’m already looking to my fridge for a plan B. Only 72 points.