Tasting: August 8, 2011
I noted in another post that a number of craft brewers are “teenagers”. That is they are celebrating anniversaries in their teens. Stone turns fifteen this year, Founders is fourteen this year, Lagunitas is thirteen and obviously the name of this post gives away that Weyerbacher turns sixteen this year as does Dogfish Head. Rebellion is a hallmark of a lot of teenagers – I guess the same could be said for this era of brewers. Their beer carries the is the latest generation to throw stones at “the establishment” (mass produced, watery beers from the big three).
This one is a dark braggot ale which is a close relative of mead and dates back to the middle ages in England. Mead features honey as the primary yeast food and braggot features honey as well as malt. I made blackberry mead two years ago (which is still aging — I’m waiting 3 years). Yeast is a living organism that eats sugars producing alcohol and carbonation. Obviously, honey is loaded with sugars, so the yeast can drive up the ABV and the label notes an ABV of 10.5%. It pours dark, but certainly not as dark as a stout. I get yeasty ethers on the nose. My first impression is prunes, honey and roasted grains. Not as heavy or thick of a mouthfeel as expected. This does remind me of a seasonal Christmas brew. The high ABV is evident and does distract from the experience. A little further down the glass, I get some sour cherries. I’m really so-so about this one and will give it 81 points.