Archive for July, 2014
As documented on this blog, I have had many different kinds of beer: wheat, fruit, rice, rye…but algae? I recently happened across an article on the npr.org blog “The Salt” that caught my eye…and my taste buds. Now, I didn’t actually get to try it, but were I to find some at a place that served beer made with seaweed, a kind of algae…
According to the brewers of this fine experiment, of the Marshall Wharf Brewing Co., they decided to take something they apparently have a lot of around Maine and brew with seaweed. They harvested a kind of seaweed called sugar kelp and dried it, much like brewers do with hops, then just threw it in the tank to boil. For their recipe, it took six pounds of kelp for a 200-gallon batch of beer.
The finished product, according to Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery:
Pours a beautiful, russet mahogany. That’s a nice beer. I get a lot of caramel notes early in the taste.
It was also described as malty, earthy and salty. Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. began pouring Sea Belt Scotch Ale on July 15.
I’ll be looking this one up for sure.
I saw this beer and had to try it. Generally speaking, Stone Brewing does not bring to mind a whole bunch of creativity in their brewing. Self-marketing, a lot of hops and some more self-marketing, perhaps, but when I see a quad on the shelf, I can’t help myself.
This brew’s name is a shout to randomness, perhaps in what they see as a departure from their normal brewing style. More likely, it is probably a reference to the fact that they included triticale, a kind of wheat-rye hybrid, into a brew traditionally made sans both wheat or rye. Stone’s Stochasticity Project (pretty slick site, too) consists of a collection of three beers: two Belgian trappist ales and a double IPA.
Quadrotriticale is the booziest of the bunch, at a whopping 9.3% abv. It pours a clear deep, reddish-brown color, with white head. The came with a maltiness and, as expected, a sour smell due to the type of fermentation used in brewing Belgian ales. These beers use what is called spontaneous fermentation, which is beer exposed open air to allow the yeast and bacteria essentially infect the beer. This is what gives this style of beer its characteristic sour taste, as well. Definitely an acquired taste for some, I enjoy it.
The taste was not as I expected. As I mentioned, Belgian ales are usually fairly sour tasting, but quads are far richer than their dubbel and tripel counterparts. The sourness was the first thing I tasted, followed by a richness that the deep dark color gave away at the top. The next thing to come through was the alcohol. The warmth was a very nice way to mute the sourness and made me forget for a second I was drinking a Belgian beer. The sweetness was the last thing I tasted, before the sourness came back on the aftertaste.
I enjoyed this beer. Overall, I would rate this beer: