September 22, 2017

Hardywood, Unibroue, and Newcastle!

Welcome to this week’s line-up of brews; some from Richmond, VA, Canada, and the good old UK.

Hardywood Virginia BlackberryFirst, we have Hardywood’s Blackberry. A Belgian wheat beer brewed with a touch of rye and a massive addition (over 1,000 lbs. per 40-barrel batch) of plump, ripe blackberries grown by Agriberry in Hanover County, Hardywood Virginia Blackberry offers an assertive fruit character while remaining extremely refreshing. Ruby hued with the bright aroma of fresh bramble berries, this beer’s pleasantly gentle body leads to a rather dry, rounded fruit finish, making it irresistible on a hot summer day.

Unibroue 17 Grand ReserveNext, a trip to Canada for 17 Grand Reserve. Unibroue has this to say “Inspired by the great Belgian brewing tradition of Trappist monks established over the centuries, Unibroue 17 was first brewed in 2007 to celebrate our brewery’s 17th anniversary. However, the overwhelming success of this specialty brew made it obvious that we could not let such a great ale slip into the anonymity of retirement. As testimony to its remarkable flair profile which increases in complexity as it ages, the original batch bottled in 2007 was awarded an international platinum medal three years in a row, and the prestigious title of “World’s Best Dark Ale” when it was well past three years in the bottle! So in 2011, we proudly brought back this French Oak aged, bottle refermented dark ale, with the “Grande Réserve” appellation as a fitting endorsement of it’s exceptional quality for aging. Brewed only once a year, in limited quantities, and individually numbered “brasseur” bottles, this is truly a flavorful delight for the specialty beer enthusiast.”

Newcastle WerewolfThen, we jet to Scotland for a blood red ale: Newcastle Werewolf. “Formidable Beast”. What better way to toast the fall than to have a bottle of this formidable, dual character brew. At first smooth with mellow overtones of sweet berry fruit, a bite of bitterness suddenly cuts through, long, deep and lingering. Brewed with Rye Malt, it is naturally “blood red” in colour. Unlike the mythical wolf-like creature said to roam the bleak moorland surrounding Newcastle, this is real, so consider yourself warned!

Hardywood HoplarAnd finally, back to the old VA with Hardywood’s Hoplar:

Hardywood Hoplar follows the wood-aging tradition of the earliest India Pale Ales, which were matured on oak. Rather than oak, we’ve selected the delicate wood of a fallen Virginia Tulip Poplar, which was TreeCycled by CitiWood and toasted for use in this hearty IPA. While this Poplar can no longer rustle in the wind or give shade, it is able to offer balance to the bright citrus and pine character from heaps of Cascade, Columbus and Summit hops with subtle notes of caramelized vanilla. And the tree was hoppy.

In the mid-1800s, when the early IPAs were being shipped in wooden barrels to thirsty British colonists in India, our Tulip Poplar was a mere sapling on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia. On September 18, 2003, this towering Poplar prevailed to the fierce Hurricane Isabel and fell on Bell Creek Road. Richmond-based CitiWood Urban Forest Products helped us transform the wood from this fallen Poplar into custom designed flavor- and aroma-enhancing infusion sticks. Post fermentation, Hoplar is dry-hopped with a generous helping of whole-flower Cascade hops and conditioned on the toasted Poplar.

Hardywood Hoplar is mahogany in color with a hearty, tan head and offers an aroma of grapefruit brûlée and pine needles, as well as delicate vanilla toffee and a hint of campfire. Medium- to full-bodied with assertive (100 IBUs) yet delightful hop bitterness, Hoplar is balanced with ample caramel malt backbone. A bit of earthy tannin from the Poplar harmonizes with the resinous hoppy character, which dissipates into a lingering finish. We believe this tree’s spirit lives on in Hardywood Hoplar, and hope that the finished product rouses your spirit.

 

So there you have it; today’s selection of mostly new, and one fantastically aged, beers for this week. Come down 4-7 to taste them!

 

Speak Your Mind

*