Friday, August 24, 2012

Anno Duo Du-over

The best part of brewing is a happy accident. The worst is un-happy accidents.

Pure Happiness.
On July 19th we brewed up a batch of fresh hopped San Diego Pale Ale that was intended to be our second anniversary ale: Anno Duo. We used over 100 lbs of wet Chinook and Cascade hops in this monster of a beer. 
Kettle Addition #1
Everything went off without a hitch: we hit our target gravities; the PH of the wort was spot on; chilled down into our fermentor without any hold ups; all in all it was a fine brew day.

Yeast and time combined in the fermentor to do their thing and time came for sampling before crashing and packaging. We were stoked!

And then, (ominous low rumbling sound effect) unfortunately, the first taste wasn't up to  Hess Brewing's standards. Neither was the second. It was good, but not amazing. We expect it to be amazing.

And so, though it was almost there, it just didn't meet the criteria for being a Hess Anno Ale... So that brought us to a couple of paths: What to do with the almost-there ale and what to make for Anno Duo in its stead. 

Barrel Time!
We've come up with two pretty cool ideas: 

No. 1 -- We are putting the almost there Anno Duo Fresh Hop SDPA into a fresh -drained Pino Noir barrel and pitching some Roeselare Ale Blend on top. Our first foray into the Sour world. Thanks to our good friends who provided the barrel and are storing it for us in their barrel room, we'll head down to Societe Brewing next summer and  see what we've got. Perhaps a little drier and certainly sour!  May just be amazing after all. 

No. 2 -- We are now making an Imperial Saison for our Anno Duo Ale. It will be a couple more weeks until the bottle release, but it will be a really fun style for us to brew. 

San Diego Farmhouse Saison
This obviously leads our dear fans to questions about our Anno Duo party. Don't worry. That is still happening. No need to hold the press! 

And, we are going to release 6.4 barrels of Westcoaster IPA, this time a wet-hopped IPA made from locally grown Cascade hops (from The Hoppery), plus a fresh batch of Intrepidus IPA and a few other treats!