Look, we all know that I love stories and drinking. This is no secret to anyone who’s ever spoken to me for more than a minute. So naturally, I’ve got another article on the topic that’s now live over at Quirk Books. Think of this as a kind of companion piece to my How To Drink Like Your Favorite Writer and A Guide To Pairing Your Comic Books and Beer posts. You liked those, right? Of course you did.
Here’s a new post I did for the fine folks at Quirk Books, about two of mankind’s greatest creations: alcohol, and literature.
Continuing in my established tradition from the Mass Brewer’s Fest and last year’s Winter Beer Jubilee, I present for you the latest installment of Haiku Beer Review, compiled at the 2012 Winter Beer Summit. I make tasting notes into my phone as the night goes on, so that I can turn them into haikus when I get home (and eventually sober up). I know, I know, I’m a genius, it’s true. Anyway, enjoy!
(Also, thanks to Dig Boston for the free tickets and for putting up with my whining. #thomdunnwantsbeer)
Today’s adventure in homebrewing: a smoked kölsch ale, made with genuine charred oak barrel pieces straight from the Jack Daniels distillery and soaked with whiskey for 5 years. The goal is to make it a light summer drinking beer, that’s already been (deliciously) stained by the campfire around which you should probably be drinking it anyway, because we’re coming up on prime latenight backyard campfire drinking season. I’ll also be adding some liquid smoked oak essence at the end, to balance the flavor as needed (or as not needed, although probably needed).
(For those of you unfamiliar with kölsch, it’s kind of like a pilsner in color/hoppiness, except it’s an ale, not a lager. Get it? Okay. Moving on)
- 4oz.Carapils Malt
- 6oz. Munich Malt
- 2.5lbs. Light Malet Extract
- 3lbs. Super Light Malt Extract
- 1oz. Northern Brewer Hops (bittering, ~45 minutes)
- 03.oz. Hallertaur Hops (flavor, ~30 minutes)
- 03.oz. Perle Hops (flavor, ~30 minutes)
- 0.2oz. Hallertaur Hops (finishing/aroma, ~15 minutes)
- 0.2oz. Saaz Hops (finishing/aroma, ~15 minutes)
- 1/2 teaspoon Irish Moss
- 1 small block of charred oak from a used Jack Daniels whiskey barrel
- Wyeast #2565 Kölsch Ale Yeast
- Smoked Oak Essence (as needed)
I procured my pieces of Jack Daniels barrel from the lovely people at Ryan & Wood Distillery, a fantastic mom-and-pop distillery in Gloucester, MA. They buy their barrels straight from Jack Daniels (who is only allowed to use each barrel once), and then age their own rum/rye in the barrels, and sell the bits for $2 a bag. Not a bad deal, and excellent for BBQing (might I add — smoking mangoes & peppers over charcoal and Jack Daniels barrel? DELICIOUS)
I added my barrel piece in with the grains and let it steep for the first 20 minutes. I added the same piece back in for the last 5 minutes of the boil, hoping to impart some of the smoked scents into the beer as well. I plan on adding some smoked oak essence as needed later on, but so far, we’ll see how it goes!
Alright, so my commitment to posting a new cover song every 2 weeks has fallen behind. I’ve been recovering from a sinus infection, which of course has rendered me unable to sing.
But serendipity shined its smiling Irish eyes on me, and I was able to finish just in time for the Feast of Saint Patrick (one of my personal favorite holidays). This entry into the Song of the (Bi-)Week series is a cover of “Streams of Whiskey” by the Irish rock group The Pogues. This song pays homage to two of my favorite things: drinking whiskey, and Irish playwright/author Brendan Behan, who is also the namesake of my favorite local pub (where I often enjoy drinking whiskey). The original song is an sloppy, upbeat drinking song in 4/4 time; my version follows more in the tradition of Americana, complete with plenty of lap steel guitar, and converts the meter to 3/4 time.
Enjoy, and have yourselves a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!