Feel free to skip down for details on our first can release next Sunday (4/28), but there is so much more going on! We recently tapped two unique new IPAs. The idea was to push “hazy” IPA in two different directions:
Western Shore is our reimagining of a West Coast IPA. The dominant IPA style just five years ago was dry, bitter, and dank. We used Columbus and Simcoe hops in the mash and kettle to provide a firm bitterness. Bolstered by adjustments to the water chemistry (more sulfate than chloride). We fermented wit a less-fruity American ale yeast, and then dry-hopped with Simcoe and Strata (a new variety known for pine, resin, and dank aromatics). It isn’t as dry, bitter, or clear as the hallmarks of the style, but more so than our Cheater Hops series.
Hop Swirl pushes the other way. We raised the mash temperature and lowered the whirlpool temperature to create a sweeter less-bitter IPA. To accentuate that dessert-leaning balance, we dry hopped with Citra and Sabro. Another new variety, Sabro has some of the juicy-tropical notes you might expect, but also brings fresh coconut, vanilla, and mint aromatics. As always our beers are lactose-free, but in this case you might not realize with how rich and creamy the flavor is!
Other new beers fermenting now include Dragon Reborn (a stonger/hoppier version of our opening day False Dragon), our first gose (with a unique German strain of Brettanomyces for authenticity, and a portion refermented on pink guava for fun), and Cheater Hops 7 (our return to Simcoe-Citra-Mosaic of Cheater Hops #1, with a mega-variant aged on Spanish Cedar wood).
Cloud Palace is a refinement and twist on Pillowfort and Cryovolcano. It has a similar grain bill with plenty of American barley, English malted oats, and German chit malt. It was fermented with our house English yeast. For dry-hopping we went with equal parts Citra and Simcoe, including a good chunk of concentrated Cryo hops.
No tasting notes yet because it isn’t finished, canning is scheduled for Thursday. However, we used the same hop combination for Cheater Hops #4. We originally looked at using a mobile-canner to package beer we brewed, but until we add a few more tanks we just can’t brew enough beer for that and still meet draft demand in the tasting room. As a result we reached out to a few local breweries and decided to partner with Elder Pine in Gaithersberg. They are relatively new (their tasting room just opened), but we were impressed by the quality of their beer and their professional approach. We were there for the brew day, and have stopped by several times since to taste the beer as it progresses.
When/where to get cans?
The general release is next Sunday (4/28) starting at our noon opening. The total yield should be ~900 4-packs, but being the first release we are unsure how long they’ll last. The limit is two four-packs per person, and the price is $20 each. Our club members will be able to get their allotment on Saturday, so don’t be too surprised if you see people walking out with cans! Draft will be available to everyone Saturday too.
When you arrive on Sunday, we’ll give you a ticket good for the purchase of cans when you’re ready to go. We’d like to avoid a line if we can, and give you the chance to relax and have a pour on draft if you’d like! Hopefully this goes smoothly, because we’re just about to brew our second batch destined for cans… Snip Snap!
This is the art piece that was created and digitized for the label. It was painted and designed by Dustin Sinner (who also painted the large Decanter Basket and Stemware pieces for the tasting room). The name “Cloud Palace” was evocative of the fluffy mouthfeel, and potent strength of the beer. Eventually the painting will be hanging in our tasting room (and prints will be available for sale).