Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Beer Bit to Whet Your Appetite

I am excited about this. When I finally get my post up about the last few weeks you will understand why. Until then:

Birch & Barley and ChurchKey will be One Year Old this Friday, October 22nd!

In celebration of this occasion Beer Director Greg Engert and Executive Chef Kyle Bailey traveled to DOG Brewing Company and collaborated with Brian Strumke, the gypsy brewer of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, on a very special and very limited brew! 

It is called Year One: A Birch & Barley/ ChurchKey Anniversary Ale and it will ONLY be available as part of the Tasting Menu prepared nightly at Birch & Barley! This beer is delicious on its own, but we are passionate about Food & Beer and it was designed with pairing possibilities in mind! 

Birch & Barley will be offering the Tasting Menu including this Anniversary Brew Tuesday October 19th through Saturday October 23rd beginning nightly at 5:30 PM...call to make a reservation and not miss out on this very special ale: 202-567-2576. 

About Year One: A Birch & Barley/ ChurchKey Anniversary Ale Beer Director Greg Engert approached his friend and hugely talented local gypsy brewer Brian Strumke, of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, to create a beer in celebration of BBCK's one year anniversary. Since BBCK is all about the possibilities of beer and food, Executive Chef Kyle Bailey joined the collaboration to create an ale to be paired with a dish on the Tasting Menu offered nightly during the week of the anniversary. The outcome is a delicate hazy blond ale brewed with Perle, Nelson Sauvin, and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops and lightly spiced with juniper, toasted by Chef Bailey, and guinea pepper from Chef Bailey's spice stash. The brew was then fermented with a mix of Belgian ale yeast and Brettanomyces Claussenii, providing an aroma of tropical fruit and mild spice with flavors following it’s course melded with soft malts. Only 2x 20L kegs were produced of this lovely brew.

Brian tells me that Nelson Sauvin is a hop that is grown, and was developed in New Zealand. The aromatics and flavors of this hop are very similar to the wine grape Sauvignon Blanc. Look for gooseberries and grapefruit on the nose. 

Another cool beer to check out if you want to experience the similarities of hops to sauvignon blanc is Epic Brewery's Armageddon IPA, out of New Zealand. They dont actually use the Nelson Sauvin hop. They use US Cascade, US Centennial, US Columbus, and US Simcoe hops. However, when I picked it up from cBx over the summer, Brandon pointed it out, based on my wine interest. It was a pretty tasty. As I recall, very aromatic, tons of grapefruit. The bitterness seemed well integrated and was enveloped by other flavors while still being obvious.

I can't find my photo of this beer so this is a link to someone else's image...

Anyway, I'm gonna try to make it out to Churchkey tomorrow night. Maybe I'll see you there.

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