Fall Release! — November 11, 2018

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Fall Release! — November 11, 2018

It feels like just yesterday we were unveiling our summer beers for you, and here we are now, the leaves are changing, the days are colder and it’s time for some new beers to go with the season!

On November 11th, we will be releasing four new beers and hosting our fall release party for our membership! We’re bringing back some classic Alesong originals, diving deep into fresh hops and of course, there will be fruit!

  • Rhino Suit – You know the one, the first spirits barrel-aged imperial milk stout we ever released here back in 2016! It’s back with flavors of vanilla and coconut over the velvety chocolatey malty profile of the base stout.

  • Four Merchants – Another classic! This time around we’ve matured our Four Brothers quad in red wine barrels with just the right blend of spices to complement the complex flavors of the base Belgian-style quad.

  • Raspberry Parliament – Inspired by the red and brown ales from the Flanders region in Belgium, we initially matured this unique wild ale in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels. It was then moved into 2nd use charred American oak barrels that formerly held bourbon with Oregon raspberries to provide tart and sweet flavors that marry with the mild oak and funkadelic yeast complexities. Ya dig?

  • Farm Fresh – Fall in the Pacific Northwest brings the harvest of one of our beer-loving state’s most prized crops - hops! We took advantage of this year’s bounty by stuffing fresh Centennial hops from nearby Norton Hop Farm into barrels of an aged, light-bodied, and tart farmhouse ale.  

As always, these beers will be released in conjunction with a celebration for our members at our tasting room.  From 12-6pm on 11/11 we will have tastings of each of the new beers paired with delicious small bites, and live music from Moonlight Jubilee!  Beers will be released online to our mailing list a few weeks prior to the event, and the only way to get into the party is to order from the presale, so keep your eyes peeled for that email announcing the online store! Remaining inventory will be released in our tasting room and to our accounts the following week.  

Stay tuned for our release email coming the week of October 28th, and keep checking back here for more on each of these new beers!

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Bier Stein Pairing Dinner Recap

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Bier Stein Pairing Dinner Recap

Working with our community to showcase beer and food through pairing dinners is one of our favorite things to be a part of at Alesong. From the start of this tiny little brewery, one of our goals as a company has been to educate and inspire beer drinkers to do their beverage justice and hand it its suitable place at the dinner table, using the flavors and elements of the beer to complement and accentuate the flavors in the food (and vice versa).  It may seem like a trivial idea as people have been doing that with their wine for ages — no one scoffs when told that their pinot noir would pair beautifully with wild mushroom and burrata bruschetta— and although beer often pairs better than wine, most people still reach first for a bottle of wine when heading to a nice dinner.  We think it’s time to challenge that archetype and pay beer the respect it deserves by giving it a proper place at our table!

On August 15th, beer and food lovers alike came together at the Bier Stein for an evening of pure bliss. We worked closely with the Bier Stein’s coordinating team, kitchen and wait staff to create paired courses to go with seven beers we had hand-picked just for the occasion (two of which were a special treat to guests as a sneak peek into our summer release). What came after all the planning, coordinating and practicing was an awesome showcase of flavors and sensations, with our beers enhancing the flavors in the food and the food bringing out complex elements in our beers.

The seven-course meal was exciting for us to be a part of, and we were certainly proud to see our beers enjoyed with food purposely crafted to highlight their individual characteristics —we believe that proper pairings are pivotal to enhance an entire meal and were thrilled with how our dinner at the beer stein came out! 

The seven courses featured:

1. Netarts Bay oysters w/ Terroir: Pinot Gris — this unique and briny delicacy played amazingly with the subtle acidity and fruit character in this wine/beer hybrid crafted with Pinot Gris juice from our next door neighbors at King Estate.

2. Burrata olive oil peaches and sourdough baguette w/ Touch of Brett: Mandarina — the brett fermentation and Mandarina Bavaria dry hop gives this beer an awesome fruitiness that pairs perfectly with Burrata!

3. Vichyssoise and pickled beet w/ Pêche — we love how the acidity in this beer helps cut through a rich and creamy soup leaving the pallet feeling refreshed.

4. Italian sausage and apple stuffed mushrooms w/ Terroir: Pinot Noir — Mushrooms and Pinot Noir is one of our favorite pairings.  Mushrooms and Pinot Noir beer?  Even better!

5. Summer salad with melon and gin botanicals w/ French 75 — A light, yet spicy vinaigrette made with spent gin botanicals was the perfect complement for this spicy brett saison.

6. Sweet Potato chicken and naan w/ Señor Rhino — Think stout only belongs on a desert course?  Think again!  The spices in the chicken danced on the tongue and intermingled with the cinnamon and ancho chile in this tiny club only release. 

7. Raspberry shortcake with Greek yogurt w/ Raspberry Gose — this was a fun attempt at recreating one of our favorite summer beers in food form and serving them side by side – tart yogurt, fresh raspberries, and an ever so slightly salty shortcake...  Yum!

 

Click through the gallery to see some of our captures from the evening!

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Get to Know: Visions

Now that we are a couple years into production, we have a cellar full of a huge variety of beer aging in barrels and it gives us the opportunity to come up with some awesome small blends —Visions is just that. During an afternoon going through our cellar and tasting barrels, we found a couple barrels that had a character we really liked- tart, citrusy, and a good amount of brettanomyces on the nose. The only thing missing from these barrels was a bit of fruit character. Lucky for us we had a keg of Muscat juice leftover from another project in the cooler looking for a home! The barrels were blended and packaged with the Muscat juice as priming sugar. This yielded an incredibly effervescent, golden beer that bursts with notes of brettanomyces and tropical fruit. It is tart on the palette and finishes dry. With its high carbonation and tropical flavors it reminds me of a crisp and fruity Crémant. Enjoy this refreshing beer on these hot summer afternoons with fresh oysters.

Cheers!  

 

 

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Get to Know: Señor Rhino

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Get to Know: Señor Rhino

In our two plus years of aging beers in wood, we've really enjoyed crafting the big and bold beers aged in Spirits barrels.  While we've played with barleywine and scotch ale along with rum and several brands of whiskey and bourbon, the beer blend we keep coming back to is our Rhino Suit.

Rhino suit, at it's core, is an imperial milk stout. (the milk coming from the addition of lactose which is non-fermentable by yeast, resulting in a full bodied, rich and creamy beer.) We first released Rhino suit in the fall of 2016 and since have created a mocha version and vanilla bean version.  In both cases we sourced ingredients to add to the barrels from local suppliers.  With the mocha, we added coffee beans roasted at Coffee Plant roasters and cocoa nibs from Chocolate Alchemy. Both companies are walking distance from our in town spirits aging warehouse. With 2017's Vanilla Rhino suit, we used vanilla from Eugene's Singing Dog. Now, for our summer release, we've put together a new Rhino Suit variant called Señor Rhino.

Señor Rhino is inspired by Mexican hot chocolate and we think is on par with some pretty well known American made beers of this type: beers like Cigar City's Hunahpu and Perrenial's Abraxis.  For this beer, we started with our base Imperial Milk stout. Prior to aging, it's rich, decadent, and creamy with just a hint of roast and a boatload of chocolaty malt flavors.  We aged that for about 6 months in freshly dumped Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, layering on flavors of vanilla and a hint of cinnamon and a slight warmth from the alcohol. 

We then grabbed some Ancho Chiles from the Latino market in town as well as Cassia Cinnamon and Tahitian Vanilla Beans from Mountain Rose herbs and finally some Vietnamese cocoa nibs from Chocolate Alchemy down the road. Fortunately, we get to taste the many varieties of cocoa from John's shop and get to decide which bean will harmonize with the beer we made!  We're always talking about how great the fruit access we have is here in the Willamette Valley, but we can't ignore that we're also very fortunate to have so many amazing suppliers of other ingredients right here in Eugene to work with!

Señor Rhino is now bottled up, awaiting labels and I personally can't get enough of this beer!  The cinnamon jumps to the nose first, followed by a deep and dark cocoa scent.  The vanilla is a perfect accompaniment to those two spices, mellowing them all... and then, as the beer slides down the back of your throat, you get a touch of heat from the Ancho Peppers (but certainly not overwhelming).  We truly believe that balance is the key to great beer, and balancing all the flavors in the ultra complex beer was definitely a challenge, but we think what you will find is a contemplative beer that is not too sweet, not too boozy, but just the right amount of rich chocolate flavors intertwined with hints of cinnamon and vanilla.  Every sip has a new flavor emerge and the peppers leave you with a texture that is a perfect complement to the bourbon. 

The last thing to note about this new variant is that it is a very small blend, and therefore will be offered only to our new Blenders Circle members. If you haven't heard all the details about our new membership level, click here to see the details and join (it's not too late!).  Hopefully, if you like this beer, we can put it into a larger tank in the future and reach more of our valued customers. For now, check out the Blenders Circle, and if it's for you, we'd love to have you become part of this family.

Cheers!

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Get to Know: Gose Añejo

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Get to Know: Gose Añejo

Following French 75, we have another cocktail inspired beer coming to you in this release – Gose Añejo.  This beer was created in collaboration with the fine folks over at McKenzie River Trail Run as part of their 50th anniversary celebration and represents our first time working with tequila barrels so it has been a really exciting project for us!  And like most people do with their first exposure to tequila, we thought we’d stick to the classics by modeling this beer after a traditional margarita.  

In our case, we were able to source some freshly emptied Extra Añejo barrels from Suerte Tequila that, upon arrival, had a wonderful smoky and spicy aroma that we knew would add a great depth to our beer.  As a quick tequila lingo primer – the vast majority of the spirit produced never touches oak and is sold as “silver” or “blanco,” while only higher end tequilas are aged to create a smoother, more complex flavor.  “Reposado” tequila is aged for less than 1 year, “añejo” for less than 3 years, and “extra añejo” is anything beyond that. 

To create the base of the margarita, we brewed a slightly adapted gose recipe, thinking that the mild acidity and saline character would be a great starting point.  In the margarita spirit, we supplemented our malt bill with a dose of pure blue agave syrup and added a heavier dose of Oregon harvested Jacobsen Sea Salt than we normally would to make sure we got the right amount of salinity.  Once done with primary fermentation, this beer spent the next several months resting in our tequila barrels, which gave it an amazing earthy, smoky depth.  As a final touch, on blending, we added lime and orange zest to play up the citrusy notes that are the cornerstone of this classic cocktail.  I love a good margarita and will happily say that we couldn’t be more pleased with the final beer representation of one of my favorite cocktails!

So crack open a bottle of our new Gose Añejo on one of these hot summer afternoons, close your eyes, and picture yourself on a beach in Mexico!

¡Salud!

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