Two years. Two years! It seems like just yesterday we had the idea to start a barrel focused brewery located in the southern end of the Willamette Valley Wine region. But just as kids grow up too fast, or your college years fly by or retirement inches closer, we too find the days zip by, and change comes faster than ever. Luckily (or not!) we are just toddlers and have every intention of avoiding the 'terrible-twos'.
After we navigated our first year of business, we chose to make a celebratory beer that would be a little 'off-brand' for us. Most breweries tend to make a special barrel-aged concoction to mark the occasion, but we already do that as the day to day operation. Instead, we thought we'd take the opportunity to make a hoppy beer, and put it in a can no less. I mean, we do love a good IPA! Year one was a big American Double IPA that, as you might imagine, sold fast. This year, however, we thought we'd up the ante and turn our anniversary, no can-niversary, into a chance to work and collaborate with friends— especially our friends who are killing it in the hopped-up beer world. We hope to choose and invite a new brewing buddy each year to be collaborate and offer up a hoppy IPA-ish beer at least once a year. This year, it seemed most appropriate to work with our friends at Block 15. If you haven't had their Sticky Hands, or other rotating canned hoppy goodness, you are missing out!
As for the beer itself, we decided that we wanted to make an IPA with a slightly lighter body for summer and that resonates with hop lovers these days. We went lighter on the up-front bitterness and loaded up back end flavor and aroma hops (which do add bitterness as well). While we used London Ale Yeast III, to complement the juicy, fruity, flavors of the hops, we didn't want a haze bomb. Sorry, this beer tastes like IPA, not like Tropicana. No vanilla, no lactose, and no fruit purée. We’ll leave that to others (Matt's old school, you know.) We also wanted to use some of the awesome hops that Block has in their inventory, but that they use less often to lend some unique IPA character. That's why we tossed in some Belma, some Waimea and a big chunk of Motueka. The latter two being Southern hemisphere hops. They’ll provide some nice citrus and other fruit flavors, complementing the subtle orangey flavors of the Belma. We also, for good measure, used some traditional hops that have been used more frequently, like Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo and Chinook. Between all those hops and where we used them, there will be some present pine and danky flavors and aromas, as well as some beautiful stone fruit and tropical fruit aromas. Plus, what became obvious to us, is that Block's Processes with IPAs is dialed and they know how to get the most out of the hops they use. This IPA, clocking in at 7.3%, is very quaffable and should be tasting great when we release it to our list on May 27th. And don't forget, we know you age a lot of the Alesong beers we release, but please don't keep this one. Drink it! Hops are best consumed fresh. We didn't package too much so make sure you grab enough, this won’t last long!
Cheers to two years!