Thursday, August 20, 2009

Saranac Brewery's New Blog

The Matt brothers at Saranac Brewery just turned on a redesigned blog. It has some pretty spiffy information regarding the history of the brewery and events that are going on in, and around, Utica, NY. Go ahead and check it out by following the link on the right-hand side of the page, under "Blogs We Like."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Well, it's no bumper crop

Last year, I decided to venture out and buy some hops rhizomes from Maryland Homebrew. The varieties I bought were Cascade and Hallertau. I planted them in large planters around Mother's Day, and let them run wild.

Well, they didn't run that wild.

Both popped up out of the soil, but didn't grow beyond 12 inches tall. I cut them back in mid-September, and covered them with spent grain.

This spring I noticed my Cascade planter shooting up like crazy! Well, wouldn't you know, it has grown about 10 feet tall on a trellis I built. Wouldn't you guess the Hallertau wasn't as fortunate: I decided to dump it in the back of our back yard.

Tonight I harvested my Cascade cones--they feel papery to the touch, and have a fantastic aroma of spicy grapefruit! Below you will find pictures of my "first harvest."

P.S. That Hallertau plant I pitched in the back, back yard--I think it rooted itself in some of my grass clippings and wild flowers and has simply exploded behind our bird feeders. Perhaps I will be harvesting some Noble hops in September...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ah, The Brewer's Art

So, we went out to dinner recently to The Brewer's Art, located in downtown Baltimore. It has stood as one of our absolute favorite restaurants to visit whenever there is a performance we're going to attend or if we're celebrating a special occasion.

Why would the place be called The Brewer's Art unless they (you guessed it) brewed their own beer!

With my appetizer, I enjoyed a great beer they call Twelve Labors, in honor of their 12h anniversary, as well as the 12 labors of Hercules. From what I was able to tell, TL is a very tasty, savory potion, made from an interesting mix of wheat, some coriander, some generous hopping that offered a citrus kick, and the herbaceous/floral notes I believe provided by the yeast. I heartily recommend this beer to anyone who can get there in time. It's a limited seasonal, and once gone, I'm sure it's gone.

The beer selected to accompany my entree was their Beacon Ale. Unfortunately, it didn't have enough complexity to cut through the TL. However, I am confident, on its own, it is a wonderful session beer!

I can't tell you how much I missed this place--it had been a good 2+ years since we last visited. I hope we don't wait another 2 years to go back.