Sorry it’s been awhile since my last newsletter. I didn’t post anything in September – too much going on around here with Sheila retiring. Now that Sheila is around everyday, Mac has a full time supervisor at the pub. So anyway, here is what has been happening at Mac’s Brew Pub since the last newsletter.
Maktoberfest: I lagered this one in the refrigerator untill the end of August, then kegged and carbonated it. I have been serving it since mid-September. It’s very good, comparable to many of the commercially brewed marzen style beers available. It’s malty sweet with notes of caramel. I will brew this again without changing the recipe or fermentation protocol. It’s 5.4% ABV and a really nice fall beer.
Sheila’s B(ee)FD Honey Blonde Ale: I brewed this on August 21, 2015 with the assistance of Scott Vandeventer, who supplied the honey (from his apiary). We brewed an 11 gallon batch with 3 pounds of honey and just a little bit of sweet orange peel and coriander.
It’s always a bit of a crap shoot when brewing a new recipe – it usually takes a couple of revisions of the recipe to get the beer just how you want it. In this case, however, the beer came out really nice the first time. It’s 5.1% ABV, with a light citrus/orange aroma. The flavor follows the nose with a subtle sweet orange taste. This ale is very low in IBU’s (by design), so the honey and the orange peel create a pleasant but faint sweetness. It’s a great refreshing beer, especially nice on a hot summer day.
Sheila’s BFD Blonde was on tap for her retirement party at Mac’s Brew Pub on Thursday September 24, 2015. There were about 60 of Sheila’s co-workers, friends and family in attendance at the party. The keg of BFD Blonde (5 gallons) was empty in just about an hour, so I guess it was well liked. It’s a good thing I had 3 other beers on tap for the party – Maktoberfest, Janitor In A Drum, and Anchor Steam Beer (from Anchor Brewing – God Bless Fritz Maytag!) to keep the revelers happy. I also ran out of Janitor In A Drum during the party (that was not unexpected, as the keg was low before the party even started) and the Maktoberfest is nearly gone also.
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to brew anything until early November, so I’m going to run out of Mac’s Brew pretty soon and may have to buy another commercial keg for our Thanksgiving celebration here. You know, it wasn’t that long ago that I had more beer than I could put in the kegerator. What happened?
Club 57: I drank a 12 oz bottle of Club 57 in early September. That’s the first time I sampled this brew since the spring. Last time, it was way too boozy and the bourbon/oak flavor was overwhelming. It has mellowed out very nicely with age, and is now VERY good, in my opinion. However, this is not a beer for everyone. It’s way over the top in flavor and alcohol content (although not “hot”, it’s still quite boozy). Even those who enjoy stouts may not like this beer because of it’s intensity. Oh well, to each his own . . .
So, what does the future hold for Mac’s Brewing? Next up is a coffee stout to be brewed in collaboration with a very talented young brewer whom I recently met, Bryce Lowrance. Hey, Bryce, we need to get working on that recipe, huh? It would be nice to have this on tap by mid-December.
OC Fair Update:
In my last newsletter I mentioned that I got shut out at the Orange County Fair home-brew competition. Well, when I finally got my score sheets, I found out that I actually got an honorable mention for Red Headed Step-Child. In addition, Black Forest Stout and Aeronautical Amber Ale scored quite well and received very favorable judges comments. There were 631 total entries in this year’s OC Fair competition (that’s a large competition, even by national standards), so I feel pretty good about how my beers fared.
That’s it for now. I have a lot of beer reviews to post, but won’t be able to get to those for a few weeks. Please read responsibly.
Really glad to hear the news about your OC Fair entries, always good to get positive feedback! Keep up the good work and go for it again.
It’s just about time to enter the 2016 OC Fair competition. I was considering entering a few of my recent recipes. Mac’s WAD and my honey blonde come to mind. I think my pale ale (Mac’s PAPA) and possibly my IPA (Smackdown) might be worthy as well. I will keep everyone posted!