In considering what to write about Southeast Asian beer, I almost just want to say don't bother and leave it at that. Granted, we've only explored Singapore and Indonesia thus far, but the beer we have tried leaves a lot to be desired. This is hardly surprising given that the Muslim population of Indonesia, for example, hovers around 90% (Singapore shares a similar demographic makeup). There's maybe one exception, and I'm bored and on a 9 hour train ride to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, so here's a breif write up.
Top o' the mornin' to yeh! Or evenin'... ♩ Lar-de-dar-de-diddle de-dum de-dee! ♩ *clicks heels in the air*
*ahem* excuse me... sorry. I sometimes (err...often) get carried away. I was typing in an Irish accent if you didn't follow. I hope you read it that way. If not, I'll give you five seconds to go back and read it again with an Irish voice in your head... Done? Good. The Irish always seem so chipper, with St. Paddy's Day finally here, there's much to be chipper about. For instance, Silly Sir Brewing Co. (a.k.a. me) is proud to announce the release of it's second Irish Red ale: Klifferd the Big Red Ale. It's big, it's Irish, and it's a whole lot of deliciousness capped and trapped in a bottle.
Rapidly chillin' the wort with copper coils
Man, I've typed so much, yet said so little. Alright, let's get down to brass tacks, shall we?
Giggle Splash is my first attempt at a highly aromatic American IPA. American IPAs are marked by their bright, citrusy hop aromas, and high bitterness. Giggle Splash sits at around 57 International Bitterness Units (IBU) which is considered moderate according official guidelines. For comparison, Budweiser and Molson Canadian sit at around 10 IBU or so (plus or minus a few units). So yes, it's quite hoppy.
Head diminished quite quickly but left some good lacing…
Special thanks to Brulosophy's Marshall Shott for the awesome recipe and name. This beer is a damned good simple, and inexpensive beer to brew. Very clean, and surprisingly crisp. I think the low fermentation temperatures were key to this. I wish there was more head retention, and it may have to do with carbonation levels at this point (they're still a bit low) but I'm wondering what I can do to up the head retention without adding wheat.
Saison beers are typically consumed during the summer, and are usually: highly carbonated; moderately high in alcohol; light to moderate in colour and bitterness; and full of beautiful esters that impart distinctive notes of banana, cloves, and spice. If this sounds like it's your jam, contact me and I'll let you test one in exchange for critical feedback. The distinctive aromas of this beer form due to the warm temperatures required for optimal fermentation by this particular strain of yeast. This beer fermented at around 88F for about a month which is a much higher fermentation temperature than most yeast strains are used to.
Eisbock is typically a term given to beers that have been created by freezing off a portion of the beer's water and then discarding it so as to increase its percentage of alcohol and elevate its maltiness. Typically an eisbock (German for ice strong-beer) has an alcohol percentage of around 10% or more. The alcohol levels levels for this beer however were much lower. This beer had a huge problem that needed a solution.
As promised, here is part two of my post which where l explain the brewing and design choices behind the Silly Sir beers and labels. Today we have: Pickle Tournament beer, Vanilla Infused Porter, and our Cranberry Juniper Stout.
It seems every time I mention the words "Pickle Tournament", I am met with looks of utter confusion as people attempt to process what they just heard. The annual Pickle Tournament is exactly as it sounds - a gaming tournament dedicated to upholding the integrity of, and respect for... pickles.
6 of the 24 official competitor badges...
It's great silly times. The third annual Pickle Tournament is slated for late summer 2016, and lucky you: you're invited! Obviously a gaming tournament of this magnitude and as silly as this requires an official sponsor and signature beer. Lo and behold the Pickle Tournament Pale Ale:
I'm all about extravagance, indulgence, and over-the-top, unjustifiable ceremony. I think that it can be a lot of fun, and can disarm people. With this in mind I am proud to announce the Silly Sir Museum!...
...just a few from my collection...
... these brews are displayed in consecutive order from earliest to most recent, and each beer was designed carefully with something special in mind. Starting from the left we have:
Back in September I attended a GTA Brewclub meeting at Rainhard Brewing Co. and sampled a ton of fantastic beer. There was one beer in particular that really stood out to me: a Belgian ginger-saison that was brewed by a man whom I had mistakenly assumed was Australian because he had an accent and an an awesome Akubra hat:
Yes, that's him! Yes, the one who looks Australian!
... so anyways he's British not Australian. I think I was just enamoured by his wicked Aussie-style hat and jean jacket. He's been brewing for over fifteen years, and his beer quality was on a different level. The ginger flavours were fresh and bright, and left a subtle kick as it went down. He explained his process. I listened attentively.