Why constrain beer to four ingredients? What chef would limit himself to such a paltry larder?
After a winter of seeking shelter in warm inviting pubs, it's nice to have the option of taking a seat outside without risking hypothermia. And to celebrate the arrival of long warm evenings Resolute Brewing is releasing Biergarten.
Biergarten is what we have labelled an "Oktoberfest Session Beer"
This brew is inspired by the great autumnal beers produced in Munich every year. In this part of the world this time of year heralds spring with sunny evenings enticing patrons out into open air.
The Resolute Biergarten captures the Bavarian style with a rich white head and European noble hop aroma. The rich toasty malt body—thanks to local Munich malt—leads into a dry finish complemented by a moderate bitterness. At 4.1%, the resultant beer is perfect for a languid evening in the sun.
In other news, we still have a few t-shirts available for summer. They come in quality cotton, white print on burgundy. The image below appears on the front with a blank back. Sizes in mens M, L, XL.
T-Shirts cost $35 each (incl. GST) and can be purchased by contacting me here.
Resolute Brewing T-shirts are now for sale! Get one in time for Beervana.
Currently available in quality cotton, white print on burgundy. The image above appears on the front with a blank back. Sizes in mens M, L, XL (sorry ladies, I'm working on it!)
T-Shirts cost $35 each (incl. GST) and can be purchased by contacting me here.
The beer was produced through a collaboration between Resolute Brewing and The Twisted Hop. After the Zaragoza finished its ferment, a single firkin was filled and left to condition naturally. Martin Bennett of the Twisted Hop added his own blend of cacao nibs and spices to the cask to create a slightly different take on the original Zaragoza. After two months conditioning, this very exclusive beer has been released on handpump.
Make sure you make the effort to visit The Darkroom or Pomeroy's very soon, because they are guaranteed to sell out very quickly!
As batch one of the Zaragoza Stout has all but disappeared from stock, it is time to announce the beer which will fill its gap. The second offering from Resolute Brewing is the Beechwood Bock.
As the name gives away, the beer is a bock, which is a malty style of lager originating in southern Germany. In addition, beechwood-smoked malt was used to impart a savoury flavour, reminiscent of bacon. The beer is amber coloured, 6.5% ABV and has a bitterness of around 25IBU.
The use of smoke was inspired by my foray into the world of barbecuing where a range of varieties of wood is used to impart a smoky flavour to the food. Smoked beer is not a recent innovation despite experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Prior to the early 1800s, due to the malting technology at the time most, if not all, beer had a smoky character. One region to specialise in producing smoked beer is Franconia (now a region in Bavaria, Germany). The Beechwood Bock is a tribute to these special brewers.
This beer is the first in Resolute Brewing's Wood-Smoked Series which showcases the array of character different varieties of smoke wood can add to beer.
The first keg of Beechwood Bock will be tapped at SOBA's Winter Ale Festival on July 14. I'll be in attendance so be sure to come over for a beer and a chat.
On May 5 and 8, Resolute Brewing's first brew, the Zaragoza Stout, was launched to the country. The events were a great success and I thank everyone who made it so.
The first event, held at Pomeroy's on Saturday afternoon marked Cinco de Mayo, and the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla. Like that day, Zaragoza held centre stage. A large contingent of the Christchurch brewing scene were in attendance along with long-time supporters and many others. The first pint poured at 4PM and the tap was busy all night.
The following Tuesday it was the North Island's turn with the Zaragoza appearing at Hashigo Zake's New Release Tuesday. While a bit quieter that the previous release, Wellington's "Beer Geek Church" was in session and it was a pleasure to meet the beer geekery in attendance. It was a great surprise to discover the Zaragoza was on both keg and handpump format allowing comparisons to be made. The verdict seemed to be split on the night!
Again, thanks to all who attended, and thanks to Ava and Dominic for hosting these great events.
What a week! Two beer launches in two different cities and now I'm packing for Melbourne and Good Beer Week.
This'll be the first trip for me to Melbourne, a city I've heard so much about. I've booked to attend a few events, but have left my schedule relatively free to explore the city and surrounds (not entirely my idea though). I thought I'd list the events I'm booked in to here in case you'd like to catch up.
- Saturday May 12, 12PM: Great Australasian Beer Spectapular
- Wednesday May 16, 7PM: Beer Lovers Guide to Extreme Beer
- Friday May 18, 10AM: Hair of the Dog Brewer's Breakfast
Throw in a roadtrip, a trip to a packed-out MCG for a grand final rematch, it's going to be a hell of a week.
Let me know where you'll be by contacting me via Twitter @resolutebrewing.
The first beer to roll off Resolute's production line is the Zaragoza Stout. With a name like that it probably needs a bit of explaining!
In the last year or two I'd grown to really appreciate the breadth and depth of the range of stouts produced by New Zealand brewers. We have excellent examples of stouts ranging in size from the 4.5% ABV Invercargill Pitch Black up to the might of the 8 Wired Batch 18 at 12.5%. Stouts that are dry, sweet, and of course those with added extras.
The stout style lends itself as a great platform for experimentation and expression by the brewer.
We have coffee stouts, stouts with fruit, lactose, oatmeal, oak, and even added molluscs. Even with such a great range of beers, I still thought there was room for expansion.
I've always loved Mexican food from when I first cooked a chili con carne as a child. Such a great combination of spice, heat and richness. Sometime after eating mole chicken I thought "this might work in a beer". Rich chocolate, mild chili and spices—perfect accompaniments for a stout.
Mole sauce is said to have originated in Puebla, Mexico when panicked nuns at the Convent of Santa Rosa threw together the first mole for a visiting Archbishop. Nowadays mole poblano (mole sauce from Puebla) is known as Mexico's national dish. Over time the complexity of the dish has grown legendary. Some recipes are said to contain over one hundred ingredients, though most are between twenty and fifty. In keeping with this tradition, Zaragoza Stout is constructed with over twenty ingredients.
And to the name itself: Zaragoza. This also shares its origin in the history of Puebla. The Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) is the anniversary of a revelatory military victory by the Mexican army over the invading French. The young General, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín commanded the Mexican army and had a great name to boot.
And what better date to launch a stout but May 5. Celebrate Ignacio's famous victory with a pint of Zaragoza on Cinco de Mayo!
What better way to spend a day of prohibition than to brew beer? It wasn't planned as such, but Good Friday was a great day for Resolute Brewing to get off the mark.
The scene was The Twisted Hop's new production brewery site in Wigram, Christchurch. They'd recently finished salvaging their equipment from their original brewpub site in the CBD and were still piecing a few things together on the day. Martin was the head brewer on the day and was in bright and early to get the place prepared.
The beer to be brewed was an oatmeal stout with the odd spice thrown in. The beer to be known as "Zaragoza" was inspired by my love of Mexican cuisine and particularly mole. Mole (pronounced Moh-lay) sauce, or more specifically, mole poblano is a sauce made a combination of ingredients, often numbering twenty or more. The main ingredients include chocolate, chili peppers, dried fruit and assorted spices.
Over the course of six pilot brews on my twenty litre system I had honed the recipe with a view to keeping the beer as balanced as possible between chocolate, chili, spice, and of course, stout. This proved to be no easy feat. Who would have thought that 15 milligrams of anise per litre of beer (pilot #4) would overpower all else? Another aim was to retain authenticity and to use quality ingredients. This involved using imported varieties of chili (pasilla, ancho, mulato—the "holy trinity" of mole chilies), and using hand shelled Fijian cacao nibs that were locally roasted at She Chocolat in Governors Bay.
So back to the brewday. We started well by hitting the mash temperature.
Once in the kettle we had some excitement when the circuit breaker blew.
Usually a fairly simple fix, things were complicated somewhat by the fuse box being housed in the unit next door. And it being a public holiday and the unit being deserted. Martin did also add that there was a possibility that the sub-circuit breaker had blown instead. After scaling a container, Martin flicked the switch and thank goodness the lights came back on. Crisis averted!
Before the wort made it to the fermenter it became apparent we had a bit too much of it. Unfortunately due to a miscalculation, the amount of losses had been overstated. As a result, the beer would be slightly weaker than anticipated. Rather than an even 5% ABV, we have a 4.5% stout. But since I am a proponent of session beers I'm looking forward to this incarnation. The subsequent spicing was adjusted and
the resulting samples all bode well for a tasty first drop.
The batch will be split between kegs, and bags for hand-pump. I'll be making sure these make their way across New Zealand. Keep an eye on this site and twitter for distribution details. Also a bonus firkin has been filled and is waiting some special attention from Martin. Watch this space to find out when and where this will be available.