While I generally dislike to being marketed to and the typical marketing language that is thrown at me as a result, I myself am guilty of developing my own “marketing speak.” In a strange “devil’s advocate” attitude, once a year I force myself to write marketing materials about beers I brew for a friend’s party. Every summer, my good friend throws a seafood party and I brew several batches of beer to be served at the gathering. Usually a story is formulated about each of the beers and we post brewmaster notes near the taps for the enjoyment of the attendees. While I dislike subliminal sales pitches, I must admit that creating these messages is very difficult. This could be caused by my lack of talent in marketing or that it really is hard to come up with such language. At least once a year, I consider that perhaps I should grant the marketing departments more respect for their work. But then again, perhaps not.
Tornado Warning India Pale Ale – The India Pale Ale, or IPA, has garnered a lot of attention during the recent American Craft Beer movement’s focus on hop-forward flavors. The IPA was originally developed for practical reasons. Its higher alcohol strength and increased hopping rate and bitterness helped the beer survive the long voyage from England to its colony in India. The style had all but died out in Britain when American brewers adapted it to our country’s citrus hops. Our example is definitely American, with a full citrus flavor and aroma from Centennial hops, along with a complex malt character for added depth of flavor. The beer’s name came from the uncharacteristic high-wind storms that Charlottesville has recently experienced. The IPA’s tornado of hop flavor should help it pair excellently with John’s meal of shellfish and grilled meats.
Double Down Scottish 80/~ – Scottish ales are characterized by a massive, complex malty body that finishes slightly dry to make them drinkable in quantity. The ales are meant to be session beers, where their relatively low alcohol concentration enables someone to have several pints in a “session” at the pub. Our version is a bit stronger than most, but the slightly increased alcohol concentration should help the beer go well with John’s full-flavored menu. Scottish ales are named for the number of shillings of tax the brewer had to pay on each barrel at some point in long forgotten history. This beer is an 80 shilling, designated by use of the symbol “80/~”. This recipe is our other repeat beer from last year. It was originally named for the two kettle boil overs I had when I first made this recipe, which created quite a mess.