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southern tier

April 2, 2012

No pictures today.  Just using my words.  My good friends from Pittsburgh, Brian and Evan came up to Buffalo this past weekend.  We unsuccessfully tried to scalp tickets to the Penguins @ Sabres game on Friday night, but had a great time regardless over some pints at Pearl Street.  A few of the more inebriated Sabres fans were poor sports, but all in all, our Penguins attire was treated with jabs that were in good fun.  

On Saturday, we opted to make the 80 mile trek down to Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, NY.  Southern Tier is a rapidly expanding brewery that is already in the 75,000 barrel per year production range.  They have some damn fine brews, although I would like to see them branch out with some different yeasts.  I’m fairly certain they only use one or two.  That said, I personally find Oak Aged Unearthly, Pumking and some of their others to all be wonderful.

I was pleased to see that they have acquired a number of bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace/Blanton’s and are doing a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of their Backburner Barleywine.  The tour guide indicated that the beer is around 16% ABV right now and will likely see a bottle release in June/July 2012.  It sounds like they have about 75 barrels, which tells me that the release will be somewhere around 1600 cases.  Not a whole lot.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for it.

On a somewhat related note, I pulled a thief sample of my Belgian Dark Strong Ale to see how its coming along.  I’ve noted in previous posts that I added some pasteurized medium toast oak chips and Brett B.  The Brett has had about 2 months to do its work, and the final gravity has dropped from about 1.035 (pre-Brett) to 1.012.  The OG was 1.090ish  I think it will go a little lower, but I forsee bottling this in the next couple of weeks.  The taste that I drew off was very encouraging.  A nice balance of the oak character versus the roast and sweetness.  Not a whole lot of discernable “Brett character” but it’s nice.. real nice.

I think with a little carbonation, this is going to be a very complex brew that’ll be a highlight of my growing cellar.  

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From → brewery visit

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