Kicking It Old School – A Collaboration with Mike from NewJerseyCraftBeer.com

This collaboration  brew’s a throwback to IPAs of yester-year. A nice malt complexity sits underneath an aggressive and floral hoppiness, all topped with an oak-aged smoothness.

National Homebrew Day was back on May 7th of this year.  It celebrates the day Jimmy Carter legalized homebrewing in 1979.  Each year homebrewers celebrate with a Big Brew day, gathering their friends and fellow brewing geeks to celebrate by making beer together.

Bob Olson of Bolero Snort Brewing Company, the resident #BrewYork big-thinker, put out a call to all the #BrewYork homebrewers to see if anyone was interested in getting together for Big Brew Day.  Andrew Maiorana of The Druery, Mike Kivowitz of NewJerseyCraftBeer.com and myself answered the call.

Bob had just gotten himself a new 3-burner rig, all of which had keggles we could use as brew kettles.  Bob and Andrew had brewed together before and already had designs for their brews.  Mike and I were paired up to take over the 3rd burner and had to decide what we wanted to brew.

Whole Lot of Brewing Going On

Whole Lot of Brewing Going On

Not knowing where to start, I came up with a recipe for a BAMA based on our first initials.  BAMA stood for a Belgian-American Maibock Ale, where we’d take a Maibock lager recipe and change it up to use American hops, a Belgian yeast, and ferment it at ale temperatures.  I was pretty excited about this really unique brew and was curious about how it’d turn out (and still am – stay tuned!)

Mike Mashing Kicking It Old School

Mike Mashing Kicking It Old School

Mike, being the Jersey guy he is, stumbled upon a recipe from the old Ballantine Brewery from Newark, NJ on the East Coast Yeast Facebook page.  Given that we were brewing in Jersey and we had the opportunity to brew a classic, we decided to brew this recipe instead of the BAMA. We went about getting the ingredients together, but

Hard At Work

Hard At Work

Brew Day at Bob’s was great.  He’s got a heck of a set up.  I had a good time using it, and now have visions of something similar.  It always good to be around brewers of this caliber on brew days.  You can’t help but learn something.  And, even though I was relatively new to all-grain, I was able to offer suggestions and help out with the other brews, which made me pretty proud.

Kick it Into the Primary - with Jack's Help

Kick it Into the Primary - with Jack's Help

The beer came out pretty tasty.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a hold of East Coast Yeast’s Old Newark Ale (which is apparently the Ballantine from the old brewery).  But the American Ale strain we used did well, even though it took its time to finish.  Bob did a great job taking care of our beer as they fermented at his place.

30 Gallons of Homebrew Happily Fermenting

30 Gallons of Homebrew Happily Fermenting

The amarillo dry hop we did gave it a great citrus aroma.  The 90 IBUs are definitely there, but they don’t overshadow the malt bill underneath.  The oak cubes aging in the beer are really smoothing everything out, adding another layer of complexity to an already complex beer.

Keep your eyes out for more collaborations between this crew, as we made some great beer and had an awesome time.

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