Hey. We’re going to tap a new Summit Ratskeller Exclusive this week.
Summit Brewer James Birnie recently had a bad craving for good beer. Not just any beer, though. He wanted a dry-as-heck IPA with big fruit aromas. Like, arena-sized aromas. After looking around his cubicle, poking around the QA lab, and even scouring the staff fridge, he wasn’t able to find what he was craving. He decided to duck into the pilot brew house and make the beer himself.
Starting with a grain bill consisting of English Maris Otter 2-row Pale Malt, 2-row Pale Malt from Rahr, and a touch of Wheat Malt, Birnie went to work adding Citra, Mosaic and Galaxy hops to the boil. Later, he dry-hopped the beer with an obscene amount of Galaxy and El Dorado hops, aiming to create that super-aromatic and fruity final beer he’d been dreaming about.
As for achieving the dryness he wanted in this beer, Birnie turned to a couple very complex-sounding, hard-to-pronounce enzymes. (Science isn’t the Social Media Intern’s strong suit.) Used during brewing for cutting up repeating glucose molecules, these enzymes make it possible for the magical, wonderful yeast to convert even more fermentable sugars to alcohol and CO2. This process decreases lingering sweetness and increases dryness, which, like we’ve stated, is precisely what Birnie was looking to do with this beer.
Interested in tasting the results? Swing by the Summit Ratskeller Thursday 9/20 when we tap our limited Ratskeller Exclusive #5: Extra Dry IPA and you’ll encounter a dry and effervescent beer clocking in at 6% ABV and 73 IBU. Pale yellow, unfiltered with a slight haze, crisp and light in body thanks to those 17-letter Scrabble-Bingo enzymes, the Extra Dry IPA hits your face, nose and mouth with dank and resinous aromas, plus traces of pineapple, slight pine, lemon, lime, melon and maybe some berry. (Birnie says he could taste some berry going on, but the sensory team couldn’t. We all taste differently, as they say.)
About the Pilot Brew House
Our pilot brew house, which is exactly 1/100th the size of our production brew house, is where Summit brewers go to experiment with new ingredients, flavors and aromas. The small batches produced here are destined for thirsty Summit employees and our guests in the Summit Ratskeller. Available in limited quantities for just a short time, once in a while a pilot recipe will raise enough eyebrows to get earmarked for full-scale production in kegs, bottles, and cans. Now, we don’t know if that’ll happen with Birnie’s new Extra Dry IPA, but if you love it enough — it might. Come on in and tell us what you think before it’s gone!