K-Town Weiss by Black Bridge Brewery

Unless winter decides it did not represent itself enough this year and decides to hang on and bully us until summer, our weather should start to think about spring soon.  Black Bridge’s recent tap-list addition can therefore be viewed as either a farewell to the cold season or a herald of springtime.  The beer is K-Town Weiss, which is pronounced “vice.”

It is a wheat beer of German descent.  The majority of the grist bill will consist of wheat malt, hops presence will be very low, imperceptible.   The ‘weiss’ indicates it’s a “white” beer which meant that this style was cloudy and hazy instead of having the clarity of a pilsener or strong golden ale.   This was due to the yeast still being suspended in the body of the beer.  Additionally, it indicates that a Bavarian weissbier yeast strain was used in production.  You likely have heard of these beers as hefeweizen – refreshing, light and happy beers, perfect for the desert.

That Smell …
All I could pick up was a yeasty, grainy aroma.  No hops present.  I did not get any clove, which is predominantly the nose of these beers.  So you may smell that, or even some bubblegum.

In Appearance …
It is, indeed, yellow. Not cloudy, I’d say, but nebular.  A bright, appealing nebula of orange juice. 

But the Taste …
Light and bubbly body. Banana has a moderate presence here. Maybe that adds to its Springiness, that slight allusion to a tropical ideal. Nice. So Germany, where this originated, really isn’t tropical. It’s fascinating that a yeast strain from there, which was used in this beer, would develop such flavor motif.  Anyway.  There’s a slight tartness to it, too. Like a Berliner Weisse, almost, but not as pronounced.  Dry finish. No hops perception, and I really didn’t catch any clove. Nor any effervescence.

Conclusions
The wheat beer well known at Black Bridge is Wicked Poison.  It’s a 14% monster.  In contrast, K-Town is a modest 4.7% abv, so it won’t clobber you.  It’s also good with sour cream & onion dip.  Make of that what you will.   Sit on your porch, watch spring happen.

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Brewing Fun

These sentiments recently appeared in an article at CraftBeer.com:

Why do so many people love beer? It’s because beer presents a fun experience to nearly everyone, no matter their background or level of knowledge. Yes, there are people who love beer without really knowing anything about how it’s made. For some, however, the experience becomes more satisfying as more effort is put into learning about beer.

 

If you are truly interested in beer and brewing, whether it’s home brewing or craft beers, your local is the best place to be.  For Kingman, that’s Black Bridge.  Here’s a few things they’ve been doing recently that I thought were fun and have expanded the beer knowledge of their crew and community.

  • Angry Elf.  A Russian Imperial Stout brewed originally by a local home brewer and employee at Black Bridge.  His recipe won gold at a home brew competition and is an outstanding beer on it’s own and is occasionally offered at the brewery.  They brewed it again this year, added cherry puree and some chocolate and called it Sexual Chocolate.  It’s a wonderful stout, highly recommended, especially if you like dessert.  It may already be gone, though, but maybe it’ll come back.
  • Pete LaFass.  A heavily smoked scotch ale.  Honestly, that thing is for hardcore beer fans.  It tastes and smells like a hospital inferno, latex, nitrile and band aids burning in diapers or something. These are all usually bad. But, somehow, it works in this beer.  You may only be able to cope with a small sample, but it’s worth a try. It’s from a local home brewer.
  • No Pricks Allowed.  A Belgian blonde that is a gorgeous pink/purple color, from the prickly pear addition, so it’s using locally found ingredients from a cactus.  A true desert beer.
  • Hop Tart.  Another beer from a home brewer who won a contest at Black Bridge; it’s been a while since I’ve had this beer, so I can’t say a lot about it.  I only remember that I didn’t hate it, so, that’s got to be good.  I believe I read that it’s coming back on tap soon.

 

Anyway, these beers may or may not be on tap at B3 by the time you read this and they are by no means the only beers there.  Doubtlessly, I’ve left off beers that were inspired/brewed by other locals and B3 crew, the above beers are just the ones I know about right now.   The brewery is a place to get good brewing advice, inspiration for your own beers, and to get goaded into a new hobby.  And, really, the point is that the brewery is sponsoring local brewing culture and I think that’s cool.  And I have a self-important blog.  So I’m going to write about it.  Because I can.  And you can even get beer there, fun and all.

Scorched Earth is Coming

Friday came and my thoughts drifted to Black Bridge Brewery. After work I drove directly there. Jen had my favorite Pandora station playing, Def Leppard Radio. The soothing, solid riffs of “Animal” poured out of B3, elegant and beautiful like the Locomotive Stout that filled my glass. 

These things are what make a town’s local brewery successful. The connections. The interest in customers. The support of those customers for the businesses in their community. The casual, friendly, personable ambiance of Black Bridge makes it a cool haunt.  

It encourages my ambivertness. Maybe that needs explanation. There are introverts and extroverts right? The introverts recharge their good selves in solitude. The extroverts need activity and social connection. According to a buddy, I am an ambivert; I’m quite comfortable either way. Sitting alone with a stout or a Scottish export is terribly relaxing. I’ll walk away from it as happy as can be. But I really like chatting with the folks at B3. They’ve got cool intel on the happenings downtown. I’m finding out some engrossing back story, too. Being in the right place at the right time and employing ambivertness I sometimes get samples of pending beers. And that is just cool. 

So, Scorched Earth will be on tap soon. I’ve been waiting for it to return. If you like beer with hot peppers in it, this is an outstanding example of the style. And if like Evil Red, well, Scorched Earth is built from it with some additional malt to help balance the spicery. 

Imagine a cutting board with hot, hot peppers chopped up all over it. You scrape up those pulpy remains and toss it in a glass. Add am amber ale and a couple ounces of IPA. Voila! This is the piquancy of Scorched Earth. You can smell the heat, the rinds of habanero. Some habanero will be in the kegs and some ghost pepper. 

My lips perceived a somatic sensation of burning, a numbing. I could feel a specter of heartburn, a fire swelling in my gut. Generally descriptions such as that would cause people to be concerned for their health. They may think twice about ingesting a substance that would cause pain and discomfort. Well, what’s life without a bit of fun and risk, eh? Don’t worry, it won’t kill you or anything. It’s just going to be a hot beer. 

Tim said there was some hops in the batch, too. He said you had to really concentrate to find them. I guess I suck at concentration. I did drink Scorched Earth with an Evil Red, its parent. I could taste those hops. It made its offspring dry. Interesting. 
Watch for its release in the coming week. 

Roadside by Mother Road

The breweries in Flagstaff regularly show their quality. I’ve yet to be disappointed by them, whether tasting at the brewery or at a beer festival. The only one I have not sampled yet is Mother Road Brewing. I met the brewers at a festival but never made it to their tent. This beer, Roadside, will be my first quaff of their libation.

That Smell …
So, it smells like spirits and citrus hops, like early spring in late summer, hubris and lupulins.

In Appearance …
I poured as carefully as I could, but that thing has, like, a top hat of carbonation. And then it is ambery colored.

But the Taste …
It tastes like … a beer you’d drink in a pub. Oh, this is a fantabulous beer. They call it a “deep gold American ale.” I think it’s an amber, ala the Early Days of Pubbery. Yes, a golden orange delight that drinks like a Hemingway novel reads. It’s a beer that can just be consumed with grace in your backyard. But if you desire a meditation on beer all the major themes are present: the drama of malt, the tragedy of hops, balanced in yeasty water.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
Whatever.

The Conclusion Of The Matter Is …
Good show, Mother Road. Your hop schedule for this amber is well done, providing bouquet and noticeable bitterness, but not overly so. Balance is the key here, and it’s a giant brass key to the city of beer. Rock on.