"Jim," Hair of the Dog
Jim, last year's must-have beer, was brewed by Alan Sprints in honor of the life of Jim Kennedy. This year's version is a little different, as Alan describes:
This year's Jim is a blend of Adam, Fred and Doggie Claws, all barrel aged for 6 weeks. Along with the base Beers I have added about 10% of a German Pilsner, a 9 liter bottle of Val Du Trippel, 1989 Thomas Hardy's--the year I met Jim--a 1991 Rodenbach Alexander that I bought from Jim, and a 1994 Maredsous 10 that Jim enjoyed drinking. I am drinking a glass now, I smell Plums, Almonds and Oak, the Beer is a deep copper color and the lace sticks to the sides of my glass. The beer has a strong hop backbone with notes of chocolate, wood and crusty bread, a firm mouth feel and a complex finish that continues to evolve after the Beer is gone. I am guessing it is 8% abv. I made 16 kegs for the festival this year, only four last year.For anyone who was at the fest, you recall what happens when you mix the limited supply of just four kegs of a beer with the demand of an entire tent-full of people who have all turned up to taste that beer. Madness. Will four times the quantity match the demand? Time will tell (though I wouldn't bet on it).
Pelican Bad Santa
This is a hybrid beer the Fest describes as a "black IPA." Brewer Jason Schoneman gives more detail:
"[Head brewer] Darron [Welch] asked me to come up with a fall/winter seasonal beer so while designing the recipe I wanted to incorporate some elements of the Holiday season. The rich flavors and wonderful aromas that the foods of the holidays have were my inspiration for this beer. One of my favorite events of the fall season is the hop harvest so I wanted to make sure the beer incorporated plenty of hops. We used 100 pounds of whole leaf Ahtanum hops, 44 in the boil and 56 lbs in our mash-tun that we converted into a hop back. I also wanted the beer to have a complex malt character so we used melanoidin and dark malts to bring out the richness of the beer. When people ask me to describe this beer I call it a cross between an IPA and a Porter. It is dark and rich but with a pronounced bitterness and hop character. "Stats on Bad Santa:
Malts: Pale, melanoidin, de-husked black maltThe last installment comes from Raccoon Lodge and Caldera. But first, I'm off to a tasting they're offering tonight (for us special "media" types), so I'll have some actual impressions to share, too.
Hops: Magnum, Ahtanum
Original Gravity: 17.3º Plato