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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Final Word on Old Ales

To complete the circle, I wanted to mention that I sent BridgePort brewmaster Karl Ockert the results of the two polls I ran on the blog last week. Karl had okay-ed my proposal to poll readers here to see what style of beer they'd like BridgePort to brew for the open slot in the "Big Brews" line next spring. In the first round I polled you on ten styles, and the faves to emerge were 1) big NW red, 2) Old Ale, and 3) Strong Rye. In a run-off, you favored the old ale with a clear plurality of about 40%. The red just nipped the rye for second place.

I sent the results to Karl, and he will take them under advisement. Apparently some of the brewers there cotton to a strong lager, though Karl said " I am on the fence but the Rye sounds appealing to me."

It was a fun exercise, and I appreciate your votes. I actually think you all are a great cross-section of the target audience for the "Big Brews" line. Those types of specialty beers are aimed squarely at the beer geek, as is this blog. I was surprised to see how poorly some of the original ten fared (Cascadian Dark Ale only got 4% of the vote; wheatwine, which I thought might poll strongly, just 9%). Based on your voting, I'm prepared to predict that any of the top three beers (or the odd-beer out, the imperial stout, which also polled strongly) would sell well.

And, since I can't rely on BridgePort to brew the old ale, I took matters into my own hands and whipped up a batch over the weekend. Old Codger, a beer as cranky as its brewer.


  1. Is extended aging necessary to produce 'Old Ale'. If so, what is the nominal period?

  2. Not all old ales are created equally. Some are relatively low-gravity, like Old Peculier at 1.057 and require no aging. Others, like Thomas Hardy's are mammoth and last decades.

  3. old kucklehead has a nice old ale quality for a barleywine--i think they would make a great old ale... i was hoping for the wheat wine.