Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Local Beer, Local Soccer

Chances are that you've noticed bottles of our Kick Axe Pale Ale at your local beer store or enjoyed a pint at one of our pubs or Jeld Wen Field throughout the inaugural season of the Portland Timbers, but if not you better act fast. With the end of the season drawing near, save for a long playoff run for the upstart Timbers, Kick Axe will head to the bench for the offseason within the next few weeks. Fret not though, for our hairless leader and outspoken soccer enthusiast, Jerry Fechter, has commissioned an additional pair of soccer themed beers for the coming months.

In late August Lompoc Sidebar hosted the judging for the annual Timbers Army homebrew competition. The top three beers earned their brewer the oppurtunity to have their winning entry brewed at a local brewery. The second and third place beers will be brewed by McMenamins Crystal Ballroom and Hopworks, while the Best of Show winner's beer was brewed at New Old Lompoc in mid September. Homebrewer Eric Ganter's Sounder Slayer Dortmunder Lager was the big winner and as his prize, a full day of back breaking labor in a steamy and humid brewery! Eric had the forethought to bring a bottle of Sounder Slayer for us to sample on brew day and I can only hope our version holds up to the original. Sounder Slayer is built on a base of Belgian pilsner malt with vienna and munich malts adding some color and malt complexity then hopped with Saaz and Tettnang and fermented cold with Bohemian lager yeast. The primary fermentation has just finished up and I'll be transferring the beer to a conditioning tank next week where it will be lagered for at least 6 weeks.

The second soccer themed beer is a collaboration beer with 4-4-2 Soccer Bar on SE Hawthorne. Jerry is a regular at 4-4-2 and conceptualized a beer for them using 4 malts and 4 hop varieties then dry hopped with 2 more hop varieties, representing the typical alignment of a soccer team. Jerry and I decided on a hybrid between a pilsner and an american pale ale using our house yeast fermented at a lower temperature (similar to the process we used for PilzIPA last summer). I brewed the beer on Monday using NW pale, vienna, munich and light crystal malt and Perle, Saaz, Tettnang, and Cascade hops in the boil. The goal is to have a crisp and quaffable beer with spicy hop character and a big American hop aroma.

Look for Sounder Slayer sometime in December and 4-4-2 in mid November. Cheers!

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