I have been lucky over the past week or so to get in a few tastings with the guys at Mountain Goat, and happy they have wanted me involved, as another palate to try out their beers, and some of Stass and mine.
Last Friday, the boys and I had an hour before the public came in to try out some of the range of beers, just to see how they are tasting in general. It is funny how often this doesn't happen, even when I am tasting them quite a bit when 'testing' for carbonation when I am doing a keg run. I guess it is nice to be able to just sit down and concentrate on the beer itself, instead of being caught up in an environment of getting work done, and focusing on one aspect. All in all we tried the Steam, Bock, Hightail, IPA, IPA through coffee beans in Randal, and the Rye IPA. It was also good to talk about what sort of beers would interesting for them to try out. I was particularly happy when someone brought up chocolate beers, as it allowed me to rant a bit over my love for them, and the fact I have not done very well at my own homebrew attempts at them.
But the guys did ask me about what homebrews I was doing, which got me thinking...
The opportunity came up this week to invite Stass along to Mountain Goat to do a days work on our bottling line. Seeing he is the keeper of the kegs from our homebrewing, I wondered if he could bring in some of out beers taste with the boys. He ended up bringing all our kegs into Goat, so once we had finally finished the bottling for the day, we have the Goat boys a taste of our 'Nuts about Coffee' Nut Brown/Coffee beer, my latest batch of Birra Dut Pekmezi (Mulberry Molasses Beer) and our latest Russian Imperial Stout. It was interesting getting the opinion of the boys to them. The coffee beer is getting a bit old now, but the nut flavours are coming through a bit more. Like I have said about this beer before, I would like less coffee to have allowed more of the nut brown flavour come through and balance it out, as now the coffee taste is not fresh against it. I am pretty happy with the flavours coming from the Mulberry, but just seems a little watery, so luckily I have some more mulberry molasses that I can add to it to bring it up a bit. The RIS is just about ready for drinking after nearly 3 months of aging in the keg. I think some more malt character up front could come through to bring more dark sweetness to the beer, but apart for that it is balancing up well and definitely has enough alcohol in it.
I actually had a bit of moment at one point when we had stopped for lunch. Stass and I were having a bit of a stretch at the entrance to the brewery when Cam and Dave came through, and there was a second where two brewing duos came together, one pair that have just been brewing in a backyard shed for the past 6 months (a bit step up to what we were brewing in before then), and the others having developed a brewery that has been around nearly 15 years. It was funny to see from that moment a few parallels that came to mind from it for me...but it could be one of those moments I go back to if Stass and I take this brewing thing any further than where we are now...
Then on Thursday, as I was trying to finish off a big batch of kegging (well, get halfway through it), I was invited for my second brewers meeting, where the big news was hearing that Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller will be doing a brew with Goat (that has got me researching a bit and thinking about what could be done) next year, but also that they are putting together a job description for me so they can out me on permanent part-time. So there is much excitement all round.
With that said, after a big week of nearly 50 hours of physical labour, no matter how much anticipation may be on my mind, my body needs rest, and am content with the past week.