Friday, April 20, 2012

Pompously Apricot

The BlackHawks lost last night. This does not make me happy. All four games so far  went to overtime. It is possible that they come back to win the series, but not likely.  I sure hope they do, because at this point I cannot think of another hockey team I can endorse this year.

Any team that is as offensively gifted as the BlackHawks are but have such a pathetic power-play does not deserve to win a championship. Besides as a Hawks fan, I cannot be too greedy. I have already seen my once-every-50-years Stanley Cup.

Last night I needed a "New Brew Thursday" beer. As I didn't have any and really did not want to go out and buy one, I decided to try blending the two beers that are currently in my keggerator.

Blending, of course, is a technique a fair number of commercial breweries use. For the most part it is done with barrel aged and/or sour beers as a way to add consistency to the final product year after year. They can also use it to come up with new beer flavors that would be difficult to achieve with one beer.

New Belgium, for instance has the sour base of La Folie (they call this base something, but I cannot think of the name they give it). They blend it with different styles to get most of the sours in their "Lips of Faith" series of beers.

Home-brewers blend less, but it certainly happens. I have never done it before last night. Mine obviously had nothing to do with aged beers. Just thought it would be fun to see what the combination would taste like.

On the main line, I have the Apricot Lovin' Wheat Ale. The other keg is Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale. I cannot think of two philosophically opposed beers. One is a light fruity (what I would have previously called "girly") delicate summer drink. The other is aggressively hoppy with good ("manly") malts.

I blended these two beers by pouring half the Apricot into a mug and then topping off with the PIRA.

I have to say, the result was (surprisingly) good. I gave it 4 stars on untappd, which is better than I gave the Apricot Lovin. The aggressive citra hops of PIRA and the apricot flavor and aroma of Apricot Lovin' really blended together to make a totally different beer. Both the apricot and the hops were toned down by the blend, but at the same time they complimented each other to add a rich depth of character.

It was sort of cool.

The untappd check-in got me two badges:

Level 5 of New Brew Thursday

and ...

My Artisan Badge. Yes, since my firsts check-in on untappd (which was not really that long ago), I have tried 100 different beers.

Both kegs are getting pretty low (especially PIRA). I am going brew my TommyHawk APA (which is really an IPA ... I just cannot bring myself to change the name). This is another reason I need the Hawks to pick up their game. It just would not be right to go a whole playoff season without having a TommyHawk APA in front of the T.V.

Go BlackHawks!