Chasing the Baron

There’s just over 24 hours left until the #BacchusBeerBloggersSeries event kicks off at Tipplers Tap in Brisbane – six different beers created and brewed by the beer bloggers of Brisbane with the expert assistance of the team at Bacchus Brewing. To whet everyones appetites, or more accurately “make y’all a little thirsty”, I figured I should give you a bit of a teaser of what you can expect from my beer – a 7.2% hopfendunkelweizenbock that has now been christened Chasing the Baron.

The idea for this beer was inspired by the beer that I helped brew* earlier this year with Mountain Goat and Brooklyn Brewery. That was a Hopfenweizenbock, aka a Hoppy strong wheat beer. I’ve had a few other beers like this before (such as the Green Flash Le Freak and the mad Brewers Hoppy Hefe) all of which I’ve enjoyed. It’s a concept that speaks to me; take a traditional style of beer and hop the shit out of it. The thing that all the beers I’ve tried like this have in common is that they all have relatively light malt bills. So I thought, what happens if we go to the dark side? And so was born my beer idea of a Hopfendunkelweizenbock, aka a hoppy strong DARK wheat beer. I ran this idea past Ross Kenrick, head brewer at Bacchus Brewing, and he was onboard.

Ross told me to figure out what flavours I wanted in the beer, and he’d take care of the recipe. So I gave him my wish list – banana, chocolate, tropical fruits, and a spicy bitter finish. With this simple (and rather amateur) flavour brief, Ross was able to come up with a recipe that includes 6 different malts (Munich, Dark Wheat, Caramel Wheat, Wheat, Rye, and Chocolate) 2 different hops (Galaxy and Mosaic, both added late in the boil and again for dry hopping) and 300 000 000 000 Belgian Ale yeast cells. So in early November I visited the Bacchus Brewery, chucked all these ingredients in a big shiny metal tub with some hot water, mixed it up, and left it for a few weeks. And that’s how my beer was born…

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That was the easy part though; the hard part was coming up with a name and logo for the beer! After knocking around a few ideas I decided to take a regal approach to the logo and design a coat of arms. What resulted is a shield that’s shaped like a hop and divided into four panels, each representing a different part of the hopfendunkelweizenbock. The  ‘hopfen’ is represented by two hops (for the Galaxy and Mosaic), the ‘dunkel’ is a block of dark chocolate, the ‘weizen’ is wheat (which is dark like the beer) and the ‘bock’ is represented by a goats head. The label is finished by banners above and below with the name “Chasing the Baron“, which is obviously a nod towards my new and old blog names.

I haven’t had a chance to taste it myself, but Ross has – and his palate is much more trustworthy (and far less biased) than mine anyway. He said that the beer is nice and chocolatey with a good banana nose, and subdued hop aroma with the hops coming through more in the flavour (at this stage; he thinks the hop aroma may lift once it’s carbonated). He also said – most importantly – that it’s tasting good. Hard to argue with that!

The other beers that’ll be tapped on the night are:

  • a 250IBU Imperial IPA by 250beers.com
  • a Mulberry Imperial Porter from TheWestbender.com
  • a Flanders Rosella Ale from DrunkenSpeculation.com
  • an extra passionate Passionfruit Pilsner from WhatBeerToDrink.com
  • and a Bacon Maple Imperial Stout from BrewsAndBacon.com

The event kicks off at 6pm. For more details head to the Tipplers Tap Facebook page.

Hope to see as many people there as possible! Who knows, if the event is an epic success we may be able to do a round 2. I’m working on my next idea already…

* I use the term “helped brew” extremely generously here. In reality I just threw in some rice husk and a handful of hops and proceeded to drink from the bright tanks instead. I promise I did MUCH more of the work this time.

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