Our “108 Year Storm”, our Cub’s victory lager brewed the next day after the Win, is one of the best higher alcohol beers we’ve ever brewed. That’s including our handful of barrel aged experiments, and here’s why.
At 8.8%, the beer is incredibly smooth and reminds me of a Grand Cru. That is it’s greatest strength. It’s flavor heavily belies the alcohol warmth of a comparable 8.8% beer, but the warmth is there. It’s grist profile helps since the inclusion of 15% corn helps lighten the whole of the beer while retaining a deep potential for the rest of the experience.
Both Jon and I have a great respect for clarity in our beers. In general, we respect the hundreds of years of brewing tradition that resulted in flavorful beers and clear looking glass pours. This tribute fest beer has clarity by design. It is a bottom fermented lager, and held with a long cold conditioning, after all.
The recipe undoubtedly includes a fair amount of hops, in both flavor and aroma. Such is an americano. We balanced a neutral bittering charge with a hefty dose of Citra and Centennial late additions, some our favorite hop varieties. The result is truly something fantastic, with fine citrus aromas complementing delightful crispy, fresh bread undertones. A fine lacing follows through the whole tasting experience.
Our past higher alcohol beers relied heavily on a strong roast flavor to carry the day. After all, they were barrel aged beers. Fugglewood Scotch Porter and Flying Pig are superstars in their own right, a beer for a different crowd. But there’s always room for a beer like this, a crowd pleaser meeting all the criteria of a celebration beverage. Our personal tests of any particular beer we brew is to share it with people that don’t make a big deal about beer.
To our surprise, a once in a 108 year beer, our tribute to the Cub’s historic win has become something noteworthy on many peoples taste buds. We don’t brew for ourselves. We brew for our drinkers. Southbridge is proud to be a part of this strong sport town. We’re going to make a tradition out of this fine beer, as a special October/November release. In either remembrance, deserved victory, or in defeat. Being cautious comes with the identity.
The biggest question a Cubs fan has is “what do we do now?”
Well. Of Course. We root for next year! We’ll have the beer ready.