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Beer 101: A Face With No Name

Beer 101: A Face With No Name

21 Nov 2015

Over the last five years, it’s safe to say that we’ve made a lot of beer.The last week has seen the return of Saison du Pommes and Marmalade on Rye, so it’s also safe to say that we love a throwback. We make beers we like drinking, and we’ve liked all the beers we’ve...

Beer 101: A Face With No Name

Over the last five years, it’s safe to say that we’ve made a lot of beer. The last week has seen the return of Saison du Pommes and Marmalade on Rye, so it’s also safe to say that we love a throwback. We make beers we like drinking, and we’ve liked all the beers we’ve made in the past so why not make them again? But, just doing two throwbacks wasn’t enough once the brewers got excited about re-doing some of our old favourites. So in a couple weeks time, we’ll be releasing A Face With No Name; an ambiguous amber. What makes it ambiguous? A little back story might help… Back in the early days of the brewery, there wasn’t a lot of money to spend on whatever ingredients and equipment and whatever else Gavin dreamed of having. So looking at the ingredients they already had available, it looked like they could start brewing a pretty good red IPA. However as they started brewing with the malt and hops they had, it was more of a hybrid between a red IPA and an American amber. It started to be lovingly referred to as “Tempest’s Bastard Child”, but we couldn’t very well put that on a shelf so Gavin came up with “A Face With No Name”. Instead of walking you through it like our usual beer intro blogs, we thought we’d let one of our brewers take the lead in explaining what makes the raw ingredients so important in this complicated brew. Take it away, Doug!  Malt The great thing about a beer like this is that it is simultaneously showcasing big malt and hop profiles. Typically we would build a beer with the intent of allowing one or the other to shine. With a lot of our hoppy beers we like to keep the malt bill as simple as possible. The reason being we use high quality local base malt, Golden Promise, which is highly sought after by some of the best craft breweries in the states. Good malt flavour is really important in making a high quality beer so of course getting the best possible raw materials is key to that! Bearing that in mind, Face With No Name differs in that we are using, along with our base malt, a lot of specialty malt to create complexity and depth of flavour. Amber malt gives us a nice toasty character. We also get richness, a little caramel sweetness and a beautiful amber colour from malts like Vienna and Carared. Crystal T50 also adds a nice raisiny element. We also brewed this with a view to trying to leave a little more residual sweetness in the beer, really to emphasise the malt backbone.  Hop Choice & Method Choosing the right hops for this beer is important because between the malt and hops, you’re going to have some big flavours going on here so throwing any old hop at it could be disastrous! Finding balance is essential. A lot of IPAs and pales work really well going down the heavily citrus and tropical route but for this beer we wanted to match flavours really well with our malt bill.  We thought hop flavours like resin, pine, spice, and a small amount of citrus and floral notes also work from the likes of Cascade and Centennial. We also used some Green Bullet which pairs up nicely with some of the aforementioned malt, due to its unique raisiny character. Hopping rates on this one are pretty liberal - our aim was to lock in a load of hop flavour in the kettle, followed by a lengthy dry hop for masses of aroma. I think the beer has a nice seasonality to it as well. Winter always seems to be the time for more malt driven beers so it’s ideal to have something like this that can deliver the best of both worlds.   Watch out on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for when A Face With No Name will be hitting shelves. And big thanks to Doug for taking time out from brewing to write about the beer!

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