Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

Haw River Farmhouse Ales

On my recent trip to North Carolina we made it a point to venture out to the town of Saxapahaw, on the shores of the Haw River, to visit a brewery I had long been desirous to know: Haw River Farmhouse Ales.

Haw River Farmhouse Ales is located in a corner of the century-old building of the historic Saxapahaw Spinning Mill. The building is shared with a music venue, a coffee shop, an artisanal butcher (try the braunschweiger!), and the Saxapahaw General Store, which serves as a general store cum souvenir shop cum restaurant cum meeting place for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other visitors who venture down the country lanes to Saxapahaw.

Haw River Farmhouse Ales is tucked into a 3000 sq ft space on the lower level at the west end of the building. There you’ll find the taproom, and visible through a set of windows behind the bar, the 10-barrel capacity brewhouse.

The Haw River brewery is not a big one, but they do a lot with what they’ve got. The brewery displays a sense of place by tucking its outside seating between the remains of thick concrete walls and by incorporating elements in the taproom that give a nod to the building’s industrial past.

That aesthetic extends to the beers, which often feature local ingredients – North Carolina-grown grains, berries, and muscadine grapes, locally-roasted coffee, and even Carolina Reaper chiles!

That combination produces some really nice beers. One, I have mentioned previously: the 2018 Saxy Machismo quadrupel with ancho chiles and habaneros.

On this visit I tasted several others, of course. My two favorites were JavaQue and Hiverna,

JavaQue is a velvety smooth 7.1% abv cream stout, infused with Peruvian coffee, smoked malt, and bacon from the butchery next door.

Hiverna is an 8.2% abv Winter Harvest Saison brewed with winter squash and sweet potato, and finished with Sichuan peppercorns, coriander, and cinnamon. It was a good, solid, saison which finished really nicely, with those spices not overpowering anything else but lingering after each swallow

Haw River Farmhouse Ales is well worth checking out should you find yourself in the Durham or Chapel Hill area.



Haw River Farmhouse Ales
1713 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd,
Saxapahaw, NC

http://hawriverales.com

North Carolina Craft

Last week we headed out to Durham, North Carolina, to visit our daughter. Besides visiting and seeing the sights, I, of course, I checked out the local beer scene. I got to know some spots new to me, and took the opportunity to return to some of my favorites in the area.

Naturally, I also came home with a load of North Carolina brews in my suitcase.

So, over the next few weeks, one should expect to see posting on my trip and reviews of some, perhaps, most of those beers.

Sign at Fullsteam Brewery, Durham, NC

Peruvian medalists at Copa Cervecera del Pacifico (Ensenada, Mexico)

The Copa Cervecera del Pacifico craft beer cup recently wrapped up in Ensenda, Baja California, Mexico. Although, of course, it mainly received entries from, mostly western, Mexico, it did count with the participation of a few breweries from further afield: USA, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru.

Of the Peruvian participants, two took home medals.

One is Lemaire Cerveceria, which garnered a silver medal for its Belgian Blonde Ale. Lemaire Cerveceria is the brainchild of Yann Lemaire, one of the partners who started Cerveceria Nuevo Mundo in Lima and has recently started production under his own name.

The other is Pacha Cerveza Artesanal, run by Adrian Calle Silva, who took home a bronze medal in the Specialty IPA category with his Piel Roja red IPA.

Congrats to them both!

Saxy Machismo

On a recent visit from North Carolina, my daughter brought me a few bottles of beer from that state.

When I had visited her there a few years ago, a brewery I had been eager to try out was Haw River Farmhouse Ales. The brewery is located in Saxapahaw, on the shores of the Haw River, about half an hour west of Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, my travel schedule and the brewery’s limited tap room hours impeded a visit.

My daughter recalled my interest, and made sure that one of the bottles she brought was from Haw River: a 17-oz. bottle of 2018-vintage Saxy Machismo, a bourbon barrel-aged smoked quadrupel ale, brewed with guajillo and habanero chiles.

Saxy Machismo is a 12.2% abv ale, with a dark cola hue; somewhere in the range of 25 SRM, perhaps a point or two higher than that. It is mildly carbonated, and produced no head upon decanting.

Of course, the first thing that hits one when tasting is the aroma of smoke and chiles.The same can be said for the flavour.

There is a moderate hop bitterness, but it’s in the background. I also detected some vanilla, a little bourbon, and notes of stone fruit –apricot, dark cherry. However, the smoke and the peppers are definitely the stars in this beer.

The smoke hangs around in the aftertaste. There is also a very, very slight pepper spiciness, but surprisingly little. Certainly, far less than one would expect, making this a much more approachable beer than one might think would be the case given the description of ingredients. (Though I don’t mind a bit of spice in a big, dark beer!)

With time, the smoke becomes less prominent and the fruital flavors come forward a bit more. As it warms in the glass the beer’s residual malt sweetness also becomes more evident.

That makes Saxy Machismo a good sipping beer. Take your time with it and your palate will be rewarded with an evolving experience between the first sip and the last.

Lupulager by Barranco Beer

My wife recently returned from Lima and she brought me back two cans of beer from the Barranco Beer Company.

Barranco Beer Company introduced canning to the Peruvian craft beer industry with a couple of releases last year in time for the soccer World Cup and Peru’s Independence Day holiday. They have since expanded canning to almost their entire line of regular brews.

Of the two I received, I’ve so far tried the can of Lupulager.

Luplager is a dry-hopped beer fermented with lager yeast at “low fermentation temperatures”. It comes in at 38 IBU and 5% abv.

Lupulager is an example of a developing style that in the US we would call an “India Pale Lager”. It won a silver medal in the “Specialty IPA” category at the Copa Latinoamericana de Cervezas Artesanales (Latin American Craft Beer Cup) held in Lima in February 2018.

Upon pouring, the beer produced a big, rocky, long-lasting head with lots of lacing. The brew itself was golden and clear, with a bit of what I took to be chill haze. As befits the name, it is somewhat more bitter than “standard” lagers.

It finishes with a note of straw or hay, followed by a sharp, lingering hop bitternes. The flavors smoothed out as time passed and the beer off-gassed and warmed up in the glass.

Overall, I liked it almost as much in the can as I did on tap at the brewery.

(Just for reference, my can was packaged on November 19th, 2018, and I drank it a week before its “best by” date in February.)

Page 1 of 22

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén