Beer 511

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

Month: September 2016

Beer Review: Muy Malvada Peruvian Porter

Muy Malvada Peruvian Porter -whose name literally translates to “very evil one”, but could be read as “very naughty one”- is a collaboration beer brewed by Lima’s Cerveceria Barbarian, in conjuntion with Two Roads Brewing, out of Stratford, CT, and Evil Twin Brewing, with HQ in Brookly, NY.

Muy Malvada is brewed with jora, sweet potato, and aji panca. Jora is the germinated corn that is also used to make the Andes’ traditional corn beer, chicha. Aji panca is a variety of chile pepper, specifically a variety of Capsicum baccatum, which is a staple of Peruvian cuisine. It has little to no heat, and mostly adds a bit of red tint and deep pepper flavour to dishes.

In Muy Malvada the pepper flavour is evident in the background, as a very, very tiny spiciness at the back end. Much more mild, in fact, that I’ve tasted in the US in beers brewed with ancho or chipotle chiles.

As porters go, Muy Malvada is actually quite nice, and coming in at 6.5% abv and 20 IBU, it is falls quite nicely within the definition of porter. Although it is more like an American porter than its British counterpart, the panca and perhaps the sweetness imparted by the sweet potato, do set it a bit apart.

I really liked this beer, and when I met one of the owners of Barbarian, Diego Rodriguez, I made it a point to ask about it and its genesis.

Diego explained that it came about as a joint project with the other two breweries, and the specialty ingredients were selected as a way of making the beer a Peruvian porter. I would say that they succeeded in giving it a local character. (In fact, when I read Stan Hieronymous’ recently-published book, Brewing Local, this beer is one that kept coming to mind as a successful example of a beer with an evocation of place.)

Now, I grant you that this review comes a bit late, given that I was in Lima in July, but as Diego Rodriguez explained, the plan was that Evil Twin and Two Roads, and perhaps a rep from Barbarian, would rebrew the beer in the USA this Fall.

In the USA it is set to be marketed as Pachamama Porter (they had intended for that to be the name in Peru as well, but “Pachamama” was already registered to another brewery).

I have not seen any references to it on either Evil Twin’s or Two Roads’ websites or FB feeds, but if you live on the east coast or have access to their beers through a distributor, bar, or bottle shop, keep your eye out for this one. I think you won’t be disappointed.

Danville Brewing Company

Last Tuesday, the Danville Brewing Company opened the doors to its taproom and brewpub in downtown Danville, and lines have been around the block to get in since day one.

The location the pub -Danville’s first brewery- prime and the space is large, but friendly. The owners have done a very nice job in designing the place. There is a variety of seating options, including at the cool horseshoe-shaped bar with the wrap-around beer tap column.

I had a chance to view some project images for it when the pub was still in its design stages, and if it looked cool then, it is even cooler in person.

The food is good and nicely presented.  The wait staff knows their stuff, and one thing that we particularly appreciated was that our server had a list handy of all the menu items that were gluten-free.

Despite the crowds, the food was delivered promptly.  The restaurant is designed with an open kitchen as well as an open brewery.  What that means, in fact, is that the brewery is behind a glass wall, and is fully viewable by the public.

The brewery runs on a 10 barrel system, where head brewer Matt Sager has already begun to produce the pubs’ first run of on-site produced beers (what is being served now was contract brewed for opening day in accordance to Sager’s recipes and specifications).

Of the five beers on tap right now, most noteworthy are the CHUX Double IPA and the Coconut Stout.   The stout is smooth, and very subtly flavored with coconut, which makes it a very nice either-way stout -it has something for regular stout drinkers and for those who like flavoured beers.

The CHUX, despite being a DIPA, does not hit one in the face with hop bitterness, although it is definitely there, as befits an IPA.  Matt has done a nice job at crafting a recipe that packs a lot of hop aroma, flavor. and character in a tidy, smooth package. The servers are selling it as a beer that “will change your view of double IPAs.”  It’s marketting, but for the average beer drinker it may well be true.

For me the bottom line came when I was tasting the flight, and I exclaimed that the beers were “nice”, and immediately thought to myself “duh, of course they’re good. They’re Matt’s beers!”

 

 

Danville Brewing Company
200 Railroad Ave Suite A
Danville, CA 94526

www.danvillebrewing.com 

Northern California Hombrewers Festival

 

My homebrew club, the Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE) has been voted as serving the Best Club Beer at the 19th annual Northern California Homebrewers Festival (NCHF), held in Dobbins, CA, this weekend.

The Session (#115): The Role of Beer Books

For today’s Session, Joan Villar-i-Martí -of Blog Birraire– has asked us to reflect on the role of beer books in our lives.

Probably like many homebrewers of a couple of decades ago, I got my introduction to homebrewing not via a club or another brewer, but through a book.

Back in those days -late 1992-, being in Santa Cruz, California -home to a vibrant alternative and DIY culture- it occurred to me that it might be feasible for me to make beer at home. Other people had done it, and had been doing it for ages –I had never met anyone who had, but I knew such people existed– so, just maybe, I could try my hand at it as well…?

The problem, of course, was how to gain the knowledge of how to do it.

In those pre-WWW days, when most mail-order was just that, mail order, from printed catalogs, finding sources was not as intuitive or simple as today.   So, I turned to the University of California’s computerized library catalog system to see if there even were any books on the subject.  Among the results returned was one with a friendly-looking title: The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

I placed my interlibrary loan request and waited the several weeks it took for the book to arrive, and when it did, boy was I in for a treat! It was exactly what I needed –clear, simple, instructions; explanations and descriptions; photos; recipes; and best of all, the injunction to “relax, don’t worry”.

Faced with having to return the treasure within the week, I photocopied as much of it as I could afford at the moment (I’ve since made up for that by buying a brand-new copy!) 
For the next year I tore through those pages, reading and re-reading them. Pondering recipes with names like “Toad Spit Stout” and “Elbro Nerkte”, and trying to imagine the flavor all those beer styles I’d never heard of, and for which there as yet were no local sources that I knew of.
When I finally started brewing in October of 1993, my well-thumbed photocopy of the Joy was right there beside me, telling me what to do next, and specially, to relax and not worry.

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