Friday, April 8, 2016

What's Brewing: April 8, 2016 Edition

Come On! Everyone's Doing It!
Let's talk about trends. Fashion and beauty have always had relatively fast moving trends--that makes sense. And each decade has had it's own food trends. But these days every time you turn around there is a new food trend. First, there was everything pumpkin, then there was bacon, and don't forget bourbon. And in turn, these food trends have influenced beer trends. What we've been seeing lately is fruit flavored beer. There's no denying that fruit flavored anything and warmer weather go hand in hand. So in this issue we'll explore this trend. We've got fruit flavored kits and expert advice as well as a guide to choosing hops. See what inspires you. And as always, you can find these items and more in our Falls Church store or online at

Meet Dennis
What can we say about Dennis Buckley? He's an enigma. He's the quiet yin to the energetic Derek and Derek yang. But don't let that laid back exterior fool you, he knows his stuff and is dedicated to helping you craft the perfect brew. Recent interests: experimenting with dry-hopped kombucha and cold-brew coffee.

Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy
We have so many fruit flavored kits it's beginning to look like a produce stand in here. These kits are an easy way to stick your toe into the fruit trend and know that you've got a tried and true recipe. We've also added a few non-fruit seasonal kits in case that's not your thing.

If you are interested in developing your own fruit beer recipe, check out these tips from two professional brewers for designing recipes and brewing with fruit. According to these experts, a successful fruit beer takes more than adding fruit or fruit flavoring to a batch. For best results the base recipe's other ingredients ought to complement the flavor profile of the fruit you plan to highlight. Get it just right and you'll be singing, "fruit salad, yummy yummy" all day.

Brewers Best Seasonal Kits

Belgian Caramel Wit
5 Gallon Kit $44.99
ABV: 5.75% - 6.0% | IBUs: 15 - 20 | Difficulty: Intermediate
A refreshing Spring seasonal recipe similar to classic white ale though slightly darker in color.

Blueberry Honey Ale
5 Gallon Kit $49.99
ABV: 5.25% - 5.7% IBUs: 16 - 19 Difficulty: Easy
Presents a thick, white head with an aroma of luscious blueberries and a finishing touch of honey sweetness. Includes two pounds of wildflower honey.

Grapefruit IPA
5 Gallon Kit $48.99
Also available as a 1 Gallon Kit $19.99
ABV: 5.6% - 6.1% IBUs:45 - 49 Difficulty: Easy
Grapefruit peel and generous amounts of hops deliver a bouquet of floral and citrus aromas.

Mango Saison
5 Gallon Kit $46.99
ABV: 4.8% - 5.3% IBUs: 18 - 23 Difficulty: Easy
Pairs fruity ester aromas reminiscent of citrus fruit with the flavor of mangos.

Pineapple Honey Wheat
1 Gallon Kit $17.99
ABV: 3.6% - 4.2% IBUs: 16 - 20 Difficulty: Easy
A honey-like sweetness and tropical pineapple enhance this classic wheat beer recipe.

Raspberry Golden Ale
1 Gallon Kit $21.99
ABV: 8.4% - 8.9% IBUs: 21 - 25 Difficulty: Easy
Specially selected yeast creates a predominant amount of fruity esters that pairs well with all natural raspberry flavoring.

Summer Ale
5 Gallon Kit $38.99
ABV: 4.0% - 5.0% IBUs: 18 - 20 Difficulty: Easy
Mildly tart, crisp, and very refreshing!

Tangerine Pale Ale
5 Gallon Kit $42.99
ABV: 4.0% - 4.6% IBUs: 31 - 35 Difficulty: Easy
Tangerine peel and select hops combine to deliver mouth-watering aromas of citrus and tropical fruits.

Toasted Coconut Cream Ale
5 Gallon Kit $32.99
ABV: 4.4% - 4.6% IBUs:10 - 14 Difficulty: Easy
Biscuit malt, lactose and natural coconut flavoring create an ale that is light bodied and sweet like a slice of coconut cream pie.

Watermelon Wheat
5 Gallon Kit $41.99
ABV: 4.8% - 5.3% IBUs: 10 - 14 Difficulty: Easy
Classic wheat beer recipe with a touch of watermelon flavor and aroma.

You can find out more about these kits and other fun items on our web store.

Selecting Hops
Since hops contribute so much to the aroma and flavor of beer, it is important to select the right hop for the recipes you develop. You can also change the flavor of a recipe kit by using different hops when you brew the kit. According to our suppliers, YCH Hops, BSG and Yakima, these are the aroma and flavor characteristics you can expect from the hops myLHBS carries.

Hop VarietyAroma & Flavor Characteristics
Ahtanumcitrus, grapefruit and geranium
Amarillo grapefruit, orange, lemon, melon, apricot and peach
Azacca apricot, ripe mango, orchard fruit and pine
Belma orange, vanilla and floral
Bravo primarily clean bittering
Brewers Gold blackcurrant and spicy
Calypso pear and apple, lemon lime, notes of earthy tea
Cascademedium intense floral, citrus and grapefruit tones
Centennial  lemon and floral
Challenger (UK)  cedar, green tea and sweet floral (as a late addition, crisp fruit)
Chinook  grapefruit, spice, and pine
Citra  grapefruit, melon, lime, gooseberry, passion fruit and lychee
Cluster  spice and pine
Columbus/CTZpungent, black pepper, licorice, curry and subtle citrus
Crystal  woody, green, herbal and spicy
Dr. Rudi (NZ)  classic resinous pine and lifted citrus characteristics; some lemongrass 
El Dorado  candy-like, pear, cherry
Equinox  lemon, lime, papayas, apples, cherries, mango, green pepper, citrus and pine
Falconers 7Cs  strong fruit and citrus with layers of spicy and earthy overtones
Falconers Flight  distinct tropical, floral, lemon and grapefruit characteristics
Fuggles (UK)  mild, wood, grass, and mint
Galaxy (AU)  distinct passionfruit and clean citrus aromas
Galena  sweet fruits, pear, pineapple, blackcurrant, grapefruit, lime, gooseberry and spicy wood
Glacier  citrus, plum, blackberry and wood
Grapefruit  citrus, grapefruit
Hall Blanc (GRM)  pineapple, gooseberry, white grape and fresh lemongrass
Hallertau (GRM)  mild, pleasant, spicy and herbal
HBC 438  stone fruit, tropical fruit, orange, mint and herbal
Hersbrucker (GRM)  mild, herbal and floral characteristics with fruity overtones
Horizon  floral bouquet and subtle citrus fruit
Hull Melon (GRM)  distinctive honeydew melon and strawberry
Jarrylo banana, pear, orange and spicy
Kent Golding (UK)  smooth and delicate with floral, lavender, spice, honey, earth, lemon and thyme overtones
Kohatu (NZ) fresh tropical fruit
Lambic  aged for sours and lambics
Lemon Drop  lemon, orange, grapefruit, citrus, blackberry, super cascade, menthol, pine, licorice, peppermint
Liberty  spicy, sweet, grassy and haylike
Magnum  bittering hop with no distinct aroma characteristics
Mandarina (GRM)  fruity and citrus, specifically distinct tangerine and citrus flavors
Mittelfruh (GRM)  mild, yet spicy, with floral and citrus
Mosaic  blueberry, tangerine, lime, papaya, rose, apple blossom, bubble gum, and grass
Motueka (NZ)  distinctive fresh crushed citrus, "Mojito" lime character, lively lemon and lime tones with background hints of tropical fruit
Mt. Hoodherbal, pungent and spicy
Nelson Sauvin (NZ)  white wine characters; fruitiness with fresh crushed gooseberry and grape 
No. Brewer  evergreen, wood, mint and pine
Nuggetmild, pleasant, herbal 
Nuggetzilla juicy fruit, pineapple, citrus and spicy 
Pacific Gem (NZ) spicy black pepper and berry fruit; some brewers have noted delicate blackberry, floral or oak tones
Pacific Jade (NZ)  fresh citrus and complex spice characters; some bold herbal aromas and hints of black pepper
Palisade  apricot, grass and clean floral
Perle (GRM)  herbal and spicy with delicate floral, fruit and mint
Polaris (GRM) intense floral with pleasant mint
Rakau (NZ)  stone fruit and fig characteristics; fresh orchard fruits, specifically apricot with some resinous pine needle
Saaz (Czech)  mild with pleasant earthy, herbal and floral overtones
Simcoe  passion fruit, pine, berry and earthy
Sorachi Ace lemon, lime and dill
Spalt (GRM)  mild and herbal with spicy floral and fruit
Sterling  noble and spicy
Strisselspalt (FRN)  spicy, citrus, floral, fruity and herbal
Styrian Celia (Slv)  pleasant and hoppy
Summit  pepper, wild garlic, incense, anise seed and subtle grapefruit, orange and tangerine
Target (UK)  fresh green sage, spicy and peppery, and hints of citrus marmalade
Tettnang (GRM) mild and pleasant with balanced earthy, herbal and floral aroma
Waimea (NZ) lots of pine and citrus characters; intense tangelo
Wakatu (NZ)  restrained floral notes and freshly zested lime
Warrior  mild, resinous and subtle pine
Willamette  citrus, curry, incense, caramel and elderberry
Zythos  distinct tropical (pineapple) and citrus tones with slight pine 
You can find out more about these hops on our web store

Other Fun Stuff
Here's a few other items you might be interested in. 

Dizzy Pig IPA Hop Infused Seasoning Blend


Made with Citra and Ahtanum hops, this citrusy blend is brightly flavored, and works on just about anything. We put it on pork chops the other day and they were fantastic. Limited release.

$18.99 - $24.99
These cans contain just over three pounds of fruit puree. At the moment we carry apricot, blackberry, blueberry, peach and raspberry plus new flavors will be arriving soon. 

Brewer's Best 4 oz. Natural Flavorings
 $4.99 - $7.99
Brewers Best has a wide variety of flavorings. Each flavoring is packed in a 4 oz. bottle. The recommended usage for beer is on the label. We have practically every fruit flavor from A-Z (or apple to watermelon).
You can find out more about these treats and more on our web store.