Barrel Aged Sour Brown Ale – American: Russian River Supplication

The beer for this slightly later posted article this Wednesday is quite special. Supplication by Russian River. I’ve always heard that Sours from Russian River are always Saught after, and Moe from Craft Beer Kings/Plaza Market in El Monte, California was kind enough to hook me up with some Supplication!

Let’ start with Russian River’s description of the brew:

Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.

Already this sounds like a very interesting beer, I like the brief description of the flavour. A beer like this should never have a detailed description of how it should taste. I’m liking how local barrels are used from the prolific California Wine scene and as soon as I saw this I was interested. I’m a huge fan of Red Wine and Cherries, and wondered how it would work in a Sour.

The recipe for this one was semi-easy to find out. I had the honour of talking to Vinnie Cilurzo (The Head Brewer and Owner) when I asked him what temperature to drink this one at. After telling me, we were conversing about the recipe for a little while which I really appreciated. The Malts in this one are 2-Row, Vienna, Crystal 40L and Carafa III Malts. I think there’s possibly a little bit of Wheat because the head on this one is crazy, more on that soon! As for the Hops, this is a Sour Brown Ale so they aren’t that prominent. I think Saaz and Hallertau are used. This is then aged in Oak Pinot Noir barrels and Sour Cherries are added to it with Brettanomyces Yeast for 12 Months. After this, it’s re-fermented in the bottle with Belgian Yeast.

This beer pours an Amber/Ruby colour with impressive carbonation and big head! The head doesn’t really recede as you drink, until you’ve nearly finished the bottle and leaves foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. It has one of the best head retentions I’ve seen in a while. On the nose there’s Tart Cherry, a touch of Wine notes, Oaky Tannins with some Belgian style funky notes and a touch of Bretty sourness. When you taste this beer, it truely is complex, up front there’s Pinot Noir and Tart Cherry notes with a big, bready and Oaky backbone. You really can taste the Oak Barrels in this beer in the backbone, which was a huge surprise. There’s also some sweeter Cherry notes in the background, some Belgian funk and a little bit of Nutty undertone towards the finish creating a salty feel. The beer is very well bodied for a Sour and very well carbonated. It finishes dry.

If you can get your hands on this, trading, going to California or asking a friend there to get you one I really recommend it! I’ve posted this article today as Russian River have just released a new batch of Supplication! If you’re visiting in the very near future or you have friends there, I definitely recommend getting a bottle of this.

EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%

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Brown Ale – American: Port Brewing Board Meeting

Now winter is in full swing, there’s nothing like a Brown Ale to go with a dessert after a hearty Roast Dinner. That’s why I picked Port Brewing‘s Board Meeting for this Friday’s beer. An Imperial Brown Ale with Coffee and Cocoa Nibs added. I picked this beer, as I’ve only really posted IPA’s from California. This beer is proof that as well as IPA’s, you can get some great beers of any style from this state.

Let’s start with Port Brewing‘s description of the beer:

Brewed for the early risers, who sacrifice sleep and warmth for a the first meeting of the day aboard a wave to shore.
Added in 2013 to the Port Brewing year-round lineup, Board Meeting is an amplified Brown Ale, brewed with liberal additions of coffee from local San Diego roasters, Ryan Brothers and cocoa nibs sourced from famed San Francisco chocolate maker TCHO. Deep coffee flavor gives way to layers of bitter dark chocolate and a creamy vanilla body.

There’s a longer, story filled description on the actual bottle but I won’t ruin it for people that buy the beer! What I like about this description is the fact they aren’t scared to admit where they get their Coffee and Cocoa nibs from. It’s always nice to know that breweries aren’t sourcing their ingredients from Costco and actually thinking about what goes into the beer.

As this is an Imperial Brown Ale, I’d imagine it’s brewed with a lot of specialty Malt, but also there’s a Stout feel to this beer. With this in mind, I think the Malts in this beer are Biscuit Malt, Roasted Dark Malt, Special B, Chocolate Malt, a bit of Toasted malt and the English Pale and Crystal Malt base. The hops in this brew, although they don’t make up a lot of the flavour in my opinion are Magnum and Challenger, a good choice to let the Malts, Coffee and Cocoa shine through and a great choice for any Brown Ale!

When you pour this Beer, it pours very dark brown, almost black with a thick tan coloured head. It retains extremely well leaving rings of lacing around the glass. Maybe there’s Wheat in the brew too? Who knows, but for an 8.5% Beer, the head retains very well indeed. On the nose you get some Hazelnut Creame, Vanilla, Chocolate, Roasty Coffee and some Dark Fruit. It smells like a cross between Brown Ale and Stout, whilst drinking it in a local Coffee House! It’s so inviting and makes you want to dive in straight away. When you taste this beer, initially you get a kick of Bitter Coffee, making way for Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, Dark Fruits and some Bready notes. On the finish you get a little kick of Citrus, reminding you it’s definitely a Californian beer. It finishes bittersweet, full bodied with Medium to High carbonation. I really like this beer, and it’s something I will definitely seek to buy again. I recommend you do the same!

You can buy Board Meeting in the UK at:

Beers Of Europe (IN STOCK at time of Writing)

Amazon (IN STOCK at time of Writing)

For any Bars/Shops interested, unfortunately Port’s beers aren’t widely distributed but you can try contacting Beers Of Europe!

EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%