This week’s beer-themed painting is of my homebrewed Saison chillin’ in the snow on top of Flattop Mountain. After a vigorous hike to the summit we drank the beer while enjoying the view and then had a good time sliding down the snow on our way down. I chose to paint homebrew this week because May 7th is the day that National Homebrew Day was announced before Congress in 1988. Last Saturday the Great Northern Brewers Club put on an event known as Brew-a-thon where home brewers of Anchorage showed up to brew together. It is a national event that kicks off with a nationwide toast at noon CDT, 9AM here in Anchorage! I teamed up with newly retired Rick Levinson to brew a California Common Beer (like Anchor Steam Beer) we are calling the Steamy Retirement. I have been home-brewing for ages and consistently putting out homebrews for ten years now, but I recently upgraded my system from a less than five-gallon setup, to a ten-plus-gallon, all-grain, two-kettle brewery. I enjoy every aspect of the brewing process, except for cleaning fermenters, which is the most boring, although extremely important part of the job. In brewing, cleanliness is next to godliness! I have filled every fermenter I own with beer from the new system. Cheers to Arctic Brewing Supply for having every piece of gear a home-brewer could ever need, and all the ingredients to make world-class beer! I hope your homebrew tastes fresher and more delicious than any commercial beer! If you brew with the GNBC, you are on your way!
Today’s beer painting is of my favorite homebrew of all time known as the SPR, Scott’s Private Reserve. All great beers have three-letter name acronyms: IPA, ESB, APA, PBR, and now SPR. I named my favorite beer after myself, because I wanted people to know that I made it. This is the first beer recipe I made 100% on my own, and I am constantly monkeying with the formula, mostly because I try to keep my homebrew affordable, and I use ingredients that are freshest and readily available. Large doses of dark grain and hops make this dark beer more of a porter than a stout. I brewed this particular dark ale with California ale yeast #5 from White Labs, the liquid yeast that comes in a vial. This yeast produces a fruity quality in the brew. I used exclusively Simcoe hops, which is one of my favorites. Normally utilized as a bittering hop, this high alpha hop does the trick nicely. Simcoe has a piney citrus aroma that will knock your hat in the creek! I brewed three batches in a row, each with different hops and yeast. The dark grain is always delicious with any combination of yeast and hops to go along with it. This is a session beer that is not too strong. I hate hangovers and I brew this one to be consumed during the long dark winter when people gather and have deep conversations in Alaska. I keep the beer light in alcohol, but high in flavor to enhance the moment.
Here’s to homebrewing! A fun hobby with great results! If you haven’t had an SPR, stop by and I’ll pour one out for ya!