This summer’s focus has been on refining a handful of beers that we think hold the most promise as MNB flagship launch beers. So at the end of August, what do we have to show for it? Let’s start with the Eye Patch Ale (originally Swashchuckler IPA).
The goal with our IPA was to make a moderately hoppy brew with a bit more maltiness and body than the typical American IPA. This summer we’ve made a few small tweaks to get it just where we want it. The key changes:
- We’ve been using Cascade and Simcoe hops for flavor and aroma additions, and finally got the mix right. Too much Simcoe early on tasted a bit too much like freshly cut grass (which our cow friends thought was not a big deal – sorry, Bessie).
- Consistent yeast starters have given us attenuation rates at around 70-75%.
- A slightly lower fermentation temperature of 67-68 degrees from 72 degrees has given a cleaner, crisper finish, made possible by Joel’s space-age fermentation chamber.
- A new name (Eye Patch Ale) that isn’t quite as confusing (Wait, it’s a pirate, but a clown? And this makes sense how?), but maintains a pirate theme. Because we still love pirates.
The result? Our Eye-PA is our proudest beer – it’s a beer that I go for over almost any craft IPA. It’s also converted a number of MNB regulars to hop-heads.