lately I have been on a little cider kick. not just any cider, mind you, but the funky, lambic-esque basque cider found in spanish sagardotegis.
- after reading about the isastegi sagardo naturala over at lambic and wild ale, I picked up a few bottles to try, along with sarasola’s sagardoa. I was greatly impressed with both ciders’ complex funk and smooth tartness, and grew interested in emulating them.
- unfortunately, there is little information available online regarding techniques for producing basque cider, so I either had to pick up a book on cider and hope for more info on specific apples and yeast/bugs or just ad-lib and hope for the best. the homebrewer in me immediately chose the latter, and I ended up pitching the dregs of two bottles of basque cider into a gallon of pasteurized, unfiltered organic juice.
- after a few days with no visible activity, I combined the gallon and dregs with three more gallons, added a packet of red star montrachet yeast, and placed my fermenter into the fridge at 67F. with significantly different juice from the basque region and questionable bottle dregs, I’m a little pessimistic about the results, but I’ll be happy with even a small amount of earthy complexity in my resulting cider.
last weekend AP and I also met up with OA and friends in downtown long beach to try out beachwood’s new brewery.
- after hitting up a happy hour ommegang hennepin and turkey burger at congregation, AP and I made the 30 second walk over to beachwood. the long beach venue was less crowded than their seal beach counterpart usually is, and we got a table as soon as we got in.
- the guest taps were pretty killer, and highlights included selections from jolly pumpkin (which I have gratefully been seeing more of in socal), lost abbey, ballast point, and alesmith. I grabbed a pour of bam noir and watched julian shrago pour candi sugar into a steaming boil kettle behind the bar. pizza port’s boneyard barleywine took precedence over any beechwood brews as my last pour, but word on the street is they’re pretty tasty.
- I anticipate many more trips over to downtown LB now that two great beer spots are on the same block. now beachwood just has to finish up their bottle shop and I’ll be set…
in other news:
- AP and I hit up sourfest over at library alehouse, and enjoyed 6 oz. flights of brews like jolly pumpkin’s e.s. bam, ommegang’s aphrodite, telegraph’s obscura fortis, lost abbey’s red poppy, eagle rock’s yearling, and von honsebrouck’s st. louis geuze. killer!
- AP and I celebrated with a 3 year old bottle of westvleteren 12 brought back from the source, which was fruity, rich, and incredibly satisfying.
- I waxed the mead I had just bottled (double dipped each bottle to enhance their presentation).
- I wish every week could be this eventful!