On tap this week: Tepache and Copper Ale

It’s been a busy week around the brewery, fixing stuff and finishing a lot of little things that no one is likely to notice. One thing you may notice is that the cedar paneling that stopped where the service area originally sat has finally been extended to the end of the wall. It may not matter to most people, but it’s been buggin’ me for months.

But you guys don’t care about that. You want beer. I’ve got beer. I’ve got more beer than I’ve got room to store, or space to put it on the menu board. The last few months of speed brewing finally has me ahead of demand a little bit. The Tepache carbonating, in kegs, and will be ready to serve tomorrow (Thursday). In case you’ve never heard of it, Tepache (pronounced “Teh-pah-chay”) is a refreshing “beer” made of sugar, pineapple, cinnamon and clove from the Sonoran region of Mexico. It is often fermented wild, from the yeast on the skins of the pineapple. It is damn near impossible to control this way, and after a lot of research, I’ve found it is delicious fermented with water kefir, a symbiotic culture somewhat similar to ginger beer plant and kombucha. The result is a slightly sour, slightly sweet, fizzy, mildly alcoholic beverage with lots of probiotic goodness that is quite refreshing on hot summer days. I put parentheses around “beer” because it is not made with grain sugar, but brown sugar, or panela/piloncillo, an unrefined brown sugar. Don’t expect maltiness from this dram, but something more akin to our Bee’s Wine, like an adult soda.

My Summer Copper Ale is ready to drink. With a grain bill of 2 row, Rye, Wheat, Caramel and a touch of Carafa II. It is a relative of the Wheated Red, but it is much drier and lighter in alcohol (5.5%). Boil hops are Palisade, Cascade and Ahtanum, with a generous dry-hopping of Palisade and Mosaic. I was going to wait for something to run out before tapping it (ahem, Saison), because I don’t have space for it. Since the Tepache is delayed a day, I’m going to have it on this afternoon, but I’m going to have to pull it tomorrow to make way for delicious pineapple beer, until the Saison blows. If you want the Copper, drink Saison!

Tap list is as follows: Rye IPA, CDA, West Coast IPA, Pale Ale, Wheated Red Ale, Summer Copper Ale, Saison, Bee’s Wine, and (tomorrow!) Tepache.

Next up on the limited edition beers – Farmhouse IPA! Fermented with the Saison yeast, and finished with our house strain. It is bittered entirely through hop-bursting. No hop was boiled longer than 20 minutes – a totally wasteful, but delicious and aromatic way to brew beer. Centennial and Galena in the boil, Horizon dry hopped.