Monday, October 17, 2016
Thoughts on Beer Styles - Hawksbill Brewing Co.
Our team has been working on recipe development while the other aspects of Hawksbill Brewing Company come together. Kevin and David have come up with a list of four standards, and I thought I might add to my brewing traditions series with a short post on them.
The four styles are listed below. True to the current craft brewing tradition, we’re making our own adjustments, both in terms of process and ingredients. It’s my sense that we are following more of an English brewing tradition on most of our standards, so the definitions below (all are linked to the source page) show those tendencies.
American Cream Ale: This is a mild, pale, light-bodied ale, made using a warm fermentation (top or bottom fermenting yeast), and cold lagering. Despite being called an ale, when being judged in competitions it is acceptable for brewers to use lager yeast.
Brown Ale (English Style): These brown ales range from dryer (Northern English) to sweeter (Southern English) maltiness. Roast malt tone (chocolate, nutty) may sometimes contribute to the flavor and aroma profile. Hop bitterness is very low to low, with very little hop flavor and aroma. Known for rich and advanced flavor without centering too much on hops, this style is extremely sessionable and food-friendly.
American India Pale Ale: Characterized by floral, fruity, citrus-like, piney or resinous American-variety hop character, this style is all about hop flavor, aroma and bitterness. This has been the most-entered category at the Great American Beer Festival for more than a decade, and is the top-selling craft beer style in supermarkets and liquor stores across the U.S.
Brown Porter: No roasted barley or strong burnt/black malt character. Low to medium malt sweetness, caramel and chocolate is acceptable. Hop bitterness is medium. Softer, sweeter, and more caramel-like than a robust porter, with less alcohol and body. Porters are the precursor style to stouts.
In addition to these four we’ll have rotating selections and seasonals, and sometimes we’ll feature pilot brews of recipes in development. It’s all part of the craft – and we’re working on it!