Friday, December 14, 2012

Belgian Pilsner

It’s like a Pilsner, but with Belgian ale yeast and a mix of German hops and Belgian-styles hops.  The most famous Belgian Pilsner is Stella Artois, but this is truly a lager and doesn’t have any Belgian character, it might as well be brewed by Budweiser…wait, it is, they are both owned by AB-InBev. 

The Yak and Yeti’s Belgian Pilsner pours cloudy instead of clear due to the low flocculating yeast, but lends some nice fruit esters and spicy phenols.  The hops come through nicely as well due to the light colored malts.  Despite finishing at a low 1 degree Plato in gravity, the beer has surprisingly a lot of body.  It comes in at 5.7% and 31IBU’s.  Served in 10oz glasses on our Haunted Beer Series tap handle.

So instead of reaching for a Bud, try our Namaste Pilsner and instead of reaching for a Stella Artois, try our Belgian Pils. It’s on tap and was released on Wed. Dec. 12th (12-12-12).


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Cheshire Cat remains

IMG_1328The Cheshire Cat can still be found in the Yak & Yeti if you look around for it.  There was a great artist that did several large format wall paintings.  This one of Alice and the grinning cat is located in our Buffet room on the south wall. 

Join me on short photo tour around the Yak & Yeti to see the remains of the Cat.    IMG_1330When you first enter, you’ll be in the bar room and on top of the bar are 3 of the original Cats that decorated the place (apparently there were a ton of cats that people brought in for display).



There is also a fireplace on the east wall of the bar room that has this picture and figurines displayed.




photoAround the bar room are also several of these wall-mounted lights.  I’ve been told these were originally gas lamps but have been converted to standard electrical.  I’m not sure, but it is plausible. IMG_1332

On the south end of the bar, as you are heading to the outdoor patio you’ll notice this photo of Eli Allen, who was the original owner of this land and build the house.  Eli was the 2nd postmaster of Arvada, 2nd to Benjamin Wadsworth.  You’ll find other photos of the Van Voorhis family and neat black & white photos of the old house before there was much of anything on that side of Ralston Road.



IMG_1329One room that you won’t see anymore is the “smoking room” that the Cat used to have.  It is now used as our private office.  There is a another one of the large format paintings of the smoking worm on top of the large mushroom from Alice and Looking Glass.  If you look at his face he is a spot-on look alike for Geoffrey Bruce, one of the owners of the Cheshire Cat Brewpub.IMG_1333IMG_1335

Let’s walk upstairs.  You’ll notice all the wall hangings have changed (even added some Karma Sutra paintings in the tower room), but what hasn’t changed is the library.  Notice the blue sky painted ceiling and many books on the shelves though-out this room.


IMG_1334Past the office to the north is a small over-flow room for private dining.  Jesus Christ himself is still hanging on the wall!IMG_1337

In the south-west corner there is an old bedroom that is called the board room.  This room still houses several of the steins, mugs and drinking vessels that were a part of the Cat’s mug club.  The room also has little closet that isn’t used for anything but to collect dust. TIMG_1336he doors look to be more Thai in influence, but we kept them, because they just look so cool.


Finally, back on the first floor is the brewery.  Yup, it’s still there anIMG_1339d is being IMG_1338used a lot more too.

Well, I ran out of photos to share, hope you enjoyed the virtual photo tour, next time, stop in person and look around and you might find other hidden treasures left behind from the Cheshire Cat.  In the meantime, I think I’ll have a beer. 



Monday, December 3, 2012

Behind the Beers: West-Coast Glutton Double Red

This beer was another one that was supposed to be brewed just once, but in addition to rounding out our offering, people really like it.  Some of our regulars rarely try anything else as this is now their go-to beer. 

The idea for this beer came from two different directions and sort of…merged.  I was getting quite a few request to make a “red ale.”  On the other hand, I wanted to make a beer that would slightly cannibalize the IPA sales so I wouldn’t run the risk of running out.   So I toyed with the idea to make a sister IPA, like an English-style to contrast our American-style.  I wasn’t certain that it was a good move, so I instead thought of doing a Double IPA (more hops and more alcohol, but not exactly double everything).  Then I remembered having a double red in the Midwest a few years back.  It was malty like a red, but hoppy like an IPA and it had a whole lot of alcohol. 

So I designed a few recipes and was going to brew a small pilot batch and put it on the Haunted Series for a test run.  The working title at the time was Doble Rojo (“doh-blay roh-ho” or literally “Double Red” in Spanish).  I never got around to making a pilot batch, it was probably on the back burner for 6 months before I needed to relieve the sales of the Himalayan IPA, so I designed a 3.5bbl batch and took a chance to brew without a test batch.  It turned out to be 10.0%,  dark red and very hoppy (twice the hops as the Himalayan IPA)  People thought the first batch was good, but had a very artificial cinnamon character suspected from the Zythos hopsThe name for the beer came from my good buddy J. Wilson who writes the beer blog and was named 2012 Beer Drinker of the Year by Wynkoop Brewing.

After releasing this beer, I discovered Pizza Port’s Shark Attack two days later.  If I was trying to clone a beer, I inadvertently did.  Then just last week I had an Oskar Blues' G’Knight which tastes very similar to the WCG as well, oops another accidental clone.  Shortly after I released my double red, Wynkoop released a Double red too called “Colorojo.” (good thing I didn’t name mine Doble Rojo!)

The second batch that I brewed I scaled up to 5.5bbl because 3.5bbl is almost impossible to boil in my steam jacketed kettle, (the side steam-jackets are too high for the wort and it takes longer to boil 3.5 than it would 5.5bbl when only using the bottom jacket).  The hops and the hopping schedule was the biggest recipe difference as I replaced the Zythos with Centennial, which is one of my favorite hops (calculated to be 150IBU’s but nobody thinks over 100IBU’s is actually possible) The other change was targeting the beer to be less big at 9.0% but my efficiencies were higher than I expected and it came in at 9.6% ABV.  The beer turned out to be a great blend of malt, hops and alcohol so I haven’t changed it since.  Due to the high alcohol content we serve this responsibly in 10oz Belgian glassware.

This beer is rapidly becoming very popular and is also a favorite at Hops & Pie, when available on tap.  If you haven’t had a pint for awhile, check it out and maybe you’ll appreciate the beer a little more knowing what’s Behind the Beer.