Lancaster Craft Beerfest

Saturday! Tickets still available here:
I will be there with the Lancaster County Brewers. We will be pouring around ten different beers, including a special batch of my Table Cat.

Table Cat is my annual Children’s Strength Saison, aka Belgian Table Beer, aka Super Session Hoppy Rye Crushable Belgish Ale. The grain bill is 50% rye malt and it is hopped exclusively with Nelson Sauvin hops from Australia. You can find the full recipe at the link above, but for this, my second batch of the summer, I did make a couple small changes.
I wanted to brew this beer for the event because I think it is a good showcase of what you can do with an extremely low ABV beer. I was a little afraid it could get lost in the palate fatigue associated with a beer fest, though. To fight that, I added an extra ounce and a half of hops at flame out, taking it up to a full three ounces of whirlpool hops. In a beer this size, that it a lot.

The other change I made was skipping my usual Irish Moss addition. I had to turn this beer around very quickly and I figured it wouldn’t be clear even with the Irish Moss, I was also curious to see how much of a difference it actually made since this is a recipe I’m very familiar with. It made a huge difference. This stuff is super cloudy. It definitely doesn’t look as pretty as normal, but I think it also changed the mouthfeel. It is a little fuller bodied, despite the extremely dry finish. I’ve only sampled one bottle as I have to save it for the event, but I think the spicy rye comes through a bit more, as well.

There is definitely noticeably more bitterness, despite most homebrewing software’s assurance that no IBU’s are achieved post boil. The hop flavor seems a bit more citrusy. I was surprised how well I matched last year’s Table Cat with my first batch of the Summer and I’m surprised again with how different this one is.

In addition to Table Cat, the club will be sharing a ton of other great beers. A couple are left from our recent coconut competition, including Mike D’s Mounds of Joy stout, which rightfully won. Scott’s Cleared Headed Oat Pale Ale is an excellent example of some of trends I talked about in my last post. I haven’t tried Jon’s Grapefruit Berliner, but I haven’t yet been disappointed by one of his many twists on Berliner Weisse.

Oh yeah, there will also be some stuff there from Deschutes, New Belgium, Dogfish Head, Tröegs, Victory, Sam Adams, Fly Fish and sixty or so other breweries, if you like commercial beer.