Posts Tagged ‘elysian’

Bifrost Six Ways

Last night the Elysian on Capitol Hill was the sight of the Winter Beer Festival. This morning, my tiny studio apartment is the sight of a massive hangover. Metblogs does the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

It was easy to pass up the sampler of guest taps to experience six different versions of Bifrost from two different vintages. (Yes, I am talking about vintages and beer.) This was the lineup:

1) Bifrost 2008
2) Jack Frost (aged in second-use Jack Daniels barrels)
3) Oak Frost (conditioned with French Oak staves for one month)
4) Brett Frost (re-inoclulated with Brettanomyces and aged in a Cabernet barrel)
5) Bifrost 2007
6) Cask Bye-Bye Frost 2007

The Jack Frost and Oak Frost were both very good; like the judicious use of oak on a good wine, these beers had added complexity. The 2007s seemed a little faded; more of a curiosity that a good example of an age-worthy beer. (This is why you get the sampler rather than committing to just one. And this is not a metaphor for life, I am just talking about beer.)

The clear winner that was so good I had to run to the ATM and come back for a schooner (only because the Elysian would not pour a pint for liability reasons) was the Brett Frost. I am familiar with Brettanomyces (a non-spore forming genus of yeast, duh) from the world of wine and my understanding is that the Brett found in wine is at best funky and at worst disgusting. The addition of Brett to the Bifrost, however, transformed the beer into something akin to a strong Belgian farmhouse ale; it was a delicious and deadly sipper.

Now enjoy the finest in cell phone camera technology; this crap photo looks like it was taken by my poor liver, which was worked harder than a rented mule:
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(Or was it the tequila and mescal-soaked karaoke at Jalisco’s in Queen Anne afterwords where the real damage took place?)

A Most Efficient Alcohol and Beta-Carotene Delivery System

The problem with most pumpkin beers is that they are so sweet, cloying, and heavily spiced that they taste like someone dumped a can of pumpkin pie filling into your beer. (And a sub-par, filler beer to start with.) Thankfully this is not the case at the Elysian, who deliver a very subtle pumpkin and spice beer, the Night Owl. Courtesy of the Elysian’s website, here is the recipe for this fall classic:

Brewed with 150 lbs. of pumpkin in each batch. Made with Pale, Munich and Crystal malts green and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin in the mash, boil and fermenter. Bittered with Horizon hops. Spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

And with the recent partnership between New Belgium Brewing and Elysian, I can now segue into a sneak preview of New Belgium’s, uh, newest beer: Giddy Up!

As the label states, this is an ale brewed with lemon peel and infused with espresso. (Is the lemon/espresso combo a cafĂ© romano?) Beer and coffee together?!? What’s not to love? I could not discern the lemon flavor, but the addition of the espresso to the beer was divine. Again, like the Elysian pumpkin ale, the flavor of the infused ingredient was present, but did not distract from the fact that this is a damn good ale on its own.

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