|Courtesy Boom Island Brewing|
This week's Beer of the Week is full of fury: Brimstone from Boom Island Brewery.
This gorgeous, thick Belgian Tripel smells of banana split and pours out all hazy and golden, which is kind of how you feel after drinking one, thanks to its 9.5% ABV. The Hot Dish caught up with Boom Island's
owner and brewer Kevin Welch, a self-professed "Belgian freak" in the land of hopheads, to learn more about the process behind this fruity, spicy brew.
Though the set of ingredients in Brimstone is simple -- Pilsner malt, a bit of Noble hops, and candy sugar -- the result is unique because of a very special yeast strain that's added once the beer is cooled.
"The thing I find most intriguing about Brimstone is the combination of light honey and clove type esters that are created by the yeast during fermentation," says Welch. "No spices are added to the beer itself -- all the flavor is created entirely by the yeast."
Brimstone is also true to Belgian tradition in that it is considered a living beer. "That means it's unfiltered and unpasteurized so live cultures are present in the bottle itself," says Welch. "Our beer is bottled completely flat and experiences a final fermentation after it's corked so 100% of the carbonation is created naturally."
Welch also gives some insight as to the fiery name. "In Belgium if you are affiliated with a monastery or Abbey then you would give the beer a heavenly name like Saint Bernadus, Abbey d'Leffe, or Tripel Karmeliet. If you are not affiliated with an Abbey, you give your beer a more evil name. Some Belgian examples are Duvel which means Devil in Flemish, Lucifer, and La Guillotine. In keeping with this tradition our label states, 'While our inspiration may not be divine...the result very much is.' Hence the name Brimstone."
Brimstone is available in bottles at Central Ave. Liquors, Chicago Lake Liquors, and The Four Firkins in St. Louis Park.
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