Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brewday - Overcast Island Ale II

The second incarnation of the Overcast Island Ale is the newest attempt to create the ultimate Island beer; the beer for all seasons, even if they happen all in the same day. This beer was conceived one rainy winter's day in Victoria as the brewer drank a pint of heavy stout while contemplating the vagueries of life. The black drop was perfect until, as often happens on the Island, the rain decided to stop, the clouds parted, and the sun began to shine. Suddenly, the beer no longer fit the mood, but seemed heavy under the heat of the new rays. It was then that it dawned on me that a new beer was needed, something to fit any circumstance, to drink in the sleet or hail, the rain or snow, the heat and sun. Something that was indeed, an Island Ale. And thus Overcast Island Ale was born.

The first OIA met with much success, made with an ale yeast but brewed cool so as to carry features of both an ale and a lager. It carried a sweetness from its crystal malt and a mild hop character, as well as clean lager notes from its cool fermentation. But I felt its drinkability could still be improved on and so in its newest form the crystal malt has been reduced to lessen its sweetness. In addition, the ale yeast has been replaced with a California lager yeast that is specially designed to combine the fruity and malty complexity of an ale, with the crisp drinkability of a lager. Stay tuned for more on this beer once it is ready to drink.

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