Bartender Ian Morgan pours a pint of cask-conditioned Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 American IPA (7.2% abv) from a cask. His personal artwork enhanced the visuals.
Falls Church, Virginia.
8 September 2012.
Several weeks earlier, Lary and Erica Hoffman —proprietors of spacebar — had traveled to the Heavy Seas Brewery, in Halethorpe, Maryland. There, with the assistance of the brewery's cellarman, Stephen Marsh, the duo racked fresh beer into a firkin (a cask that holds 10.8 US gallons), added a small measure of freshly fermenting gyle for carbonation, and (for additional flavor) infused the ale with herbs, hops, and fruit of their choosing: Kaffir lime leaves, dried Maryland peaches, 'fish' peppers, and Simcoe and Citra hops.
There are many hop varietals —grown usually only in female form— for brewers to use in their beers. Many new cultivars are released every year, but some are discontinued after a few years.
Most hops —in particular, those geared toward use by small, 'craft,' brewers— have a fruity and citrusy aroma and flavor, others grassy and floral. In addition to aroma and flavor, they impart finishing bitterness. For example, Simcoe hops are 'catty' and grapefruity, while Citra lean more toward the tropically fruity.
How was the cask that day? In tandem, the Citra hops and dried peaches created quite an insanely fresh fruit basket aroma. The 'fish' peppers added a little kick at the finish ... although that may have been foreknowledge!
- More photos from spacebar: here.
- What is cask-conditioned ale? Here.
- Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas Brewing.
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as subject. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.