Guest Tap #8 – Belles Big Hearted Ale

Our Guest Tap features rotating brews from collaborators including local brewers (professional and homebrewers), cooks, vintners, distillers, or whoever has a beer recipe that intrigues us. The Guest Tap brews are small test batches available only at our tasting room, so once we announce them, you’ll have to hurry in to try them!

The Moody Ales Guest Tap program keeps flowing with the introduction of Guest Tap #8. This time around our guest brewer is none other than our very own Julian Zelazny! Julian is a Master BJCP beer judge and a lover of craft beer. He can be found several nights a week serving beer behind the bar in our lounge.

With 31 years of home brewing under his belt, Julian is by far our most experienced guest brewer to date. He got into home brewing in 1984 with a desire to discover more kinds of interesting beer. He had traveled in Europe and saw how good beer could be but found the selection in North America very limited. Home brewing offered a way to reconnect to the beers that he had enjoyed in Europe. Julian’s latest batches have all been produced at the 4th Floor Brewing Company, also known as, his condo.

Julian’s best home brews? “I made some Belgian Dubbels that were pretty tasty. I won some ribbons in competition with that recipe. I also enjoy my IPA recipe (the same one I made at Moody) and my Belgian Pale ale. I made a Hefeweizen with fresh raspberries a few times that was very popular with friends and family.”

Julian’s worst home brews? “You don’t brew for as long as I have without making a few mistakes. I attempted a Pilsner many years ago that got infected with a lactobacillus bacteria and tasted like beer and sour milk. There have been a few other process upsets that spoiled the batch, luckily not too many.”

This edition of the Guest Tap features an IPA that Julian has playfully named the Belle’s Big Hearted Ale. It is an homage to one of Julian’s favorite IPAs. The Bells Brewing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan makes a beer called Two Hearted Ale, apparently named for a trout stream where Ernest Hemingway used to fish. Two Hearted Ale is a big bold IPA with a pronounced citrus character that comes from liberal use of Centennial hops. “But lest you think the beer is all hop forward,” say Julian, “there is a strong backbone of barley holding it up with some Vienna, Victory and caramel malts. I lived in the US Midwest for 9 years and faithfully enjoyed Two Hearted at my favourite watering holes while working to perfect my recipe. I hope this beer is a passable representation of Two Hearted.”

We’ll be launching the Belle’s Big Hearted Ale on Friday, September 11th. As with all the guest taps, there are only 100L of this brew, so get in and get it while it lasts!

– Dan