Category Archives: Brewing

Moody Ales Beer Battle Royale: Amber / Red Ales

Battle of the Amber/Red Ales

Are you ready to ruuummbbblllee!? What better way to start off the holiday season with a little friendly brew battle? Tuesday December 1, 2015marks Moody Ale’s first Beer Battle Royale! In this round, we’ll be bringing forward four uniquely different amber/red ales. We will have Roxanne’s “Red Light” Honey Red Ale, Dan’s American Red Ale, Robyn’s Ginger Red Ale, and last but certainly not least, Adam and Sho’s Chocolate Rye “Red” Ale. Who will rise to taste delicious malty victory and who will fall flat? (haha beer jokes)

Red Ale: primarily a catch all for any beer less than a Dark Ale in colour, ranging from amber to deep red hues. This style of beer tends to focus on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high. Expect a balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness in most examples.

BeerAdvocate

Here’s what they each had to say about their tasty creations:

What is the story/inspiration behind this beer? Have you made this red ale before?

Roxy: “The story of the Honey Red Ale started last November when I asked a friend of mine what beer he would like me to make for Christmas.  His request was for a red ale, which was a great request for me because it had never really crossed my mind to make that style.  Honey Red Ale had a nice ring to it and sounded delicious, so I concocted a recipe and tried it out!”

Dan: “I’ve always been a fan of red and amber ales. Back before the prevalence of craft beer I used to drink a lot of Rickard’s Red. Originally this recipe was an IRA (India Red Ale) because I was really into hoppy beers at the time. I certainly enjoyed it but some of my friends and family that weren’t so into hops thought it was too hoppy. I decided to convert the recipe to an American Red Ale (basically less hop bitterness compared to the original recipe). The hop profile is made up of additions of Chinook and Cascade used both for bittering and aroma. A healthy dose of both are used for dry hopping as well.”

Robyn: “I developed a fondness for traditional ginger beers while backpacking around the UK. I wanted to brew a beer with a nice ginger punch balanced with a sweet and malty body. Why red? I was on a craze with a newly discovered (for me) Carared malt at the time and was throwing it in everything.”

Adam & Sho: “Sho and I haven’t made this beer before.  I was inspired to make a red ale after reading about a grain from Best Malz called Red-X.  After committing to brewing a red ale I found out that everyone is currently sold out of this grain – but as they say – the show must go on!  I wanted to do something with rye and chocolate malt, with a hint of mint.  Sho and I chatted about this and he came up with a recipe which we tweaked a bit and ultimately brewed.  I was also partially inspired to do this to beat Dan in the Battle Red Ales. The beer tastes more or less as I expected, maybe not as sweet as I thought it would – but it seems to be more brown than red – which is why we called it Adam and Sho’s Chocolate Rye ‘Red’ Ale.”-Adam

“For the battle, Adam had the idea for a red ale with chocolate overtones, minty hop flavour, and a bit of spiciness from rye. I threw together the recipe, we revised it, and then the beer got brewed. Since it’s the newest and least established recipe, it’s kind of the dark horse in this race.”-Sho

Tell us about the beer and the ingredients used to make it:

Roxy: “When making this beer I wanted it to have a deep red hue, a nice malty roastyness with pronounced flavour and aroma coming through from hops and honey.  I’ve used a variety of malts in this beer including Chocolate, Caramel, Crystal, and Munich.  The hops used were Willamette and Cascade, and last but not least I added honey for a lightly sweet aroma.  I find the best way to enjoy this beer is to let it warm up ever so slightly and swirl it in the glass to really bring out the honey and hop aromas.”

Dan: “There are 7 types of barley used in this beer. The base is a blend of Canadian 2-row pale malt and UK Maris Otter, which gives the beer a nice underlying nuttiness. A combination of amber, dark munich, crystal, and chocolate malts contribute to colour and provide a balanced roasty caramel sweetness. Lastly, a small amount of flaked oats helps to round out the mouthfeel.”

Robyn: “The beer’s base is a American Red Ale with an addition of honey and fresh ginger in the boil. After fermentation more fresh ginger is added to the secondary to give it a bit more zip.”

Adam & Sho: “This beer is a Chocolate Rye Red Ale.  It uses pale malt, some mid coloured crystal malts and lots of pale chocolate and rye malts.  Northern Brewer hops provide a hint of minty-ness.  I think there may also be some holiday cheer in this one.”- Adam

“The beer’s got a good dose of rye malt for spiciness, a mild minty quality from Northern Brewer hops, and a large dose of pale chocolate malt for some rich, malty, chocolatey taste. It’s like a thin mint inspired milk shake re-imagined in beer form.”-Sho

If you had to choose any one else besides yourself, who do you think would win the battle of the red ales/ which red ale is your favourite (besides yours)?

Roxy: “What I love about this battle is each of the Red Ales is unique and completely different from the other ones!  If I had to choose a favourite it would be Robyn’s Ginger Red.  It’s the perfect comforting and delicious beer for this time of year!  Plus I am a sucker for ginger.”

Dan: “The other three red ales are all really good and I will be drinking my share of all three, but if I had to pick a favourite it would probably be the Ginger Red Ale. I’m a sucker for red ales and I’m a sucker for ginger so it’s only natural that I would gravitate towards this one.”

Robyn: “I’d say it’s a toss up between Dan American Red or Roxy’s Turn off the Red Light. Both are extremely delicious yet incredibly different.”

Adam & Sho: “this is a tough one, each of these beers is different and enjoyable in it’s own right.  I think I have to choose Roxy’s Honey Red though.  She’s brewed this a few times and I really like it, the honey comes through, it’s got a nice maltiness with balanced hops.”-Adam

“I think Dan’s red has some excellent hop aroma that keeps me drinking. But then Roxy’s red is infinitely drinkable. On the other hand I can’t think of any other beer than Robyn’s gingered red that I would rather have next to a large plate of Korean fried chicken.”-Sho

What are you brewing next? What will the next battle be?

Roxy: “I have a bunch of beers on the go at home so I’ll see if any of them pass the test to make at the brewery.  Maybe we can do a Battle Stout Galactica?  Whatever we do I’m pumped for the next challenge!”

Dan: “It’s hard to say when we’ll have another battle of the beers or exactly what that will look like. We have so many recipes to squeeze into our brew schedule so the stars may not align again for a little while. I do have a couple of other ideas for similar types of events so stay tuned…”

Robyn: “I’ll be brewing up a rauchbier, a smoked German lager. Hmm… next battle? I’d say a cask off perhaps?”

Adam & Sho: “I’ve been thinking a lot about Belgian quadruples – It’s the time of year for something big and sticky to keep us warm at night!  Battle of the quads could get a bit messy though!”-Adam

“I’ll be making a biere de mars, an amber farmhouse ale. I think I’m done with battles, maybe a reconciliation collaboration brew to mend our relationship.”-Sho

 

Now that you’re all enticed (and most likely thirsty), come join us at the launch of our first Beer Battle Royale right here in the Moody Ales tasting lounge on Tuesday December 1st! You’ll be able to sample all four delicious red ales in a beer flight and judge for yourselves! But hurry, because there is only one keg of each!

 

-Gabby

 

 

Guest Tap #10 – Novia’s Smoked IPA

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 has reached double digits with Guest Tap #10. This batch of Smoked IPA was brewed on our pilot system by Novia Chen, a relatively new brewer, who along with her partner Sho Ogawa, are making a big splash on the home brew scene!

Here is the question and answer session with Novia:


Dan: How did you get into homebrewing?

Novia: Being a long-term beneficiary of my partner Sho’s homebrew and having participated in developing foreign extra stout for our first competition, I figured that it would have been even more fun and constructive towards the creation of the beer that we drink at home if I also brew.

Dan: How long have you been brewing?

Novia: I assisted in Sho’s brewing sessions from time to time, and did my first one-gallon brew of a farmhouse ale in May, 2015. We’ve worked together on 22 batches since.

Dan: Best and worst beer you’ve made at home?

Novia: Smoked IPA turned out to be my favorite, although our plum Oud Bruin got better reviews. All the beer that we’ve made is good so far!

Dan: Why this beer?  What was the inspiration?

Novia: For some reason, Sho and I really enjoy making odd-sounding or rare beer styles. The combination of smoked beer and IPA immediately grabbed our interest. Having just moved back to town from Connecticut, USA, I can’t deny that the east coast Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA made an impact on this beer.

Dan: Tell us about the beer and the ingredients used.

Novia: We went for simple malt bill: 2-row, dark munich and beechwood smoked malt. I decided on a mix of US and Australian hops that could bring forward citrus and stone fruit notes which were magnum, palisade, galaxy and topaz. Sho wanted super resiny hops, but we went with my plan.


Novia’s Smoked IPA comes in at 6.9% with an IBU of 43. The beer goes on tap at Moody Ales on Tuesday, November 24th and as with all the guest taps, there are only 100L of this brew, so get in and get it while it lasts!

-Dan

Guest Tap #9 – Redemption Cascadian Dark 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 lives on with the introduction of Guest Tap #9. This time around our guest brewer is not one, but two awesome home brewer’s Amy and Mathew.  Lovers of craft beer, Amy can be found working at the Lounge of our good friends Dageraad Brewing.

Inspired by a friend’s homebrew which opened their eyes to how good homebrew could be, they started brewing for themselves in March of 2015 – this makes the fact that they ran this brew almost on their own on our pilot system even more impressive.

Their worst brew to date?  A delicious IPA that didn’t carbonate – flat beer isn’t very good.  They say their best brew was the version of this CDA they brought us a a couple of months ago, the reason they we are here today!

So why brew a CDA? We’ll let Amy tell you.   “Quite honestly, it was inspired by a bar of soap that a friend made.  It was dark brown in colour, and smelled like lemon.  I thought I have to brew a beer like this!  With light citrus flavour on a dark malt base.  Voila!

This was a fun project.  Matthew was in charge of the malt profile, and after researching, he decided on Maris Otter, Crystal 30, and Carafa Special II

Amy came up with the hops varieties and schedule.  We used Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Sorachi Ace, in hopes that their citrus flavours would come through in the beer.
We were also gifted some lemon balm by some friends who suggested we might brew with it one day.  Well, they were right!  This was the beer that needed the lemon balm, and we were excited to incorporate it!”

gt9

We’ll be launching the Redemption Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) on Tuesday November 3rd. As with all the guest taps, there are only 100L of this brew, so get in and get it while it lasts!

– Adam

GUEST TAP #6 – Watermelon “Redwheat” IPA

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!

For our sixth Guest Tap, we will be pouring a watermelon wheat IPA brewed by home brewers Vince and Julio and our head brewer Dan.

Vince and Julio are local home brewers and long-time craft beer lovers. They’ve been brewing seriously for about 3 years with all grain and dabbled with a few beer kits before that. “We wanted to replicate what was being done in craft breweries at home and also try and make unique beers that we dream up.”

Best home brew to date? A “black evil midnight” Hefeweizen. Be sure to ask them about the story behind that one if you see them in the lounge. Worst brew? A chocolate coconut porter that they’ve since tweaked after learning a lot from the first one!

What was the inspiration for this guest brew? “We love this beer, it’s a summer beer with a hoppy kick. It’s what we like to have on the patio after a brew day in the summer heat. The inspiration was the love of wheat IPAs and the love of watermelon on a hot summer day!”

The beer itself has quite a bit of hops for a wheat IPA. It’s also a little unique as it uses a substantial amount of caramel/crystal wheat which gives it more body and colour than a typical wheat IPA. “We really had to test a lot to get the watermelon to come through enough to taste it. Dry hopping it at the end gives it a nice floral essence that works perfect with the watermelon.”

For this 62 IBU, 6.5% ABV recipe, the guys started with an early addition of Bravo and followed up with Citra and Centennial as finishing hops. They also included a healthy dose of dry hopping with Cascade hops. The unique combination caramel wheat malt, hop character, and essence of watermelon make this beer a must-try!

We’ll be launching the Watermelon “Redwheat” IPA on Friday, August 7th. There are only 100L of this brew, so don’t wait too long! Vince and Julio will be around the lounge to enjoy their brew with others and chat about beer!

– Dan

Guest Tap #3 – Mario and Michael’s Foreign Export Stout

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!

For our third Guest Tap, we will be pouring a Foreign Export Stout brewed at Moody Ales by Michael and Mario. Michael and Mario recently entered the Tricities Brew Club’s Stout and Porter competition and placed first.  Their prize was to brew their winning recipe with Dan at Moody Ales on our pilot system.

Mario has been brewing at home since early 2014.  After convincing his wife that making their own beer would save them money (my wife fell for this one also), they picked up a starter kit from the local homebrew shop and got hooked.

Michael started brewing after realizing that brewing beer was at the intersection of his love for craft beer, gardening and cooking and has been brewing at home for about 4 years.  He even grows his own hops in his garden.

Here is what they had to say about their inspiration for the beer.

 Our 1880 Stout is based on a historical grain bill dug up from a 1960’s book which quoted an old Guinness brewer’s log by Ronald Pattinson of the ‘Shut Up About Barclay Perkins‘ blog. His final recipe, which he’s published in a guide to vintage beer, turned out fairly different from ours, aside from the grain bill. His is a lot hoppier, where as I prefer to let the malt shine.

Prior to 1880, it was illegal to brew beer with unmalted barley in the UK, as that was where the inevitable tax was levied. This meant that roasted barley, which is used in modern Guinness, could not be used.

It is a simple recipe, which I find makes the best beers. A base of British pale malt, a scoop of Amber malt, with it’s rich chocolate and coffee flavours, and a dash of Black Patent for colour and roastiness.

Worst beers they have made? Their worst beer was made together, it was a stout and involved reducing part of the wort down by half to increase caramelization, cocoa nibs and cold brewed coffee.  It ended up too acidic and bitter.  Michael says “it tasted of sadness.”

Mario mashing out.

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Two pounds of backyard hops for Michael’s favourite IPA

We’ll be launching Michael and Mario’s Foreign Export Stout on Friday March 13th.  There are only 100L of this brew, so get in and try this tasty stout while it lasts!  Michael and Mario will be around Friday night if you’d like to meet the brewers or ask any questions.

– Adam

Guest Tap Two – Roxy’s Turn On The Red Light Honey Red 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!

For our second Guest Tap, we will be pouring a Honey Red Ale brewed at Moody Ales by our very own Roxanne Cartwright. For those of you who have not been into our tasting room, Roxanne is the smiling face greeting you when you get here.  On top of serving all of you fine folks your beers with a smile, Roxanne is an avid home brewer.

Roxanne has been homebrewing for about a year and a half and has brewed a number of styles, both from kit and all grain.  Always up for a challenge, Roxanne asked her guests visiting for Christmas what beer they would like her to make.  “They said, ‘Honey Red Ale’ so I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it!'”

So what are the best and worst beers Roxanne has made? She’s most happy with the way this Honey Red Ale turned out. “You’d think that the tin can of ‘Canadian Adventure Ale’ malt extract syrup that I bought from Superstore would be the worst batch of beer I’ve made.  But it sadly was not”.  Her worst brew was a failed attempt at a pumpkin ale which started with roasting way too much pumpkin and finished with a carboy full of a super thick pumpkin beer solution that had to be filtered through a sieve.  “I learned my lesson.  Not that I won’t keep experimenting…”

“To me this beer smells like honey and hops!” says Roxanne. “It’s a blend of American and Canadian ingredients and it falls somewhere between an Irish Red Ale that is malt-focused and an American Red Ale that is more hop-focused.  The malts used are Pale, Munich, Crystal, and Black Patent, which combine to give it a reddish-hue and moderate malt aroma and flavor.  The malts are complemented with American Cascade and Willamette hops which are brought out a lot in the flavor.  Of course there’s honey added and some flaked oats for head retention.”  We think it’s delicious and can’t wait for you all to try it!

 

Roxanne Bottling

Roxanne bottling a batch of her homebrew, we love the use of the cutting board as a bottling platform!

 

We’ll be launching Roxy’s Turn On The Red Light Honey Red Ale on Friday February 20th.  There is only 100L of this batch, so get in and try this awesome beer while you can!  Roxanne will be working in the tasting room so you can ask her all about the beer.  She’s a bit nervous to be serving her own recipe, so come out, support her and show her some love!

– Adam

Guest Tap Launch with Lemon Matcha Saison

Soon we will be launching our Guest Tap at Moody Ales. The Guest Tap will feature 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!

For our first Guest Tap, we will be pouring a Matcha (Green Tea) Saison brewed at Moody Ales by local homebrewer Steve Sheldon. Steve is a member of the Tri-Cities Brew Club with Moody Ales founders Dan and Adam, which is where Dan and Adam first tried this beer and asked Steve to come brew it.

Steve has been homebrewing for three years and has brewed over thirty batches. He has brewed a variety of styles, his favourite being a Cascadian Dark Ale. For the Matcha Saison he was inspired by the earthy bitterness of the tea and thought it would pair well with a saison. According to Steve, “I figured a good dry saison would be good, as the funkiness of it would add to the earthy flavour of the tea.”

Steve’s first few attempts at pairing matcha with beer did not go smoothly (which is half the fun of homebrewing): “I did some initial experiments by adding matcha to Four Winds Saison bottles and after a rather humourous Tri-Cities Brew club meeting where I opened the beer with the powder in it, we all learned about nucleation in carbonated drinks (think Coke + Mentos).” Ultimately, Steve made a vodka matcha infusion to impart the tea flavour to his homebrew and for his Moody Ales brew, a simple hot water tea.

This traditional Belgian Saison is crisp with a moderately high level of carbonation, and finished dry giving it a wine-like mouthfeel, a little bit of funkiness in the aroma. Slightly spicy at first giving way to some hop bitterness before the earthiness of the matcha green tea, which leaves a slight lingering bitterness. Refreshing and unique.

We’ll be launching Steve’s Lemon Matcha Saison on Friday February 6th.  There is only 100L of this batch, so get in and try this awesome beer while you can!  I’m having a glass while I write this and it’s fantastic, nice job Steve – we may need to make a larger batch of this. Steve will be at the brewery to chat beer in the evening.

– Adam