Softland Aleworks

Big Beers Brewed in a Tiny House

Month: September, 2012


I think every homebrewer dreams about seeing the beer that he or she works so hard to perfect on the shelves of the local bottle shop, or brewed on a 10bbl system — I know I do.   And I would wager most of us take the craft of making beer every bit as seriously as the pros.  Many are even chipping away at business plans in their heads, as evidenced by the number of new breweries and breweries-in-planning that are popping up all over this country.  A small step towards reifying this daydream is to brand your beer: Most folks have a name for their brewery (ours is the Softland Aleworks) as well as for their original recipes.

And so, it is with not a little pride that I present our first offering:

Label for Augustus Saison

The label for our Augustus Saison — tasting notes to follow!


Orange Blossom CeliAle

Orange Blossom CeliAle A while back, I decided to try my hand at brewing a gluten-free beer.  Having never had a sorghum-based beer, it was a bit of a shot-in-the-dark. Nonetheless, I drew up a pretty simple recipe, in the hopes of making something light and refreshing.  Here are some tasting notes, by way of follow-up:

OG: 1.055
FG:  1.007
ABV: 6.3%

Appearance: A very clear beer, with a brilliant white head on it.  As I understand it, head retention for sorghum beers is pretty much nil —  I found that to be my experience as well.

Smell: Very light on the nose, with no hop aroma. If anything, a little bit of the coriander.

Taste: This beer could easily be called “The Lemondrop.”  I used way too much coriander for the recipe, which dominates the pallet.  I do get a fair amount of the sorghum (what I perceive as a sort of mineral-y flavor) as the coriander subsides. Having never had a commercial example of the style prior to brewing, I was not prepared for this flavor, which I think is something that grows on you — It is not a bad flavor per se, but simply a flavor that one does not encounter in most beer.  The dominance of the spices helps to mask the sorghum a bit, which is I suppose an unintended benefit.  Lastly, the late addition of honey did not add much in the way of flavor; however, it did serve to dry out the beer, giving it a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel.

Notes: Having had a number of these over the course of several weeks, I will say that I have come around to the sorghum flavor.  I had the opportunity to try Dogfish Head’s G-F offering, Tweason’ale, and found (much to my surprise) that I quite enjoyed it. And while I would not go out of my way to brew or drink gluten-free beers, I think all-in-all this beer was a success.  In the next round, I would definitely ease off the spices, maybe use a yeast with a bit more character, and play around with hop combinations. As a variation on the recipe, I would consider adding cranberries, which I think would add a nice, complementing tartness.