Some things are simply necessary. Essential.
Today was one of those things. Going to help brew a beer. At Bexar County of Peterborough, with that playful Texan, Mr Steve Saldana. This day was originally scheduled for 28th September 2016, the day after everything changed.
I couldn’t miss this one. It was important. To me personally, but also to #ISBF5. Because Bexar County brings fun, that certain playfulness that’s sometimes missing in beer.
I’ve loved Steve’s beers. Each one I’ve had. From the moment I tried his Pecan Coffee Mild at the Crooke Hall Inn. It was delicious. Delicate, tasty. And..... Unusual. Something that Steve makes a habit of. To say the least.
This brewday saw me up and in the road again at 4:45 am. In darkness on the M62. Witnessing driving straight out of Mad Max. When I finally got to the brewery, Steve was already there, grain ready, waiting to mash in.
When I first saw his idea, I had to double take. And thought out loud “He meant Sorachi yeah?” But no. This is Steve Saldana. This is Bexar County. Sorachi is, well, normal. Usual. And he doesn’t do the expected.
The first indication should have been the 280 Green Tea bags entering the muslin enclosure..... The grain being mashed in, that tea went into the HLT to steep, whilst we went for (a substantial) breakfast.
And then, the other ingredients started to reveal themselves. Did you know how good dried mango tastes?
And that was the least of the madness about to unfold. Sparging Green Tea was merely the start.
The smells were quite unlike anything I’ve ever smelt. Yet, melded. Sweetness, spice, fruitiness and a little acetic twist. Simply astonishing. And inspired.
This, coming from the man who brought that Kombucha Soured Milk Neapolitan Ale to #ISBF3. I almost bowed. Worshipping the sheer audacity. The blue sky thought that goes into something like this is beyond my comprehension. If that beer was “The Thin Line Between Genius & Insanity”, then this is most definitely the sequel. Oh yes.
A Mango, Green Tea and Sriracha Pale anyone? It’s the first thing I’ll be at on set up day. Its my privilege. And it will BE a privilege!
You coming? Not many tickets left at all now.
After brew, we popped along to Steve’s bar. Stoneworks. And I was glad I did, even if I could only have a (delicious) half of Thornbridge Lukas.
This place just looks - and feels - complete. Stylish without pretence. The simple things done well. With thought. And well executed.
MAN is this a beautiful place! Over 20 keg lines (mostly occupied tonight with beers from the Maine Beer Box that came over from the States) housed in a converted refrigerated container, simple, effective and well thought out. As is the bar itself.
And we need to come back. As a team. If you live within reach, deny yourself the pleasure no longer