Sometimes, in beer, you meet someone who is a bit….. different.
Some years ago, whilst on one of my favourite event (The Road To Wigan Beer), I was at the first pub. And I had a pint of Mild. Not just any Mild. It was a Coffee and Pecan Mild. It was utterly delicious. It challenged me to rethink what a Mild could be. It was my favourite beer of the day.
It was brewed by a little brewery in Peterborough. Called Bexar County. And that beer stayed with me.
Then, in Year 3 (or #ISBF3), we had a keg bar. That meant that I could obtain beer from outside my self-imposed boundary. Outside the North. And I contacted Steve Saldana the owner/brewer at Bexar County. He sent a beer. It was called “The Thin Line Between Genius & Insanity”. It was a “Soured Milk Neapolitan Ale” and described by Steve as tasting like layers of Neapolitan Ice Cream, sour.
It was a work of genius. Bonkers. But genius.
I was a fan. A huge fan.
And since then, we've always had a Bexar County beer. Last year, we actually had 2. One of which was my personal Beer of the Festival
Steve is a maverick genius. He plays with flavours. He does things not many Brewers would DARE to think about, let alone try.
Last year's beer for ISBF was no different.
I went to help. And not long after mashing in, found myself in a nearby wholesalers. Shopping for Sriracha Sauce.
Pale malt. Sparged with a brew of Green Tea, with mango. And that Sriracha sauce…..It sounded ridiculous. But tasted of each of those elements. Precisely as he said it would. He’s either that maverick genius, or a hypnotist.
In short, I’m a bit of a fan.
So. We had a bit of a real chat the other evening. Like on a phone. With voices and stuff. I’m a bit old fashioned like that.
This year, Steve is going to launch 3 beers at ISBF. 2 Imperial Stouts (one of them Belgian) and one of more “regular strength”. I have absolutely no doubt that there will be further twists. Mr Saldana seems to have an allergy regarding “normal” beers.
He has also agreed to do an MTB style event. On the Friday lunch session. Steve is one of the nicest beer people I know. Passionate, bloody clever and did I say slightly bonkers with his beers?
There'll be tastings, there'll be chat. There'll be fun. To be honest, I’m not altogether certain of what to expect. But I know one thing.
It certainly won’t be boring!
You might want to grab a ticket. Here’s the link.
Be kind to one another. Jx