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Two More Years

After all this time old man Giles is still around — mug definitely hoisted in the air, pleading for more weight. In fact, so much has been piled upon him that the town has run out of stone*. New rock must be sourced and that buys us a little time to reflect upon these last two years. Sit down and I’ll pour you a pint…

Beer
Since our last update in May 2010 we’ve brewed 14 new batches under the GCBC label — some completely new concepts, and others recreations of past favorites:

Blueberry Kolsch, The Great Gulper, Dark Things, Harvest Brown, Double IPA, Raisin Olde Ale, Zuricher II, Ril Dil Pils II, Hop Ceiling, Homstead Noble Pils, Pumphaus Pumpkin Heffe, Dark Things II, Rust, Golden Fleece II

Last June, an old friend from San Francisco stopped by. As a side project we brewed a clone of a favorite beer, 21st Amendment’s Watermelon Wheat. Since it’s not distributed here the next best thing was to try and replicate it. The result was spot on. A crisp beer so refreshing and delicious that it resulted in more than a few than a few afternoon blackouts and served as the catalyst for the brewing marathon that followed.

After just a few pints, our friend Jason Shea was so inspired (or drunk?) that he purchased an [expensive] replica of the GCBC brew system on the spot. Over time he’s become a loyal apprentice  and together we’ve brewed several collaboration batches:

American & Belgian Pale Ale, ECHOFest II, Coffee Stout & India Dark Ale

Moving On
Brewmaster Zac purchased a new home last May — a charming, old world colonial in Hebron very fitting to his style. We brewed the Homestead Noble Pils on-site in the old barn out back and lagered it for almost a year. Tasty.

Brewery friend & consultant Dan “D-Money” Smith (a key contributor on batch #1 – Pumpkin Porter) also left to attend grad school in Philadelphia — he’s now our CEO in training. Before he said goodbye to Connecticut we hit up the beach in Watch Hill, RI where we discovered the joys of Copper Bell light. For $4.99/12 pack at Whole Foods this stuff is cheaper than water. I don’t often stray away from Giles’ own brew, but when I do, I’m a Copper Bell man.



A Storm Is Brewing
New England was devastated in August 2011 by tropical storm Irene. For 7 days the brewery was without power and the lagers went warm. Like Giles himself, the brews soldiered on and persisted despite the harsh conditions. We like to think that the Homestead Noble Pils has a bit of extra character for it.

It couldn’t happen again, right? Two months later the hurri-blizzi-cane knocked out power for another week. The lagers rejoiced while the rest of us died a little bit inside. I felt for everyone from my luxury hotel room in Chicago.



The Future

Spring is here and the beer is fresh. Our hop crop is up to almost 20 vines. We have kegs of Rust, our latest American Pale Ale, and the Golden Fleece will be tapped soon. There is talk of Jay brewing a Blueberry Heffe and Giles’ has considered crafting a brewery first — a German Radler — using an authentic Helles base.

Good times ahead! Stay thirsty, friends.



* …or just maybe Brewmaster Zac stole it all for use in his stone wall.

Posted in Brewer's Notes.

Two Months of Silence

A One-Hundered Year Rain
The heavens opened up and flooded the brewery at the end of March. Rebuilding required a little time, a bit of money, but most of all, it took a lot of beer. One of GCBC’s biggest fans stepped up and offered to help. Perhaps it was his good heart, but we like to think that the prospect of working next to three open taps may have made it too hard to turn the job down. Floor boards were laid, molding was cut, paint was applied and pints were gulped. Many pints. Tall, 20oz full-pour imperial pints. Alright, so maybe an entire keg was consumed during reconstruction. But we make beer for our friends and its most gratifying to see them enjoy it. Thanks again, Clem.

Around the same time, a couple of old friends visited for the weekend. They were quite intrigued to learn of the Raspberry Milk Stout sitting idle in the storage closet. Being a sweet dessert beer, it did not kick as quickly as a session brew might and was taken off the lines to make room for another keg. Seeing as a tap line just opened up, it was put back on CO2. These two gulped it down warm and then asked for more. They loved it!

RIP RDP
As expected, the final keg of our RDP (Ril Dil Pils, batch #22) didn’t last long. Lagered since November, post-ride and post-workout rehydration sessions put a quick dent in the supply. RDP established Czech Pils as a definitive GCBC style. Looking forward, we have considered investing in dedicated lager fridge so that we could brew these beers all year round.

Back on the Horse
Sensing an approaching beer shortage, we fired up the burner in late April and took to the brewing the Golden Fleece (batch #30). Just tonight I kegged the East Coast variety. Smooth and refreshing; a gulper sure to rival it’s predecessor (batch #17) in drinkability. It’ll be ready for the weekend, as will be the lagered version of our Smoked Blonde (batch #28) which was also kegged just a couple of hours ago.

Hop Crop
Finally, I have yet to post about the GCBC home-grown hop field which was started last year. Given all the rain and nature of a first year growth, the yield was disappointing. However, growth has been impressive so far this season. The Cascades and Glaciers have both breached the wall (over 10ft high) while the Horizon vines struggle in comparison. Up top, we planted five new varieties: Newport, Sterling, Zeus, Magnum and Nugget. Expect a harvest ale in late August with fresh & sticky hop cones — direct from the vine to the kettle.

What’s Next?
Citra Pale Ale. More on that later.

Posted in Brewer's Notes.

Seventeen-B, Please!

While our Oktoberfest suffers a yeasty onslaught, supplies have been procured for the next brew. Batch #30 will be an American style Golden Ale (#6B Blonde) utilizing an interesting assortment of malts never before exploited at GCBC.

Malts: Simpson’s Golden Promise, Simpson’s Golden Naked Oats, Weyerman Carahell, Carapils
Hops: Hallertau, US Goldings
Yeast: WLP060 American Ale Blend, WLP008 East Coast Ale

“Sweet berry-nut flavor. Use to add a deep golden hue, light caramel flavors, and a creamy, satiny finish.”

Our last Golden Ale, batch #17, was a delicious post-ride gulper and a tourist favorite. Ten gallons disappeared a little too quickly. Some speculate that a case was taken into evidence at the CPD for being too tasty.

Polska! Polska! Enjoying a round of #17B

Posted in Brewer's Notes.

Batch #29 – ECHO’fest

Giles was not only a husband, farmer & brewer* — he was a strong, stubborn son of a bitch that was claimed to have beaten a boy to death in a violent rage. Suffice to say, he was a busy man and busy men have vices. After a trying day behind the plow (or beating his farm hand), Giles often enjoyed a jigger of lager. When it was available, he preferred traditional Märzenbier. Today we brewed a batch in his honor for our friends to enjoy when the summer ends and the leaves once again paint New England in a cornucopia of color.

Batch #29 brings together eight malts, three hops and a five heaping pounds of sweet potatoes to blend both the traditional and the colonial.

Two distinct yeasts were pitched: a strict bottom fermenting lager, and a hybrid that can ferment across a wide range of temperatures. Named “Cry Havoc”, this unique strain has much in common with old Mr. Corey: unsettling and uncompromising; unforgiving and unwilling to accept false truths. We like to think of each cell as a little Giles — billions upon billions, slowly yet surely, beating the life out of the sugar rich wort with defiance and unwavering resolve. Or maybe in just another violent fit.

* unverified; citation needed

Posted in Brew Day.

Giles Corey Oktoberfestbier

Preparations have been made for GCBC’s 29th batch: Oktoberfest. This is the maltiest beer we’ve ever planned — the weight and diversity of the grist would surely force a false confession from Giles.

Malt: Pilsner, 2 Row, Munich, Vienna, Aromatic, Carapils, Victory, Caramel
Yeast: WLP862 Cry Havoc, Wyeast 2633 Oktoberfest Blend
Hops: The noblest Hallertauer, Tradition, and Saaz direct from the hop fields of Bavaria

5.61%, 27.6 IBU, 10.2 SRM

In other news, Spring is quickly approaching. Our Coming of Age Pale (Batch #27, CALI001) has been kegged and was enjoyed by all at ECHO’s group ride last weekend. Stop by the brewery for a pull this week and try a sample of Transatlantic IPA (#26), set to go on next.

Posted in Brewer's Notes.

Batch #28 – Smoked Blonde

Our Smoked Blonde turned out to be more like a Deviant Redhead. Old Giles would no doubt take one of each.

Malts: Pale Two Row, Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Caramel (20L)
Hops: Saaz & Syrian Goldings
Yeast: Wyeast American Ale 2, Wyeast California Lager


Enjoying the last of our Ril Dil Pils on a warm winter day.



Posted in Brew Day.

Completed Logo

Cheryl has completed our logo.

MORE GRAIN!

Posted in Labels & Artwork.