India brown ale on the way!

On Friday our third test batch was brewed, this time an India brown ale. The beer will be brewed to celebrate Halvor Kittelsen Elle’s ten-year anniversary as a bartender at Henrik Øl og Vinstove, and if God is willing, pigs don’t fly and the Creek don’t rise it will be on tap there later this fall.

Packing a punch

It packs a nice punch of both malt and hops, with Special B lending notes of dark fruit to the beer, while brown and chocolate malts provide a subdued but complex roasty character. A healthy dose of demerara sugar gives it a nice and dry finish. We’re going back to the roots with the hops and use Cascade for both flavor and aroma. Our trusted companion, Chinook, is used both for first wort hopping and as a dry hop together with some more Cascade.

While the hopping is not as aggressive as in our imperial amber, the pine and grapefruit tones are powerful enough to stand up to the rich maltiness on offer in this ale. The trusty WLP001 yeast from White Labs does the most important work in a cool fermentation that really leaves room for the malt and hops to shine.

Blichmann rocks!

A new toy!

We are big fans of Blichmann brewing gear, and use a number of their products in our test brewing. This time yet another piece of equipment from Blichmann was put to use; a brand spanking new seven gallon Fermenator. While it is highly doubtful that it will make the beer any better, it sure looks nice and makes harvesting yeast a breeze. Thank you John Blichmann!

Imperial Amber re-brew!

Today Henrik Imperial Amber was re-brewed at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. We are very exited about the beer and the fact that this blast of malts and hops is mere weeks away from consumption. We didn’t change anything about the recipe – so expect lots and lots of flavor. However, this was not the only brew hitting the copper today, but we’ll get to that a little later.

Bigger and better!
Today’s brew session yielded 16HL, or 1600 liters, of Henrik Imperial Amber wort that was sent straight to the fermenter where a big slurry of WLP001 was eagerly awaiting the sweet manna. That’s more than double the amount we brewed last time. In a couple of days a monstrous load of Amarillo hops is going to give this beer its signature aroma. We can’t wait!

New and improved!
As mentioned earlier the Henrik Imperial Amber Ale was not the only beer brewed at Lervig today. From the sweet wort of Henrik Imperial Amber an exciting new recipe for Lervig Winter Ale was born. The two beers were created from the same grist, the Henrik Imperial Amber one, and the same mash. After mash-out the two beers were boiled separately as the two beers have radically different hopping schedules. The Lervig Winter Ale also had lots and lots of raisins added to the boil.

Look for Henrik Imperial Amber Ale in a couple of weeks at Henrik Øl & Vinstue!

Supermax given the go-ahead!

Johnny is very pleased with the new brew.

Yesterday the guys at Henrik Øl og Vinstove gave Supermax Lager the final green light. Although we were already really happy with the beer ourselves, it’s always nice to know that our ideas hit their mark. “Just what I hoped for“, bartender and beer enthusiast Halvor Kittelsen Elle said. Owner Johnny Ve was no less happy; “We can sell quite a lot of this,” he said with a smug smile on his face.

On draft and in kits
Hopefully this Simcoe and Amarillo driven lager (there’s also some Chinook in there, of course!) will be brewed sometime before Christmas. It’s exclusive to Henrik Øl og Vinstove, so Bergen is the place to be. If you can’t make it to Bergen, beer kits will be available for home brewers at Bryggselv.

Testing out a new hop variety

Hallertauer Blanc

Shrouded in secrecy, well maybe not so secret, we have been testing out a new hop variety called Hallertauer Blanc donated to us by our friend Mike Murphy at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. The grist was about as easy as they come – 96% Belgian pilsner and 4% Crystal 150 EBC. About 100 grams of hops were used in 20 liters. Since we were focusing on the hops we used most of it in the latter portion of the boil and for dry hopping. Fermentation was done on the cool side with WLP001.

Nelson Sauvin – move over
The result was a fruity, tart and crisp ale weighing in at 5.3%, with a tropical aroma and flavor with hints of grapes, gooseberry and grapefruit. The Hallertauer Blanc reminded the tasters of Nelson Sauvin. Finally, a substitute for that hop! Good news for both home and pro brewers.

A nice healthy and cool fermentation

And who were the tasters? None other than the fine folks at Lervig Aktiebryggeri. The hop flavor tickled their collective fancy and an order was placed with the hop farm.

Can I get a taste?

Share the love – that’s what we say. The ale, named Point Blanc, will be shipped to Bjorleik 2012, and the attendees there will get first dibs on the ale. The rest will probably be served up at Mandag i Annen at Cardinal. Not going to any of these events? Contact Kim and we’ll see if we can fix you up with some.

Happy brewing!

ABC is looking for a logo

Mashing in – no problem. Designing logo – big problem.

Hi there sports fans. Think you got what it takes to design a kick ass logo for us? Or know someone who does? We would love to get a spanking fresh logo from you guys. As it turns out neither Gahr nor Kim has any noteworthy skills when it comes to logo design, so help is sorely needed.

Nudge us in the right direction
If you don’t know how to design logos yourself or have any friends who do, but know some professionals who do good work –  let us know.

Happy designing and happy brewing.

Bergen Ølfestival; a roaring success!

Bergen Ølfestival (BØ) last weekend was a great success, with lots of people, lots of great brewers and most importantly, lots of great beer. Although the weather was rather typical for Bergen, with a creative mix of showers and the occasional ray of sunlight, the people in attendance didn’t seem to bother one bit. The crowd was smiling, and the beer was flowing. What more could one ask for!

A big turnout
Brewers from Nøgne Ø, Lervig, Haandbryggeriet, Ægir, Kinn and Balder were pouring their goods and home brew shops Vestbrygg and Bryggmaker were also present. ABC’s Gahr Smith-Gahrsen did a talk on historical IPAs and got to plan the up-coming oatmeal stout with Kinn founder Espen Lothe. Very nice, indeed!

Hopefully the festival has come to stay. We thank Stian Krog and the other organizers for making this possible and hope Bergen will be blessed with this festival for years and years to come.

A small TV clip from the festival shot by Bergen Student-TV can be seen here:

(Video courtesy of Bergen StudentTV)

ABC goes to Kinn

It’s official – in January 2013 we’re heading north to brew with Espen Lothe at Kinn Bryggeri in Florø. We’re very exited to be dipping our chocolate in Kinn’s peanut butter, so to speak. This time we’re leaving the focus on hops behind and will be brewing up an old school dry oatmeal stout for the 20th anniversary of Henrik Øl & Vinstove.

Staying true to tradition
Loads of roast and flaked products and an open fermentation is going to take you away to the feeling of an old British pub. Black as night and smooth as only oatmeal stout can be. Celebrating Henrik Øl & Vinstove in a fashion only a dry stout can. We could think of no better brew to honor the first 20 years of this fine pub.

Look for this beer at Henrik Øl & Vinstove in early 2013.

ABC at Bergen Ølfestival

Andrimne/Black Cat Brewing will be attending this years Bergen Ølfestival along side the big boys from Lervig, Nøgne Ø and Kinn to name a few.  Gahr Smith-Gahrsen will host a seminar where the famous India Pale Ale and it’s history will be in the spot light. The seminar will be conducted Friday at 18:00 and entrance is covered by the festival ticket.

The festival
Bergen Ølfestival (Bergen Beer Festival) is the first festival focusing on craft beer and beer culture. We want to show you that beer is so much more than just “a pint”. We want to give the audience new experiences with beer and food, in taste as well as knowledge. We want more people to be familiar with the wonderful world of beer and the ones brewing it in Norway. This year’s festival theme will be “time”: beer history, the new wave of microbreweries, brewing in historic times and now, the future of beer, etc.

Lervig Aktiebryggeri will be there

Bergen Ølfestival will be arranged paralell to Bergen Matfestival (Bergen Food Festival) on the 07th and 08th of September on Bryggen in Bergen. Combined, this will provide a splendid setting for showcasing quality beers, brewing craft and beer culture in beautiful and historic surroundings, where you also can taste local food along the way. The festival will be located in the area around Bryggen Tracteursted in the “backyard” of Bryggen (Bryggestredet), entrance from Nikolaikirkealmenningen. The food festival, on the other hand, will have their stands on the front side of Bryggen so everything is closely located.

Entrance to the festival is free and the area is open to anyone. Opening hours will be 12.00 to 20.00 on both days. At the festival, you can meet and get to know the people behind Norway’s most exciting breweries, and taste their beers. You can also learn about homebrewing, attend lectures on beer and beer history, get information on where to get the best best beer in Bergen, and meet fellow beer enthusiasts.

Beer samples will be provided in exchange for festival tokens. Tokens will be for sale at the festival in packs of 5, where the first pack purchased will include a 4 tokens and a tasting glass, which must be used for pouring samples. To buy tokens and get served alcohol, you must be 18 years or older and all alcoholic products must be consumed inside the festival area.

This will be a unique chance to experience the cream of Norwegian quality beer at once, so make room in your calendar – it’s time for great beer!”

(Copy pasted from the Bergen Ølfestival site)

Say hi
Swing by the seminar and say hi. We would love to meet you and talk about our favorite subjects – brewing and beer.

Oh – and where will Kim be? He’s stuck at home knee deep in dirty diapers and pacifiers.

Have a lovely festival.

What’s happening at ABC?

Autumn is creeping upon us and we here at ABC are busier than ever brewing up exciting new beers. Being true to the season we’re going for something darker and maltier than we have done before. We’ll get back to you later with more details, but meanwhile we’ll leave you with this. Enjoy.

Looks yummy, doesn’t it?