Four Brewers | Brunching with AleSmith and Mikkeller
Season 2, Episode 10 – This week, we’re geeking out to AleSmith and Mikkeller radness.
A couple episodes ago when we did the blind bourbon barrel-aged stout tasting, we got some feedback pertaining to why we didn’t include any of the barrel-aged variants of AleSmith Brewing Company’s Speedway Stout. The reason is that Speedway Stout itself is a coffee stout, and the barrel-aged variants of Speedway have flavorings added to them in addition to coffee. We wanted to keep the stout tasting as pure as possible by excluding any beers with flavoring and/or aroma additives (by the way, we heard you, internet…they’re NOT called “adjuncts”…), hence the reason Speedway Stout was excluded.
BUT…since we were accused of erroneously “snubbing” AleSmith, we decided to dedicate an ENTIRE SHOW this awesome beer and brewery. You want the Speedway Stout? Well, now you’re gonna get it. In addition to AleSmith beers, we thought it was appropriate to include another brewery known for making imperial stout whalez, Mikkeller. You may have read in recent news that Mikkeller is partnering up with AleSmith to start brewing beer in the United States. That’s awesome. Mikkeller recently brewed a collaboration beer with AleSmith called Beer Geek Speedway, so we thought the addition of Mikkeller to the show was appropriate.
In case you didn’t already know, the brewery, Mikkeller, is what’s known as a “gypsy” brewery, meaning the brewery itself doesn’t have its own brewing facility, rather they use other breweries’ facilities to brew their beers. It’s a great way to get your product in the market if funds to build a brewery aren’t available.
We start with Mikkeller’s Beer Geek BreAKfast, which was brewed at Anchorage Brewing Company in Alaska. We had some issues with this beer. Usually, it’s a great brew. But, this batch was really, REALLY over-carbonated, and the extra CO2 really destroyed the overall experience of the beer. Seeing how this was brewed at Anchorage Brewing, who’s known for its stellar beers made with brettanomyces, we presume that maybe some brett made its way into the batch. Again, this is typically a great beer, but this bottle was a disappointment.
Next up is what many consider to be one of the best imperial stouts in the world, AleSmith Brewing Company’s Speedway Stout. This beer is a classic from AleSmith. It’s a rich beer with tones of dark fruit and coffee. In fact, it’s made with Ryan Bros. coffee. It’s usually always available and easy to overlook, but it’s definitely worth picking up.
So what do you do with two awesome imperial stouts if given the opportunity? Blend them together, add some Kopi Luwak coffee, call it Beer Geek Speedway, and blow some minds. That is exactly what AleSmith and Mikkeller did. Both of the beers in this blend were brewed at AleSmith in San Diego. Unbeknownst to the public, owner and brewer at Mikkeller, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø used this opportunity to give the AleSmith’s brew house a test drive. After the beer was released, it was revealed the Mikkel would be taking over the AleSmith facility on Cabot Drive, after AleSmith moves into their new brewery, which is currently under construction. How rad is that?
Getting back to the beer…of course, it’s great. The Beer Geek Breakfast part of the blend mellows the dark fruit tones of the Speedway Stout, and makes for a silky smooth mouthfeel. The coffee addition in this is just right. This beer is really the best of two different worlds coming together to create something spectacular. This beer isn’t a gimmicky money grab at all—it’s the real deal.
Next, we open up a Beer Geek Brunch Weasel from Mikkeller. This beer is made with vietnamese coffee beans, and was brewed in Norway at Lervig Aktiebryggri. It’s inky-black, and has notes of maple, fig and dark fruits.
The final beer of the show is AleSmith’s own [Bourbon] Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout made with Vietnamese Coffee. Holy. Shit. Damn, is this beer good! Silky, creamy, chocolately, coffee…this beer is basically bourbon barrel-aged M&Ms in a bottle. It’s amazing, and a fine example of how awesome AleSmith Brewing Company really is. When tickets for this beer were sold online, they sold out instantly, and with good reason. Beer geeks throughout SoCal creamed their shorts. The gushing about this beer is legit—it is truly amazing.
So, there you go, interwebz.
BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
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