I am leaving tomorrow for a two-week trip to Guatemala, but before I head out of town, I wanted to post a quick update on my beer making efforts. Jeff and I cracked open our first bottle of IPA on Sunday, when my sister and her husband came over to exchange Christmas gifts. I decided to split one bottle among the four of us to start, on the off chance something had gone dreadfully wrong in the fermenting process, so that no one would feel compelled to drink a whole unpalatable beer. Thankfully, the IPA turned out splendidly, and I have no doubt everyone would have happily consumed his or her own bottle.
Our beer had a nice amber hue, and it was incredibly flavorful from the moment it hit the tip of your tongue. While I am a devoted fan of IPA, sometimes I find that the initial burst of flavor peters out very quickly, so I was pleased our beer had strong finish, too. The Colombus and Cascade hops were a powerful combination – not for the faint of heart. While the beer was fairly light in color and texture, the intensity of the hops reminded me of an imperial IPA. It was great on its own, but I think paired with a spicy meal, it would have been outstanding.
We did not get a chance to bottle our mustard brown ale before our vacation, so that will be on our list of things to do in 2012. We’re tentatively planning to hold a little party in January to test out the raclette machine we received for Christmas, so perhaps that beer will be ready in time to serve as a counterpoint to the slabs of cheesy garlic bread we will serve our guests. I will report back once I am home in early January, but until then I’ll be looking for new culinary inspiration in Guatemala. See you in 2012!