A New Beer Every Month! A Beer Lover's Dream!

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About 7,000 years ago something incredible and unexplainable happened. Some call it a work of god, others call it pure craftsmanship that became a science. The majority of us call it beer. Now-a-days beer is everywhere and the craft beer scene has blown up. So, how do breweries stay unique? Specifically, how does Old Redwood Brewing Company stay unique?

Well, their Beer of the Month program is one place to start. Manuel Mussen, the head brewer of Old Redwood Brewing Company (Also known as the beer sherpa – who you can learn more about here), has put his creative beer making brain to the test by coming up with new recipes and flavors each and every month for our discerning palates. With the brewery already maintaining a steady roster of interesting and varied brews, the Beer of the Month program only adds to the delicious selection.

So… What about this month?

Timber. No, not timber like you’re falling over from the 9% ABV of this brew. Timber is the name of the Beer of the Month- a hoppy Imperial Red Ale. Imperial Reds are known for their higher alcohol content, as well as a hoppier flavor profile compared to a standard Red Ale. According to Manuel, Imperial Red Ales are growing very quickly in the craft beer scene as well, so it’s fitting that Old Redwood put their own twist on it!

The Brew

“The production of an Imperial Red Ale isn’t too challenging to brew”, says Manuel the head brewmaster, “with nothing unusual about its make up”. The production process is basically the same as a regular ale. With more malt and hops used in the brewing process, the result is the hoppier flavor as well as the higher alcohol content that I mentioned before.

According to the brewmaster himself, the beer should have “a nice caramel and toffee backbone along with some very light chocolate notes in the background.” A piney and resinous profile also emerges from the large amount of hops used, which flows perfectly with the caramel flavor. You may even taste a hint of citrus fruit if you really work your taste bud power. The finish on the Imperial Red Ale is clean and bitter, so if you’re a fan of that you’ll be happy to know this beer ranks 75 on the IBU (International Bitterness Units) scale. If you’re cracking open a bottle of Timber for dinner, it pairs great with heartier style dishes such as beef stew and roasted lamb. Spicy foods also make a tasty match for this bold beer.

An Operation

Is brewing beer hard? The answer can vary so much that the question becomes ambiguous. According to Manuel, it really depends on the specific beer. With Timber, he says the biggest challenge is fitting enough malt in the ton to be able to get the desired alcohol content.

Coming up with a new recipe and brewing a new beer each month while staying consistent can seem like a daunting task, especially for a smaller scale brewery. The monthly deadline can be tough says Manuel, but proper planning to make sure all ingredients are present far enough in advance is the main goal. Old Redwood Brewing Company makes it a point to try and stay 2 to 3 months ahead of release dates for their beers, so that way everything is on hand and ready without any delays. Manuel admitted that it can sometimes be difficult to come up with new beer recipes, but the real struggle comes with trying to find a fitting name for each one!

The Trend

Does Old Redwood Brewing Company fall in line with the wonderous trends of the craft beer scene? Or does is stray away on a different path? Manuel explains it best when asked about the pressures of beer trends: “The club beer tends to be a bit riskier – I try to make sure we’re regularly releasing something to please any palate and give an even mix of flavor profiles.” Variety of flavors is always a good thing when it comes to beer and Manuel has nailed that with his brewing skills. Everything from light smooth beers to hop bombs and the darker, heavier brews– something unique can always be found at Old Redwood.

Thirsty Yet?

I know I am. In fact I could go for a nice cold Timber right now. All this beer talk has got to have you thinking of that crisp Imperial Red Ale, with those delectable caramel and toffee flavors. So how can you get some? Head on over to Old Redwood Brewing Company and grab a pint or two available on tap as of January 19th. Even better, join the Beer Club for the opportunity to receive bottles of new and unique suds every month. And on a side note, if you’re a fan of IPA’s, you’ll be happy to know that Old Redwood’s Little Windsor IPA is now available in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Costco’s. Cheers!

Call (707) 657-7624 to join the beer club!

Nick Billings