If you know a little bit about me, you know that my background, and my path to the brewing industry differs from most of the younger generations of brewers. I started in the environment that Braxton is actually in right now: everything going at 100mph, juggling with several balls, some that have nothing to do with brewing per se; but nonetheless, a work place that allows you to truly enjoy the end result of your efforts. When I started working in the industry, it was not because I particularly liked beer, but rather because it was a great paying job right out of University. However, slowly but surely over the past 35 years I have learned the theory and art of the trade.
On the other hand, like many others, Evan discovered his passion for beer and brewing when tinkering with the process on a small scale. Friends and family quickly realized that Evan was very good at it, but that he was also getting a lot of satisfaction, and happiness from the experience. He finally jumped into the “real” world where things are slightly different.
Mentor & Mentee are a true reflection of those two worlds colliding in perfect harmony. Making two beers out of the same mash? I had never done that before; not with Molson, not with Labatt, not with Boston Beer Company. Definitely a great concept to maximize your ingredients, and time, but I didn’t know how to pull that off on a larger scale?
It took some thinking and planning but Evan and I are really proud of the end results, and we can’t wait presenting them to you. Here is what I tried to achieve with Mentor.
I was aiming for a great example of the classic Belgium Tripel, but pushed a little bit further towards the Golden Strong Ale style. The grist bill is simple and elegant: almost 80% of Pilsner malt, some Caramel malt to enhance color and hue (deep gold to slightly orange), and of course a generous amount of traditional Light Belgium Candi sugar (no syrup, please!). Hops are meant to be subtle while supportive: 100% Noble Saaz. The yeast did its job very well and yielded a dry but balanced finish with moderate levels of esters and spicy phenolic characters. Finally, the Mentor is bottle conditioned with a yeast strain different than the one used in primary fermentation. The product pushing the 10.5%ABV range, is relatively dry, and highly carbonated; both of those promote the assertiveness of the hops and spicy notes. Expect a clean malty feel at the end with slight warmth from the alcohol but not burning. You can enjoy it now, but I will definitely store some in my cellar.
For me, these beers are a clear example of an enduring collaboration and partnership that allows us to continue learning from each other.
Is it Richard the Mentor, and Evan the Mentee or vice-versa?
See you soon at our 2 Year Anniversary Saturday, March 25th.