Danish Smoked Dark Lager Beer collaboratively brewed with Nørrebro Bryghus - Limited Release!
Release Date: Monday, October 05, 2009
You must be thinking, "Ok, what the heck is CBC up to now? I can’t even pronounce half of those words!"
Now, now. Calm down and I’ll explain everything.
The spirit of collaboration is everywhere in the Craft Brewing Industry. In fact you can’t swing a cat by the tail without hitting some new beer brewed by two or more breweries together. Heck, we’re guilty as charged. The fact is, some of our best friends are brewers, and when we get together we inevitably talk about all the cool beers we could make together. Such is the case with our latest release, which was brewed in collaboration with our dear friend Anders Kissmeyer of the famed Nørrebro Bryghus brewery in Copenhagen, Denmark. Anders and I met at the Craft Brewers Conference when it was held in Philly many years ago, and in the Fall of 2007 I traveled to Denmark to brew versions of CB’s own Cerise Cassée and Heather Ale, both of which have become regular and award-winning beers in the Nørrebro Bryghus repertoire. Anders repaid the favor by being our guest here at CBC last April, and over the months of advance planning we decided to make a very unusual and rare traditional Danish beer, a Skibsøl.
Traditional Skibsøl is a low alcohol (2.5 ABV), top fermented dark and very heavily smoked beer style that is said to have been very popular with the hard working naval crews on the Danish merchant fleet in the sailing ship era some 100 + years ago. ‘Skibsøl’ translates directly into ‘ship’s beer’. In order to further the collaborative influence, we decided to ‘Imperialize’ it to 6.3%abv, and to bottom ferment with a Danish lager yeast strain. The smoked character was created by slowly smoking, by hand, 25kg of pilsner malt over alder wood in CBC’s own house smoker (Thanks, Chef!), a process which took two full days. Anders joined the CBC Brew Crew early morning on the 17th of April, which began with the laborious hand-milling of the smoked malt followed by a very fragrant mash-in. The brewday went flawlessly! Fermentation took nearly three full weeks at 50*F and was followed by a full month of cold-conditioning (lagering) at 32*F.
The resultant mahogany brew has a very clean nose of smoke and malt, which on the palate is incredibly smooth and dry, yet quite full-flavored. Malt-forward, the smoke lingers briefly before a subtle hop finish. Imperial maybe, but still quaffable and an excellent pairing with summer’s grilled and smoked offerings, or our house charcuterie selections.
OG: 1.062 (15.5*P) FG: 1.014 (3.5*P) ABV: 6.3%