Yards Brewing Company of Philadelphia, PA has been producing a special series of beers called “Ales of the Revolution” for some time now. Not too long ago I reviewed one of the other beers in the series, George Washington Tavern Porter. Aside from our founding fathers having an apparent fondness for taverns, this Yards series of beers have been very rewarding. Today’s beer was “crafted following Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe.” I’m a slight history nerd and I really dig American history stuff. It might be because it is short, but action packed, or because I just prefer our history to a never-ending list of Kings and Queens, regardless, when I see historically based beers, I tend to pay attention.
Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale pours a nice clear orange color with a thin bit of off-white head. The nose is fully of biscuit malt along with a lot of rustic grainy odors. There are some dried fruits in there from the yeast esters as well. The nose alone on this beer gave me the feeling of something older. It had a rough elegance to it. The malts come in, hit with some earthy qualities and then part with some esters.
Upon the first taste I got a bit of malt upfront, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. Piney hops then kick in a bit stronger than I expected and clear the malt from the tongue. The beer finishes up pretty dry with hints of dried fruits accompanying the departing beer. There is a lot of subtle flavors going on in this beer that I very much enjoyed. This one comes in at 8%, but you wouldn’t know it by the flavor.
I really liked this one. As a semi-history nerd and a “red blooded American” I really appreciated this beer. One thing that I forgot to mention above was that some of the ingredients of their beer were grown on Thomas Jefferson’s Virgina estate. Cool. Try this one out if you have the chance, I don’t think you will be disappointed, especially if you have a taste for English ales. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to come up with my next recipe for homebrewing and I can’t really decide on what I want to do exactly. I keep going between a porter, a winter warmer, or some type of amber ale. I really just can’t decide at all. And then I got an idea; how about a Colonial
America style of beer?
I thought it sounded like a great idea so I have been doing a lot of research into beer styles and brewing techniques during the Colonial time in America. I have run across several helpful articles and have really started to dive into them. I am still working on a solid recipe but I thought that I would share my current ideas and information and see if anyone can point me in a more correct direction.
Right now I am looking at three “styles” of Colonial beer. The first would be a basic porter, not super strong, but packed with roasty flavors and medium carbonation. The second style I am looking at is more of a British style pub ale that Thomas Jefferson is said to have enjoyed. Who knows if that is true, but it makes a good story. In place of all of the British malts and hops I would substitute American malts and hops. The final beer that I am looking into is a Spruce beer that was common during the Revolutionary War. It would be a darker beer, similar to a porter, but also have some essence of spruce put into it. Now I just need to narrow down my focus a bit.
I also am concerned with doing this beer authentically. I will have to use some modern brewing practices, but I would like to get the ingredients as close as possible. I know that hops change from year to year, and there is no way to actually know what the barley was malted at during that period but digging into some more material, I hope to find some more clues. Below are a few links that I have been looking over the gain a better understanding of Colonial brewing in America.
As I said, I have a lot more research to do, but these links are a start. I have a few books that I can get more information out of, but I will have to dig in and find the correct information. If you find any other info out there I am more than willing to take it.