Yes, Virginia, there is a
Santa Claus. Beer Blog.
After an unseemly long hiatus, we’re back! And there’s so much to report, it’s difficult to decide where exactly to begin. It seems, therefore, only fitting to pretend that we’ve been happily blogging all the while and simply resume where we left off. For a quick catch-up, some bullet-point notices:
1. Geography. The St. Cecilia Brewery, and thus the home-base operations for Perm’s Picks as well, has moved slightly to the north, now comfortably nestled in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
Although we were somewhat sad to leave behind our proximity to the Beer Mecca that is Asheville, we are heartened by our striking-distance to a number of notable cerevisial destinations of note, including Washington, DC. More on that later.
2. Brewery Upgrade. The St. Cecilia Brewery has also undergone its first significant equipment upgrade in its three years of operation with the addition of both a propane burner/7-gallon stockpot and a wort chiller. I’m wondering how we ever got by without them. What heretofore generally resulted in a 5- or even 6-hour endeavor is now whittled down to three (not that we’re in the homebrewing business because we’re worried about saving time, but those extra 2 or 3 hours give us more time to sit, relax, and enjoy a homebrew), and the propane burner allows the brewing operation to move out-of-doors. Fresh air enjoyment, and a kitchen that doesn’t smell like burnt caramel for 2 days.
The only real question mark is the issue of the extra water used by the employ of the wort chiller. We accept all suggestions and ideas for ways to best (re-)use the gallons of water that get run through the chiller.
3. This place. Less than a two-hours’ drive from home.
4. Brewery Output Update . Since the late spring, the following brews have come forth, all of which have been a delightful success:
Heinrich Schütz Düsseldorf Altbier. It’s all gone now.
Staring At Ceilings California-Style DIPA. This one was brewed in honor of the wedding of our dear friends Tim and Jane. (Tim’s a California boy and sometime songwriter. Staring at Ceilings is our favorite song of his. The bulk of the batch went as a wedding gift to the newlyweds, but we held back a few for proprietary reasons. They’re all, of course, gone now as well.
Mozart Jupiter Ale. The Staring at Ceilings was such a success, we decided to replicate it for ourselves. With slight modification to the recipe (featuring a substantial increase in the use of our home-grown Cascade hops), it turned out just as good as its predecessor. All C-hops (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Cluster) prompted the naming of this one: a glorious burst of C-major inspiration.
Ralph Vaughan Williams English Porter. The first Virginia-brewed offering of the St. Cecilia line. We’re quite pleased with the results.
Currently in the Fermenters:
Well, I have to save something for a future post.