Monday, December 6, 2010

Brew-B-Q 2: Recap

left: everything on tap; right: Won and Adam's taco bar.

The smoke has cleared, the kegs cleaned, and the snow is now frozen, so it's time to recap our 2nd Brew-B-Q party from this past Saturday. First and foremost, we had a much better turnout than last time, which helped make this party as fun as it was. We regret not having enough beer at the end of the night, so to those that missed out, we truly are sorry. I think it's safe to say that those who drank our beers enjoyed them seeing that they all three cashed out much sooner than we anticipated. The first one to kick was our rye pale ale. We really just brewed this one on a whim around the time we brewed the Separated at Birth beers. The reason was because Sean and Tim harvested a ton of Nugget hops from their back yard, and when you yield as much as they did, you gotta brew a hoppy beer. And we did, and it was really tasty. Our guest tap was Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard. Frankly, it didn't take long for that to kick after our beers did. What that says to us is we brought out some beer lovers Saturday! The day started on a positive when we all saw snow covering everything in sight. The first major snowfall for Chicago this season in fact. It made for a fun day to be outside. But inside, Won and Adam setup a nifty taco bar for everyone's appetite with some of the best skirt steak ever, all while DJ Intel was heard spinning from the basement, West Town Recording's studio space. As the night went on, everyone began filling up the house, and bands began playing. It was an eventful day to say the least. We'd like to thank everyone that came out and supported the cause. We received a great response, and that makes it all worth it. We'd also like to recognize all those behind the scenes and helping throughout the day: Mike at West Town Recording (Happy Birthday!), Won, Adam, DJ Intel, Nuntida, and all the bands that played: Roger Panella Guitar Duo, Ramsey Judson, WTR ALL Stars and The Congregation.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

There's no Party Like a Snow Party!

Today's the day! And what better way to celebrate than with snow!


We all woke up to a couple inches already, and it's been steadily falling all morning. This was meant to be a holiday/birthday celeration, and we'd have to say, mother nature's on our side so far. It's gonna be a great time, so we hope to see you all there.


CHEERS!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Noir Matou Number 2


Back in May, we brewed our second batch of Noir Matou. This is an imperial stout brewed with molasses and cocoa. The first time it was brewed, we aged it with oak and Templeton rye whiskey. This time around, we aged it with oak and Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon for 6 months. Today, it was bottled, and based on what we tasted, we're very excited to see how this develops. Also, we bottled our Belgian-style quad, Beneficence. A 10% candy-of-a-quad. It was fun tasting it after fermentation, but we're all more excited now to taste it with some carbonation.

In addition to the Noir Matou and Beneficence, we kegged our three beers for this saturday's brew-b-q. A chocolate vanilla stout, a Belgian chocolate coffee stout and a Rye P.A. All three tasted great, and we're very excited to pour these for all our friends. Again, we encourage all our friends to stop by. Along with our 3 beers, we'll have a guest tap and liquor bar, lot's of food cooked by our friends Won and Adam, and DJ Intel spinning before more bands perform later in the night. All of this for the entire afternoon/evening at West Town Recording for $15. Stop by and enjoy!

Monday, November 29, 2010

PARTY SATURDAY


The time has come for another Brew-B-Q throwdown! A holiday/Winter/(Mike's) birthday version if you will. We collaborated with our friends Won and Adam back in September and threw a bbq with a couple of our beers on tap at West Town Recording (that's Mike's spot), and we're doing it again. Won and Adam will once again cook up a storm, and this time we're bringing three kegs with us. Two of which are the result of our 2nd in the Separated at Birth series that should bring a little holiday cheer to your palate, and the third was hopped with our very own Nugget hops grown in Sean and Tim's back yard. Additionally, if our beers aren't enough, there will be a guest tap and a liquor bar. And if that's still not enough, DJ Intel's gonna be on the 1's and 2's with a gift for everyone! But just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there's more performances set up for later in the night–only $15 to enjoy it all! We're all very excited to party with everyone again, and hope those that couldn't make it last time, can make it out Saturday. Good beer. Good food. Good people. Don't be a stranger.

CHEERS!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's Happening!!

Volume II of our Separated at Birth series was brewed last week. This time around, we started with [more or less] Matt's winning Muddy River recipe from the Northside Brewers Competition at Hamburger Mary's a year ago. Muddy River was a chocolate vanilla stout. They're just now wrapping up in primary, and they taste choco-riffic! However, these beers are unfinished—there's still more to come. Additionally, we'll be pouring them at an upcoming party again collaborating with our friends Adam, Won and Mike, so stay tuned for more on all of this later!



No, we didn't bottle more Malevolence unfortunately, but rather sealed'em with our newly purchased black wax. We've never waxed bottles before, but I imagine after this, we'll be waxing many more in the future. We're big fans.

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In other news, our fermentation chamber has finally fell to an acceptable lagering temperature, so our Schwarzbier should be taking shape at this very moment. Yesss!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

BREW-B-Q

The Anheuser keg was our backup filled with Goose Island's Harvest Ale.

We worked with our friends Won and Adam for the last couple months organizing a BBQ featuring some of our beers. We decided to brew a couple IPAs. The big day was this past Saturday. We woke up to overcast skies and heavy winds. As start time neared, mother nature decided to add rain to that mix. It was looking grim for a moment, but the forecast seemed to be cooperating, and called for clear skies later in the afternoon. After all the planning and work that was involved, we weren't letting the weather slow us down. We set up in the cold rain, and within minutes, witnessed the sun introduce itself. It turned out to be the perfect autumn day. Unfortunately, some of our RSVPs didn't seem to think so, or so we suspect. However, we still had a good turnout, great food and our beers seemed to make the people happy. Our Sorachi Ace IPA was a winner amongst most of those drinking. We personally favored our Chinook version. Additionally, we brought the keg of our Beglian dark strong ale from February's beer/dinner pairing. It was almost cashed, so this was a great time to pull it back out. It was a hit, but unfortunately, was merely a tease as it may have filled 10 cups total. Mike opened his home to us that day in order for this event to even happen. He's got the perfect setup for such events, and it certainly helped in making this a great party. We'd like to thank Adam and Won for cooking an outstanding spread, Mike for hosting, and all our friends for coming out - cheers!

Monday, September 27, 2010

So Fresh and So Green

It's harvest time here at LowDive. We recently picked a nice supply of Nugget hops from our fields, aka a backyard in Logan Square. The picture above is a fraction of the hops we yielded, which were then dried, packaged, and hugged ever so gently.

Nugget hops are traditional used as a bittering hop. You probably have came across them while consuming an ale, ipa, stout, or barley wine perhaps. With a nice herbal aroma and distinguishable piney flavor the possibilities are endless (we don't discriminate) for potential uses here at the LowDive collective. However, there has been discussion of brewing a single hop ipa featuring our new little green friends. Stay tuned.

Happy Autumn to you all and all a good night...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Labor Day Recap

This past Labor Day marked LowDive's first official road trip. We hit the road with a keg each of our Farmhouse 6 and Farmhouse 9 saisons destined for...well, a farmhouse.

Some of our good friends and fellow beer-lovers were kind enough to invite us to join them in Iowa for a pig roast (mentioned here) held on a family farm. The family raised three mangalitsa pigs on premises and the fellas prepared some of the delicious meat to share with friends and family. So what better to bring along than some fresh and tasty beers!

Farmhouse 6 was a citrus-y 6% (thus the name) saison, with the grist made of nothing but 2-row and German wheat, and dry-hopped with Sorachi Ace hops. Our other saison, Farmhouse 9, was made of mainly 2-row with a little wheat and Munich, stronger at 9% and slightly hoppier (all Citra) and “dry-hopped” with lime zest. Both beers served as tasty complements to the delectable, liberally seasoned pork.

We'll be looking forward to sharing more LowDive beers with our friends in the very near future so stay tuned!


Monday, August 30, 2010

8.30.10

We kegged a couple beers tonight. Sean's going on a nice little drive to Iowa this weekend for a friend's pig roast and hauling said keg's for the festivities. We're sending him off with a couple saison variations brewed about a month apart. We cultivated our own yeast using dregs from another saison we love, and kept the yeast cake from the first beer to ferment the second beer. A first time for us, and we like what we taste: big citrus in both and tart. They're both gold in color, however, the first of the two brewed does seem to have a slightly brighter gleam to it, but they're quite lovely either way. We didn't necessarily know on brew day that these particular beers were going to this pig roast, nor did we know how these beers were going to turn out since we had never cultivated a yeast like we did with this one. So, instead of sending the entire yields westward, we decided to save a little for bottles so the rest of us can enjoy it as well. But until then, we'll hope for some feedback in Iowa.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Brew Day: 08.29.10

We had our second ever double-batch brew day. This time, same grain bill. We brewed two single-hop IPA's. The only difference between the two, was the hops. We used Chinook for one, and Sorachi Ace for the other. These beers are destined for a private BBQ party, pairing with a spread of traditional BBQ fare like chicken, ribs and brisket. One will deliver a bitter, piney flavor profile, the other, a more citrus, lemony flavor. For the first time, we included honey malt in the grain bill. It's presence was felt from the very beginning, and we're very excited to to see what it brings to the table once fermentation has occurred.


Also, amidst all this madness, we sampled one of our two wild ales that's been funkifying since late-December (pictured above). This style of beer doesn't develop quickly, so we didn't expect anything earth shattering, but we're certainly pleased with it's progress. However, we'll come back to this beer on another day.