For something a little different this week, I decided to go with Black Hops. Blue Hills Brewery has created a hybrid lager-ale, based on the German Schwarzbier. The brewery uses hops as the bittering agent rather than roasted malts used in related darker style beers like stouts and porters. Black Hops is a hybrid because Blue Hills uses its house ale yeast to obtain full flavour, but once fermented, the ale is “lagered” or cold-stored. This lagering tones down the aroma produced in top fermentation.
The beer pours dark brown in color with some reddish hues, and a cream-colored head. Before you taste the beer, note its malty and roasty aroma with hints of coffee and toffee. The toffee and coffee come out fully in the flavour, accompanied by citrusy hops, finishing in a dry mild bitterness. Blue Hills promises that Black Hops will delight the ale or lager customer alike, and it did receive positive critical acclaim at its Venture Cafe debut last night! Come try it next week.
Your friendly bartender,