From Southeast Portland Oregon’s The Commons Brewery comes their “Brotherly Love” 2014 Edition. This beer is part of the Beetje Series named after the Flemish word for “Little bit” it celebrates the Garage Brewery where The Commons Brewery began. These beers are all small batch experimental beers. The Brotherly Love is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that is aged in second use Bourbon barrels with sour cherries and Cocoa Nibs from both Trinidad and Peru. The beer pours a deep brown almost opaque with a tan head. The aroma consists of cocoa, sour cherries, roasty malts, bourbon, oak and maybe some yeast. The flavour is of roasted malts, bourbon, cocoa, oak, sour cherries, yeast and dark fruits. The alcohol comes in at a cool 10% alcohol although that does not come through in the flavour one bit. This is an amazingly crafted ale and I would love to have a few more bottles of this kicking around (sadly I don’t).
Commercial Description: Brotherly Love is our Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Little Brother, aged in second-use Bourbon barrels with Northwest grown sour cherries and Ecuadorian cacao nibs roasted by Woodblock Chocolate in SE Portland.
From Parallel 49 Brewing in East Vancouver comes a concoction from their new addition their Fusion Tower. The Fusion Tower takes a standard beer and infuses it with other ingredients. On the day I checked out the fusion tower they had their Old Boy Classic ale being infused with orange peel and cocoa nibs. The beer poured a deep brown colour with a tan head. The aroma consisted of caramel, toffee, malts, orange peel and cocoa nibs. The ale was packed with flavour including roasted malts, caramel, toffee, bitter orange peel, cocoa nibs, mild hops bitterness and a mild English yeast. The alcohol content comes in at 5% and the IBU is 25. This is already a great beer but the the infusion of flavour was amazing! I will have to find a way to do these flavour infusions at home.