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Coming Home 2012

Coming Home 2012
Holiday Ale
Barley Wine

holiday ale 2012Our intent for our annual Holiday Ale series is to release a special beer in November and December for enjoyment with special friends on a special occasion. This year’s version is an American-Style Barley Wine brewed with Southern Idaho 2-row pale malted barley combined with German and Belgian specialty malts to produce a mahogany to dark ruby red color, generous malt body and pleasing sweetness.

The malt is balanced by about five pounds of bold American hops per barrel. Chinook and Galena, hops developed and grown in Idaho, along with Idaho-grown Bravos give this strong ale a decidedly American flavor.

Piney floral hops are evident when this beer is enjoyed fresh. Cellaring will enable these flavors to mellow, allowing the malt to shine with additional notes of raisin and fig.

Barley Wine and Cave-Aged Gouda are a classic beer-cheese pairing. If a sweet dessert is what you crave, try pairing with a warmed pecan pie served al a mode.

Barley wine has roots in the Norman Conquest of the English army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As the conquering French-speaking foreigners ascended to the throne in London, the tastes and preferences of English aristocrats took on a decidedly French ‘flavor’. This included a strong shift toward the complex fine wines available only on the European continent.

In the early 1700’s, the development of pale malts coupled with scientific advances in the brewing process allowed production of ales that rivaled the finest wines in their subtlety, complexity and strength. These expensive ales, called malt liquors, malt wines, October beers, Stingo, and by the 1800’s Barley Wine, were not affordable for the working class. The English aristocracy, on the other hand, now had a ‘home-grown’ alternative to expensive and often hard to find French wines.

From the beginning, barley wines were prized, and those who produced and served them were highly admired. These beers were most often brewed by butlers to wealthy families, unconstrained by financial concerns and able to undertake the expensive aging crucial to the flavor and aroma of a fine barley wine.

When produced commercially, a barley wine is rarely a big moneymaker. Rather, it is offered as a seasonal token of appreciation to a brewery’s most loyal patrons, and as an expression of a brewer’s highest aspirations. It is in this tradition that we offer our Coming Home 2012 Barley Wine Ale.

Coming Home 2012 Holiday Ale was a one time release available November 1st, 2012 in 1/2 and 1/6 bbl kegs and bottle-conditioned 750 mL cases.  

Original Gravity (Plato): 21˚
International Bitterness Units: 75
Alcohol by Volume: 10%
Color (Lovibond): 20˚