Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy IPA Day with IPA Homebrewer Todd Bjurstrom

Happy National IPA Day everyone! If you are a regular reader here at The Bleu Goose, you know all about Todd, my amazing boyfriend, whom I just cant stop talking about in my posts. Well, since today is National IPA Day, I thought it would only be fitting to have a guest post by the most talented and gifted homebrewer I know. Todd's Edith IPA is absolutely phenomenal, behind that, is an extensive knowledge and understanding of IPA. What is IPA anyway? IPA stands for India Pale Ale, in short it is a varietal of beer that was originally created to withstand long ocean journeys back in the 1700's. To make a beer that would preserve long voyages with extreme weather,  (heat and more heat) a lot of hops and a lot of alcohol were added to the brew. Thus, we have the IPA. 
I am thrilled to introduce: Todd Bjurstrom, Home Brewer extraordinaire!

Handsome Devil
Todd and Daisy

DRINK THIS: India Pale Ale
Written by: Todd Bjurstrom 
In honor of National IPA Day, I’ve decided to take my palate on a short tour of the California coast, from San Diego to Petaluma and right into my own kitchen.  Hold on tight, it’s going to get hoppy.  (Also, don’t drink and drive.)

SAN DIEGO:  This is the first time I’ve sampled the Tower 10 IPA from the Karl Strauss Brewing Company and it put a smile right on my face.  The more I drank, the more I felt like I was in San Diego.  Everything seems a little nicer with 22oz of Tower 10 IPA in your tummy. Packed with Chinook, Cascade and Centennial Hops, the Tower 10 is has notes of citrus and pine; it’s sweet and floral with an earthy, almost bread-like aftertaste.  With a respectable 7.0% alcohol, the Tower 10 is best enjoyed icy cold and in small doses.  (Or, large doses… whatever.) 

ESCONDIDO:  Ah.  Stone IPA: The old regular.  I’ve been a fan of Stone Brewing Company for many years… I remember feeling challenged by the words “you’re not worthy” and “you probably won’t like this beer” emblazoned on the bottle of Arrogant Bastard.  At the time, in Seattle, Stone Brewing was largely unheard of and Arrogant Bastard was the only Stone beer (that I knew) that was available.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I came to know Stone’s IPA…  Nowadays, if there is Stone IPA available I will drink it: no matter where I am, no matter what time of the day -- I will pour it into my face.  (Who’s not worthy now!?!)  Any hop-head will start salivating at the mere mention of this devilishly crisp, wickedly bitter brew.  Loaded with Columbus, Chinook & Centennial hops and sporting 6.9% alcohol, Stone IPA will always be a go-to beer for this guy.

PETALUMA:  While Kendall and I camped out down the California Coast, Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Hop Stoopid Ale was my sole beer of choice.  Hop Stoopid’s 8% alcohol is guaranteed to keep you warm on those cold, misty summer nights in the redwoods -- no matter how long it takes to get the fire started.  The malt characteristics in the Hop Stoopid are much richer and deeper than your average IPA, thus resulting in the higher alcohol content and an early bedtime.

LOS ANGELES:  The first time I made my own beer, it sucked.  It’s taken me years to admit it, but its true… homebrew should bring joy to those who drink it, but my first beer turned all of my friends into liars.  “Wow… it’s uh... good.”  Dave said, “...why does it have a metallic aftertaste?”  I’ve made many batches of homebrew since that first one in 1999 and I’ve learned a lot, too; I’ve made porters, stouts, ales, steam ales, ciders and my favorite: India pale ale. My latest, Edith’s IPA, is a tribute to an important figure in my life:  Edith Skinner.  Loaded with hops and naturally infused with oak and real sour mash Tennessee whiskey, Edith is still driving me crazy after all these years.  Edith is the first homebrew I’ve made in a while, and is the first to come out of the Marathon Street Brewery. (That’s what I call my kitchen…)

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