Friday, July 23, 2010

2010 Collaborative Evil...

(Truckee, CA) – JULY 19, 2010 – For several years, a group of brewers have been brewing unique, distinctive beers in an experiment of sorts that aims to demonstrate the diversity in brewing styles, techniques, and ingredients.

Todd Ashman of FiftyFifty Brewing Company, Truckee, CA initially created the Collaborative Evil group with industry friends Zac Triemert, Co-President and Co-Founder of Lucky Bucket Brewing Company, La Vista, NE and Matt Van Wyk, head brewer for Oakshire Brewing Company, Eugene, OR. This group did not collaborate in the way other groups have worked together in the past. They simply agreed upon a specific beer style and each would incorporate their own unique ingredient or technique in their respective brews. No parameters or recipes were set and the results were interesting, diverse, and delicious. The beers were then entered into the Great American Beer Festival, the most prestigious beer competition in the country. The goal was to earn medals of course, but also to give festival goers a glimpse into how each brewer has his own style and interpretations in the world of beers.

Over the years, the group has grown to include a total of eight brewers from across the nation. Unique ingredients or techniques have included exotic sugars, a variety of honeys, and wood aging. At the GABF, the response has been positive from judges and festival-goers alike, there has even been a Bronze medal awarded to one of these entries. An enthusiastic crowd has been seeking out each brewers Collaborative Evil brew and appears to be quite fun for those who set out on the search.

This year, the brewers have agreed to create an Imperial or Baltic Porter. This style is characterized by big rich malt and roast character (or not in the case of Baltic) and higher alcohol content than other styles of Porter. This year’s style will lend itself to complex beers with rich chocolate and coffee notes, and of course, a little bit of evil. In addition, this year’s attendees of the Great American Beer Festival can receive a Collaborative Evil map listing the participating breweries, their booth locations, and the unique ingredient/technique used. The emphasis for the brewers and the GABF attendees is simple…it’s meant to be fun. If you’re headed to the GABF, seek us out. We’ll have temporary tattoos and a map of the festival floor to find all of the breweries.

Brewers/ Breweries involved:
Todd Ashman- FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Truckee, CA Zac Triment- Lucky Bucket Brewing Co., La Vista, NE Matt Van Wyk- Oakshire Brewing Co., Eugene, OR Brandon Wright- Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, Reno, NV Bryan Shimkos- Flossmoor Station Brewing Co., Flossmoor, IL Roger Davis- Triple Rock Brewery, Berkeley, CA Matt Cole- Fatheads Brewery and Saloon, Cleveland, OH Jack Kephart- Brew Kettle Production Works, Strongsville,OH

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The 6/26 Lunar Eclipse marks FiftyFifty milestone!

Hey Gang!

I haven't been compelled to write much on here but thought a brief mention of some activity here at the brewery was worthy.

This morning...very early in the morning we filled the last 5 bourbon barrels for the 2010 Imperial Eclipse Stout. The barrels are 10-13 year old Evan Williams Single Barrel. There are 18 of these barrels in our dining room of the brewpub. The majority were filled in April but we held some barrels back for a shorter aging period. A test of sorts to see overall how the length of time in the wood affects our stout. We will most likely blend as many of the barrels as possible.
Holding back anything that demonstrates superior quality and anything that may not be complementary to the product.


Todd Ashman, Brewmaster
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Imperial Eclipse Stout...release date set!

As I thought about writing this a lot of moments in the past have come to the forefront of my brain. The first time I brewed Eclipse was when I was back at Flossmoor Station in Illinois. It was in 1997 fairly late in the year. We packed the mash tun full of malt well over a thousand pounds of it. Then there were the goodies we put in the kettle to drive up the gravity. Fun stuff.
That beer would later be the first beer that had been aged in a Bourbon Barrel to be given a medal at the Great American Beer Festival and that was in 1998. When they still had the GABF at Currigan Hall. I remember after the awards ceremony that someone had dragged the Beer Hunter Michael Jackson over to taste the beer and have our picture taken together. Pretty neat stuff... We named that beer Imperial Eclipse Stout because on the day it was brewed there was an Eclipse of the moon. It's a name I wanted to keep using today and the folks at Flossmoor Station graciously retired from their lineup.

Fast forward to 2009 and another milestone for Imperial Eclipse Stout will soon occur. Since FiftyFifty opened in 2007 there have been two batches of Eclipse produced...small batches and most of the beer served over the bar. We hand bottled some but that is a daunting task to do even a few hundred bottles. The 2008 vintage got up to about 500 or so bottles and they got around...and by around I mean the entire country. If you look up on the beer rating websites you'll find reviews for Eclipse. Almost every single one a glowing review. Well, the 2009 vintage saw the greatest amount of Imperial Eclipse Stout brewed to date. We aged it in Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill Rye and Jack Daniels barrels. Rather than blend the entire lot we kept the barrels separate so the consumer could compare the barrel treatments if they desired. There is no better way to 'follow the journey of a barrel aged beer' than to taste the nuances left by the barrel itself.

On December 23rd FiftyFifty Brewing Co. is proud to release the 2009 vintage of Imperial Eclipse Stout. The Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill Rye barrel aged versions will be available in wax dipped 22oz bottles. The Jack Daniels barrel aged version is anticipated to be available in the second week of January. At least two versions will be available on draught that day.

Questions? call the Brewery at 530-587-2337 ask for Todd or Kyle

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What can you do in a day...

Well, that isn't my most snappy opening line but I feel it's works for today.

Kyle and I got four beers added to the draft lineup today. The return of Donner Party Porter and Trifecta Tripel. Both are tasting great with the Tripel really dialed in and I'm very happy with that... A new batch of Concentrated Evil which is also tasting good and the raisin component is there and very drinkable as well. Finally, the last of our tribute beer BART. Bart was the Ashman's pet for 19 years and we blended up our Summit BarleyWine and Roundabout Oatmeal Stout to celebrate Bart's life. Then we aged it in a Jack Daniels barrel. This is the last keg there is and Kyle and I felt it fitting to share it with our guests at FiftyFifty this holiday season. Please come by and try this special's tasting stellar.

To wrap up the day I p/o'd my boss...I'm hoping she'll forgive me...please...



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Imperial Eclipse Stout gets Top Honors at Bistro Barrel Aged Beer Festival

The 4th Bistro Barrel Aged Beer Fest in Hayward, CA is in the books and guess what??? I guess the title gives it away but FiftyFifty got the coveted Peoples Choice award. The only award presented at the festival. The beer was the 2008 Imperial Eclipse Stout aged in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon barrels. To put it simply this beer is completely dialed in at the moment. The base beer was brewed in May of 2008 and put into barrels for 225 days. Kegged and put into cold storage it emerged from it's slumber just a few weeks ago, we force carbonated just one day before the fest.

There were many great breweries at the fest and over 70 beers entered. We were in great company and when I can track down a full list I'll post it here. If you were lucky enough to be there and got a taste of the 2008 Eclipse you've tasted some of the last of the vintage.

We'll be getting ready to get the 2009 Eclipse ready before long...into bottles and draft at the pub.



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FiftyFifty Imperial Stout prevails!!!(again)

It's certainly a fun story... The base beer for our Imperial Eclipse Stout has done it again. Bronze for the big beer that could. The 2009 GABF in Denver is in the history books and FiftyFifty Brewing Co. has made it in there yet again. The competition which was huge this year with over 3300 beers entered into 78 categories seems daunting to even the biggest breweries.
Nearly 500 breweries were in the mix this year yet only 45 'small brewpubs' took which we were one. Our medal came from the Other Strong Beer category which pits beers of various types against each other that are made 'bigger' than the recommended style guidelines.
Ours being an 'Imperialized Oatmeal Stout'. Also worthy of noting is we medaled in this category last year as well which is also a notable feat unto itself.

We have a keg of this Stout going on tap soon at the pub as we held it back for just such an occasion.



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Todd on

These guys were great and they got me on audio for about 45 minutes. There is a great gallery in there as well...