Written by Justin on April 24, 2012

If you’ve read our post about our new brew system then you’ll know that it was constructed from an old Hi-Lo trailer. As an homage to that trailer Eryn decided that the first beer we made on the brew system would be called Hi-Lo. With the name firmly set we went to work figuring out what it would actually be. Since we had two great words in the name, high and low, we started playing with the idea of doing a high alcohol low hop Belgian ale. It finally came down to a Belgian Strong Golden Ale that was lightly hopped.

So the next question was what kind of hops? We didn’t want to use traditional hops because we weren’t really looking for a traditional beer so we spun the globe around and landed half a world away in New Zealand. We have been reading about New Zealand hops for some time and even ordered some up so this was going to be our opportunity to try them out. The hop of choice ended up being Nelson Sauvin with just a bit of Tettnang.

The brew session went great. It was the first time we brewed on the system and our excitement was high. Everything was just there, ready to use. To our delight we over achieved our OG and got it fermenting. The fermentation quickly kicked into high gear. After an extended fermentation we kegged up the beer and let it rest for a few months so the hops and alcohol could come to a mutual agreement of enjoyment. As the beer came in at nearly 10%, putting it on draft was something we decided to avoid so into bottles it went.

After letting it rest in the bottles for a couple weeks we finally broke it out at a tap party that Eryn’s dad, and the brew systems fabricator, was able to come down for. And how was it? Knockout. The beer pours with a great golden color and a nice light head that goes away quickly. The aroma is fruity from the hops with elements of gooseberries and pez candy. The flavor takes those same aromas and translates them to taste. There is just a hint of bitter with a nice smooth finish. You cannot tell it is anywhere near 10% until you finish the first glass.

The beer went over so well at the party and at subsequent pourings that we will be making it again, but we will always be pouring it out of small bottles into small glasses.

The recipe will be posted after a few more tweaks.

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