Congratulations on the MRAC Grant!

 

From-JimMNHBC

MN Hard Bop Collective (MNHBC) drummer extraordinaire and friend Jesse Simon applied for and received a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.  This is great news for fans of local jazz.  The grant, which will last from now until early summer, will add focus to our Boom Room Jazz initiative.  Starting February 10, we will be hosting live jazz every other week, with the MNHBC playing each gig.

jesse-simon-11-28-16

 

The grant will not only help finance the series, but will also allow Jesse to focus each program on education of the hard bop style, and challenge his players and the audience with music rarely heard on the scene.  Are you familiar with the likes of jazz greats Hank Mobley and Elmo Hope?  I hadn’t either, until we started Boom Room Jazz.  And I’ve been listening to jazz for a long time.

My dad introduced me to Jazz when I was 13.  He played Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5” to me and I had to admit that he was right, that tune is amazing.  From that point on I’ve been buying jazz records.  I had great mentors to help along the way. That said, 2017 was the year that put my appreciation of Jazz into overdrive. My knowledge and appreciation, as well as my collection, has easily doubled from what I have learned from Boom Room Jazz.

For those who haven’t had guidance like I received, the genre of Jazz can be daunting.  It’s huge, ranging from 1930’s big band music, to 60’s heroin-fueled mind trips, and everything in between.  All I can say to anyone who was hasn’t been properly introduced to jazz, stop by on a Boom Room Jazz Saturday at 7pm and give it a shot.  Live jazz is amazing and the music of the MNHBC will always swing with sophistication. The vibe in the room is electric.  The music being played is rarely, if ever, heard in this town.  To top it all off, the beers you will be drinking will always be complex and delicious as well.  Write down the following dates:

700 Jazz (2)

Saturday, February 10 – “Soul Station” Quartet, The music of Hank Mobley part 3

Dave Hagedorn on Vibraphone, Aaron Hedenstrom sax, Ted Olsen bass

Saturday, February 24 – Elmo’s World! A return to the music of Elmo Hope

Jake Baldwin Trumpet, Clay Puhfal sax, Jeff Rinear trombone, Javier Santiago piano, Ted Olsen bass

Saturday, March 10 – Modern Hard Bop, NYC Hard Bop from the 1980s to the present

Pete Whitman Sax, Jeff Rinear trombone, Ted Godbout piano, Graydon Peterson bass

Saturday, March 24 – TBD

More great music to come!

 

Dubbel/Tripel

From-Jim

On our most recent trip to Belgium, we visited three of the countries six fabled monasteries in one day.   Needless to say we drank and ate that afternoon like royalty.  We did learn something that day however.  One of the monasteries, which shall remain nameless at this time to protect the innocent, offers a beer called “Half and Half”.  It consists of half pours of their Dubbel and Tripel in the same glass.  Delicious.

 

Upon returning home, the first thing we did was pour half of our Hoodoo Dubbel and half of the Brimstone Tripel in a glass and tried it out.  Delicious.  Therefore, effective immediately, we have added the Dubbel/Tripel to our beer list.  Stop by the taproom to see for yourself.  It is within your rights as a consumer to purchase a bottle of Hoodoo and Brimstone and pour the Dubbel/Tripel in the comfort of your own home.

DubelTripel

 

It is priced the same as a 12-ounce pour of the Hoodoo or Brimstone.  It’s not available in sample, bottle or growler form.  The Dubbel/Tripel is something we should have thought of long ago.

I guess it reinforces the fact that we need to go Belgium more often.

Prost!

Final Installments of “Breaking Boundaries Series” Unveiled

WheatWine
Label Design by Shawn McCann
Quad
Label design by Shawn McCann
All 4 beers
Photo by Shawn McCann

BOOM ISLAND’S BLACK CURRANT IMPERIAL WHEAT WINE AND QUADRUPEL HOPPED QUAD

Final Installments of “Breaking Boundaries Series” Unveiled

Boom Island Brewing Company is continuing its cartwheeling on the precipice with the announcement of the release of Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine and Quadrupel Hopped “Well Balanced” Quad, the final installments of the Breaking Boundaries Series. This series is an unapologetic expression of brewing, twisting and elevating traditional Belgian beers to new heights.

The inspiration of the series:

Boundaries are meant to be blurred and broken and Boom Island is doing exactly that through a creative series of 4 beers, each designed to take a classic Belgian brew and re-write the rulebook. In collaboration with local artist/illustrator/label designer and friend, Shawn McCann, these 4 single batch brews (only 12 barrels each, and four total for 2017) set out to forge new directions of inspiration.

The four beers in the Breaking Boundaries Series:

Dry Hopped Belgian Golden Strong

Oak Aged Belgian Double Pale Ale “Bolleke Plus”

Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine {to be released September 15th}

Quadrupel Hopped “Well Balanced” Belgian Quad (to be released September 29th)
Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine, the third beer in the series will be unveiled on Friday, September 15th, 2017 on tap in the Boom Room and in corked and caged 750ml bottles.  Brewed with a heaping helping of wheat malt, the style has a malty sweetness and full body. Wheat, with the addition of Black Currant, adds a touch of tartness, adding to the complexity of the beer’s finish.  It also helps promote head retention. Big body and taste but easy to drink, the Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine weighs in at twice the ABV of standard Wit.  Pair it with a quality baguette and some cheese like Gorgonzola, Limburger or feta and make a night of it.  This beer is a perfect candidate for cellaring.

The final installment of the Breaking Boundaries Series is the Quadrupel Hopped “Well Balanced” Quad.  For hundreds of years in Belgium, the traditional Quad required a balance between malty and candy sugar notes.  Leaving that tradition in the rear view mirror, Boom Island decided to use four big hop varieties (Columbus, Equinox, Chinook and Centennial) to add a new wrinkle to the style.  A hefty 10.2% ABV was designed to get your attention.  Quadrupel Hopped “Well Balanced” Quad, the fourth and final beer in the series will be released on Friday, September 29th, 2017 in taproom pours and corked and caged 750ml bottles.  As always, make point to stop by the taproom in a timely manner to guarantee you can add a bottle or two to your cellar.

Additional Info:

Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine:  9% ABV

Grain Bill: Malted Wheat, Pilsner Malt

Hops: Bittering Hops

IBU: 25

Appearance:  Hazy yellow

Flavor: Fruity nose from black currant with rich and velvety mouthfeel.

Quadrupel Hopped “Well Balanced” Quad:  10.2% ABV

Grain Bill: Munich Malt, Belgian Pale Malt and Candy Sugar

Hops: Columbus (Bittering), Equinox (Citrus, Tropical Fruit), Chinook (Citrus, Spice and Pine) and Centennial (Citrus, more Citrus).

IBU: 89.5

Appearance:  Deep amber

Flavor: Big strong malt body with a huge citrus hop nose and flavor.

We have had a great time sucker punching the status quo with the Breaking Boundaries Series.  Our goal was to create something unique and delicious, all the while testing our creative chops and challenging our comfort level along with the pallets of our loyal customers.  As for the future:  the sky is the limit.  This series has taught us that the possibilities are endless.

Breaking Boundaries Series II: This one is about the malt.

From-KevinThis one started out with a wonderful journey 5 months back, to where else? Belgium! Qiuxia, my wife, and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with Karl Dingeman. Karl just happens to be the great great grandson of Alexander Dingeman who started malting barley in Belgium in the mid 1800’s. Karl is now the 5th generation of the family to run the malt facility which is the oldest family owned maltery in Belgium.

We dropped in early one morning last September. I can vividly remember the smell of the fall air. So natural, as the maltery’s property is bordered by fields of seasonal veggies and free roaming sheep. We were welcomed in by the staff and the morning started off with a wonderful history lesson on the malt process and the patented processes that the Dingeman family use. We were then joined by Karl himself who walked us through some of the famous Belgian beers that are produced with 100% Dingemans malt. These beers included breweries from Trappists to commercial, well known to obscure, tiny operations to the big guys. It is amazing that we still had enough coordination to navigate our way through the production house afterwards.

The knowledge picked up that day was beyond any expectation I could have imagined. I learned that day that it just so happens that many malteries produce only base malts. The base malts are basically given the opportunity to sprout, then dried gently to preserve the enzymes necessary for the brewing process. Dried at the lowest possible temperature for Pilsner malt, or dried at a slightly higher temperature for Pale Ale malt. Many fewer malteries produce the specialty roasted malts, such as caramel malts, dark malts and in Karl’s case, his patented “Special B” malt. Mouterij Dingemans produces both! No questions, no hesitations, and they do both at the highest standards of quality without exception.

Another thing I learned from Karl is that malting and the barley used to produce malt in Europe has always had it primary focus on the flavor of the finished beer. In North America however, commercialization and industrialization has pushed the focus more in the direction of the quantity of the yield of the harvest. This claim became a realization when I later returned to brew my first batch of beer using Karl’s malt as the entire grain bill.

Karl proceeded to walk us through the entire operation start to finish, including the analysis lab where all the quality control is monitored. We finally ended up the afternoon at the 3 star Michelin restaurant overlooking the famous Port of Antwerp, eating an amazing Belgian lunch accompanied with beer after beer that were brewed with Karl’s malt. Toward the end of the meal, I did my typical trick that I use when visiting my Chinese family and excused myself to use the restroom (with the intention of picking up the bill). As I approached the waiter he responded, “Mr. Dingeman has instructed me that your money is no good here.” Embarrassingly, I returned to our table and the look on my face must have been obvious enough. Attempting an additional haggle for the bill, Karl explained, “The time it took to show you around the mouterij and take you out for lunch was much much cheaper than it would cost me to travel to Minneapolis to do a sales call at Boom Island Brewing.” I was left speechless and humbled. That day was one of the most truly inspirational days of my life as an artist, whether it be playing the French Horn or brewing.

Malt

 Upon our return, I decided to make a batch of beer using all Karl’s malt. The first experience was during milling. The smell was very rich with bread and nutty aromas. Next was in the mash, it was at that point that I could vividly recall the smell of the air that morning visiting Mouterij Dingemans. The smell was identical! It is really amazing that the literal essence of the tiny town of Stabroek, Belgium literally soaked into the malt and was released in the brewhouse of Boom Island Brewing Company. Wow! It’s no surprise at this point, and inline with our vision of brewing classic Belgian style beer here at Boom Island, we now proudly use 100% Dingeman’s Malt!

De_Koninck_APA_900

Now that was a really long prelude to the story behind this new beer, so here we go with the meat and potatoes. Upon our return home, I was approached by Cargill, who is the North American importer of Mouterij Dingemans. We were asked to prepare a collaboration brew with Mouterij Dingemans and Hopsteiner (one of the worlds largest hop suppliers). The beer was to be highlighted at Craft Brewers Conference 2017 in Washington D.C. Without hesitation, I accepted. Now comes down to the recipe formulation. Taking inspiration from the rich history and tradition of the Dingeman family and their contribution the the history of Belgian brewing, I rewound myself to the very first recipe I sketched out for Boom Island. Ironically, I planned this recipe as Qiuxia and I sat in the main square of the city of Antwerp just 10 miles south of the Dingemans facility. It was as I had my first taste of what I consider the definition of a Belgian Pale Ale, De Koninck. To order this beer in Antwerp, you have to options. First, simply ask for a glass of beer in dutch, the waiter will get the message and bring you a De Koninck “Een Bolleke, Alstublieft”. Second, if you are feeling really confident of your local appeal, you can hold up the number of beers you would like with your fingers, then follow it by pointing upward with the pinky finger and a nod of the head. In the local dialect of Flemish Dutch, the word for the pinky finger is the same word for a pint, “Pintjes”. No need to clarify which pint you prefer, you will get a pint of De Koninck.

Bolleke Photo
Paying homage to the rich brewing tradition and malting tradition of the Antwerp area, I took that first Belgian Pale recipe that I sketched out and amped it up a couple of notches in alcohol to what I am calling a “Belgian Double Pale”. Then working with Doug at Hopsteiner, I dry hopped it with a new variety that they have Exp. #09326 which gives a really nice delicate nose. Finally, giving a nod to history of beer in the region I aged it on French oak. As recent as 60 years ago, these beers would have been delivered and poured from oak barrels so why not? The result is a truly rich and complex yet balanced Amber colored beer that rings in at 7.2% ABV. Once again, we worked with artist / illustrator, Sean McCann for the label art. (He is the one who did our mural outside the brewery). I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed sharing the story behind the recipe.

BollekePlusRevised

Bolleke Plus:  7.2% ABV

Grain Bill: Pale, Biscuit, Aromatic and Caramel Malts

Hops: Bravo, Exp.#09326

IBU: 23.4

Appearance:  Dark Copper straw

Flavor:  Citrusy bitterness tempered by the malt, fruity nose, hints of French Oak

Santé!

Kevin

Mixed Fermentation

framboise6
From-Kevin
Framboise is our newest member to join the Spontaneous Series. These Lambic type beers sit in the oaken barrels for well beyond 12 months before they are opened up for a sample to evaluate their maturity. It is at that point that several decisions are made. First, has the beer developed not only acidity, but also has it developed the layers of depth that can only be achieved through a very, very long “mixed fermentation”.  A mixed fermentation is one in which a cocktail of different microbes are going to work and simultaneously breaking down the various food sources present in the liquid. Choices made here by the taster and blender will result in the destiny of the beer.
In Belgium, fruit (and I’m not talking about a slice of orange) has been used in beer production for hundreds of years. Especially with regard to the production of Lambic beers. Additionally, the fruit I find most frequently associated with Lambics is the Raspberry. “Framboise” in French for southern Belgium or “Frambozen” in the Dutch speaking north, raspberries have been found to be the perfect accompaniment to the acidic depth of a spontaneously fermented Belgian Lambic.
In our case, I felt that the blend lent itself very nicely to partnering up with a healthy dose of raspberries. It was at about the 14th month of fermentation when the raspberries were added. Of course, all those wacky non-traditional brewing microbes went nuts consuming the additional sugars present. The beer actually foamed out of the barrels at that point. I gave it a couple more months to ferment out all the remaining sugars. Next, we hand bottled the beer one by one with a little additional fermentable sugar and finished it with a cork and cage. The bottles then underwent an additional fermentation inside the bottle to develop its natural carbonation, which is exactly the same as the Champagne bottling process referred to as Champagne Méthode Classique.
framboise3
I can’t conclude the blog without referencing the overly sweetened yet most famous example of Framboise, that of Brouwerij Lindeman’s. A truly wonderful and historically important brewery itself, the Lindeman’s Framboise is not the example I was taking inspiration from. Perhaps more applicable examples in our case would be those made by Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, Oud Beersel or Timmerman’s.
framboise2
This Framboise is going to be dry but with very complex layers of depth from both the wild fermentation in the barrel as well as all the fruit. Its appearance is totally influenced by the raspberries. It pours a deep ruby red with a quickly dissipating head due to all the head retention elements being consumed along the way. You will get the fruit on the nose, but don’t over chill the bottle. The fruit comes out when the beer is a few notches above fridge temperature. We only bottled two barrels worth this year so grab it quickly. I can’t wait to share some fruity sour complexity with all of you!
Lambics are great with food as well, there are some ideas for you:
Fennel, Sun choke and Apple Salad. Tart, clean, and goes well with fruit lambics.
Mussels with beer sauce and of course fries. Anything goes with fries!
Eggs Benedict. Yes, this classic breakfast fix is surprisingly sour beer friendly.
Belgian Waffles. Why not! Top your waffles with some delicious fresh raspberries!
Santé!!!

Kevin

Join us, we are hiring!

150Boom

Description

Boom Island Brewing is a growing micro-brewery in Minneapolis crafting Belgian style beers since 2011.

We are currently looking for part-time Brand Ambassadors to join our growing company immediately.

As a Brand Ambassador, you will be working with the sales team to conduct in store tasting events.  Brand Ambassadors will be responsible for engaging customers, delivering key product messaging and encouraging the purchase of Boom Island Brewing’s line of Belgian style beers.

Key Responsibilities:

Enthusiastically represent Boom Island Brewing and our clients

Educate and inform shoppers about the Boom Island Brewing’s products

Engage shoppers and share key messages about Boom Island Brewing and clients

Enthusiastically work with store owners and managers to create a memorable experience for shoppers

Provide detailed feedback on shopper interactions and comments

Present a professional appearance and show up on time

Attend brand/product training

Set up & Breakdown the tasting set

Keep accurate inventory of tasting products for the brewery and stores

Qualifications:

Extremely outgoing, enthusiastic and energetic

Comfortable educating and sharing product with shoppers

Strong verbal communication skills

Dependable and reliable

Must be able to commit to event days

Independent and motivated whose past experience clearly demonstrates team player abilities

Available transportation to get to and from the site is required

Must have access to computer and cell phone

Must be able to lift 30 pounds

Able to work on weekends.

Compensation:

Hourly wage.

12-15 hours per month.

Benefits:

Beer

Apparel

Fun time

Working with a great group of people

Please send cover letter and resume to qwelch@boomislandbrewing.com

No calls please.