Boom_2016_Kriek750mlLabel

Keeping up the Belgian Tradition

From-Kevin

Kriek, barrel aged sour beer fermented with cherries. Krieks originated as a variation on another Belgian style of spontaneously fermented beer called Lambic. Lambic producers originated from the area just to the south and southwest of Brussels. It is believed that the region evolved such a tradition of initial open fermentation, then wild or mixed fermentation, in wooden barrels because of the abundance of natural yeast in the air from the many local fruit orchards. Today some breweries which are not in the Lambic region produce Kriek but use other wild or mixed fermentation processes such as a vatted Pale or an Oud Bruin.

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Belgium is fairly unique in the respect that using fruit to ferment alongside wort created from grain has been a tradition for hundreds of years. I like to think of it this way. Belgium is a wonderful little country wedged between Germany which is famous for beer, and France for its wine. (There is a reason why many great Belgian beers come corked and caged, just like Champagne.) The Belgians have taken the best inspiration from those around them and put it all together to bring us the most diverse tradition of brewing we know historically. Today of course, we know American craft beer to push all boundaries. But the Belgians have been doing this for hundreds of years!

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Kevin and Liefman’s brewer

On to the Boom Island Kriek. This beer pays respect to that Lambic tradition of making beer with cherries. Since we are not producing it in the Lambic region of Belgium however, you will not find the words Lambic (or Gueuze – which means blended Lambic) anywhere on our labels. These are registered terms just like Champagne. Our wort, just like Lambic, was produced by what is called a Turbid Mash. This means during the mash, liquid is drained off, boiled, then returned to the pot to gradually raise the temperature through multiple steps. Our wort is then boiled with old, brown oxidized hops. This is also standard in producing Lambic. The old hops have lost most of their aroma and bitterness potential, but still maintain their preservative qualities. This is important to fight back Lactobacillus. But doesn’t Lactobacillus cause sourness? Lactobacillus could cause some sourness, but Lambic brewers have found the acid it produces lacks the depth and complexity which is found in a barrel aged Lambic.

This brings up a little tangent. A relatively common practice these days here in the US craft beer scene is referred to as a “kettle sour”. This is a technique which does use that very microbe, Lactobacillus, to sour the wort over the course of 24-48 hours before it is boiled. Once the desired ph is achieved, the wort is then boiled to kill off all the bacteria. The remainder of the brew process is a “clean” fermentation and the finished beer can be achieved in a matter of weeks. This allows a brewer to quickly produce a couple of German style beers like Berliner Weisse and Gose. One can find many pleasant and tasty examples of this type of beer on the market.

The Belgian approach however is quite different.  As our process continues, we have incorporated a turbid mash and then boiled the wort with oxidized hops. The wort is then cooled and moved to a stainless conical fermenter where it begins fermentation. The top is left open so the now fermenting beer can interact with the ambient air. Next comes the important part. Toward the end of the primary fermentation, the beer is moved into oak wine barrels to rest for more than a year. These recently emptied barrels had been home to sour beer produced by the same method for up to 4 years. The porousness of the wood harbors the litany of microbes which slowly soured the beer in the barrel over the course of at least a year and usually more.

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Cherry Picking in South Minneapolis

Hand picked tart cherries are added to the barrel and after a year the fermentation kicks back into action. After a couple of months, the sugars from the cherries have all been consumed and the beer is ready to bottle. Fresh yeast and a small amount of fermentable sugar is then added to the flat beer at bottling time. The bottles are corked and caged (the Belgians learned this carbonation technique from the Champagne makers of long ago) and a final fermentation takes place in the sealed bottle creating natural carbonation. This is the short story of how our Kriek is produced

 

 

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Stats:

Kriek – 4.8% ABV

Appearance : Light-Red Rose.

Flavor : Slightly tart, nutty and acidic, with a light effervescence and dry cherry halo.

Proost!

Kevin

Cool for Cats: Boom to Host First Annual Pints & Purrs Event

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Despite the wildly popular Cat Video Festival held locally in August, it seems that cats and cat rescue organizations get less love and attention than their canine counterparts.  To help level the playing field, Boom Island is proud to announce our inaugural Pints & Purrs event in the taproom.  Slated for Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 1-9pm, this daylong event will benefit St. Paul non-profit Feline Rescue, Inc.  Activities for this cat-centric event include Kitty Krafting, a video fashion show, Kitten Therapy, and trivia with proceeds going to Feline Rescue, Inc.

Schedule of planned events for Saturday, October 15th:

1:00pm: Boom Room opens with Louisiana Purchase Cajun food on site.

Kitten Therapy opens.

3:00pm: Kitty Krafting: Crafts for cats; donate to Feline Rescue or take home to your favorite feline.

5:00pm: Video Cat Fashion Show, hosted by Feline Rescue, Inc. vote with your dollars for the Cutest Kitty Costume and help save more cats!

5:00pm: Kitten Therapy closes.

7:00pm: Cat Trivia hosted by Feline Rescue, Inc. with prizes awarded.

9:00pm: Boom Room Closes.

Feline Rescue, Inc. will supply the kittens for the Kitten Therapy.  For the safety and health of the shelter animals, we request that the public refrain from bringing in their pets to this event.

Feline Rescue, Inc. is one of the best, if not the best cat-centric foster and shelter organizations in the region.  In 2015 they took in a record 809 cats, 741 of which were adopted.  Please stop by the taproom on October 15 and help us celebrate all things cat.  For more information and to help, go to:

felinerescue.org

felinerescue.blogspot.com

facebook.com/felinerescueinc

twitter.com/felinerescueinc

flickr.com/felinerescueinc

Boom Room Jazz Goes Monthly in the Fall/Winter

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Hopefully you all have had a chance to stop by on a Saturday night this summer for Boom Room Jazz. We couldn’t be happier for the opportunity to host jazz of such high quality. Boom Room Jazz will continue on Saturday night August 27 at 7pm. Please note that starting in September, we will go back to once per month schedule. Starting Saturday September 3, we will be hosting Brad Bellows and Friends on the first Saturday of each month at 7pm. There is never a cover charge for Boom Room Jazz. Here are the Fall/Winter dates:

Boom Room Jazz:

Saturday August 27 @ 7pm

Fall Schedule:

Saturday September 3 @ 7pm

Saturday October1 @ 7pm

Saturday November 5 @ 7pm

Saturday December 3 @ 7pm

Saturday December 17 @ 7pm – Special Holiday Program

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Please make a point to stop by and revel in the jazz by Brad Bellows and Friends! These Cats can wail. Enjoy one of our Taproom Exclusive beers while you are at it. Jazz and fresh Belgian-style beers? Yes please.

The Art of Aging Bottles of Boom: Resist Temptation

From-Jim

Over the last several months I’ve heard a number of people admit that they don’t possess the will power to age their bottles of Boom Island beer for any length of time.  They just can’t resist the lure, and allure, of those beautiful 750ml bottles of ambrosia.  To make the task even more difficult, the taproom has bottles available of Yule 2014, Yule 2015, Triple Brett and Cuvée de Boom in corked and caged 750’s.  All of these beers are special, limited and not readily available anywhere else in town.

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© Heather Hanson Photography LLC

My sales pitch, which many of you have heard, goes something like: “Buy a couple bottles (of the Yule for example). Drink one when you get home and put the other in your cellar or basement and bust it out on Christmas Eve.  It continues to ferment in the bottle and gets more complex and delicious with each passing month.  Don’t feel compelled to share it with your family and friends when they show interest.”

Most chuckle and think it’s a good idea but some still can’t resist the temptation.  The bottles never make it to that special occasion.  Here is the idea of the day:  Buy a couple bottles.  When you get home force yourself to wrap them in any form of giftwrap you have on hand.  Next dig out your holiday decorations and bury the wrapped bottles in the bottom of a box and cover it with other boxes.  Out of sight, out of mind.

When the holiday boxes come out down the line, the bottles will emerge.  Drink them then stop by the taproom or your favorite store and buy some bottles of the Yule 2016.  After the holiday, put the bottles in the boxes and put them away for the year.  Put it out of your mind.  Next Christmas you have one-year-old bottles waiting for you, much to your surprise and delight.  Drink them up or use as a prepaid gift option.

Way to go.  You are now a pillar of self-control.

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© Heather Hanson Photography LLC

 

 

 

Boom Days: Meet the Bands (6)

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 Eleganza!

Performing: Saturday,  July 16 at 8PM

Headlining this year’s Boom Days on Saturday , July 16th is local rockers Eleganza!. Eleganza! was formed by Brian Vanderwerf, guitarist/vocalist for the Estrus Records band The Midnight Evils and the celebrated Chooglin’ (Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess Records).

 

Eleganza! is a 3-guitar ROCK AND ROLL attack featuring Vanderwerf and Chooglin’ bandmate, Jeff Johnson, and ex-Ol’ Yeller’s Greg McAloon. Also on board is the legendary Tony Zaccardi of Romantica & Kruddler on bass, and his longtime partner in crime Tim Baumgart (Wizards Are Real/Big Ditch Road/Kruddler) on drums and August Varwig on harmonica.

The band played the First Avenue BEST NEW BANDS of 2012, and have opened for The ALABAMA SHAKES, CHARLES BRADLEY, BOB LOG III, LEE BAINS III & THE GLORY FIRES, LEFT LANE CRUISER, BUFFALO KILLERS, MEAT PUPPETS, BOBBY BARE Jr. and more!

The band recorded their first record at Secret Stash Studios in Minneapolis. Look for a release date in the fall of 2016.

We urge you to “Like” them immediately: https://www.facebook.com/eleganzaband/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/Eleganza_band

Boom Days: Meet the Bands (5)

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Phantom Tails

Performing: Saturday, July 16 at 6:30PM

Phantom Tails formed in early 2009. In fact, the band never really formed so much as it emerged as part of a natural progression. All four members had been playing together for some time in other bands before indulging to embark on a more electronic, gritty, and concise musical path. Wielding distorted analog synthesizers, fuzz bass,and angular guitar while brandishing electronic drum beats sampled from vintage 808 machines, traditional sumatran folk music, and sonar whale recordings, they have executed this transition. How can this be categorized? Deep Space Doom Funk, of course.

Music- https://soundcloud.com/phantom-tails

Videos- https://www.youtube.com/user/phantomtailstv

EPK- http://phantomtails.bandcamp.com/

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phantom-Tails/102218143151972

Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/phantom_tails