Pints & Purrs Fundraiser for Feline Rescue

 

BoomGivesBackLogoSmallHorizPints and Purrs 2018

We are joining forces with Feline Rescue host the 3rd Annual Pints & Purrs Fundraiser. On Saturday, June 23, we pair unique Belgian-inspired craft beers with lots of cat-themed fun. Join us for a purring good time!

At Pints & Purrs, you’ll not only have the privilege of snuggling with Feline Rescue’s finest kittens, you’ll also meet a wide range of characters who love Belgian-style beer. A portion of the day’s Boom Room sales will benefit Feline Rescue.

Don’t miss out on Kitten Therapy – the most popular part of the day! Kitten Therapy is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to cuddle and play with some of our adorable, adoptable Feline Rescue foster kittens! For an opportunity to reserve an 8-minute therapy session, visit https://felinerescue.org/kittentherapy. Or you may wait until June 23 and enter for a chance to win 5 minutes with our kittens – winners will be drawn and announced only as spots become available. It’s best to hurry to try to secure a reservation!

Schedule of Events:

1-3 p.m. FACE PAINTING BY KAREN AND RED CARPET PHOTO OPS

1-5 p.m. KITTY KRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES
Make kitty krafts and cat toys to donate to Feline Rescue cats or take home to your own kitty. Participate in cat-themed coloring, games, activities, and fun for all ages!

1-8 p.m. KITTEN VIDEO FASHION SHOW
Watch Feline Rescue kittens strut their stuff and vote with your dollars to select our new 2019 Spokes Kitten!

SEE PAST KITTEN VIDEO FASHION SHOWS
2017
2016

1-8 p.m. GASTROTRUCK FOOD TRUCK
Enjoy modern Midwestern cuisine that emphasizes seasonal, sustainable ingredients. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options are available.

2-5 p.m. KITTEN THERAPY
Visit https://felinerescue.org/kittentherapy for information about how to get your cuddle on with Feline Rescue’s foster kittens.

3-7 p.m. BOOM BEER PULL
You can’t lose! $20 gives you the opportunity to pull a 750ml Boom Island bottle of signature brew! If you’d like to donate a bottle (or case) please contact events@felinerescue.org.

3-7 p.m. DOOR PRIZE DRAWINGS
Prizes include Sojo’s gift box, gift cards, and kitty swag! Must be present to win.

About Boom Island Brewing Company

Following the Belgian tradition, all Boom Island beers are naturally carbonated and bottle conditioned. Live yeast is added just before the beer is bottled, resulting in a fresher tasting beer with flavors that continue to evolve over time. While you’re enjoying a beer, watch the Boom Island brew masters in the tap room as they use strains of Belgian yeast to produce the elusive qualities found only in beer from the breweries of their origin.

Contact info@events.felinerescue.org for more information.

Farm to Brewery: Literally.

qiuxiaHeadshot“Farm to table” to most of us means the relationship between farmers and food we consume at home or in restaurants. People want to know where their food comes from and the faces behind their food. They want it to be local and personal. For those of us working in breweries, “farm to table” has a new meaning. It means, “farms to bottles”, “farm to pints”, “farm to brewery”. In fact that relationship has been cultivated for centuries. In Europe, farmhouse breweries have deep roots in Belgium and France. Farmers use whatever grains and ingredients they have on hand to make beer. “Eating Local” is gaining in popularity in this age of processed everything, but back in the day it was the only way. Most of the beer they made was consumed within the household and shared with family and friends in the village. During harvest time, they would make large batches of beer using grains, including malts and wheat, spices like coriander, along with yeast and water that were all sourced from the farms.   The migrant farm workers were the beneficiaries of the beer which was simply called ”farmhouse” beer.  Today, this special style of beer is popular. The guideline is wide and flavors and ingredients are diverse.

True farmhouse breweries are becoming increasingly rare. Most breweries have moved on to using modern equipment and commercially sourced ingredients to meet their demands. But the relationship between farm and brewery is extremely close. At Boom Island Brewing we cultivate that relationship with Chad Douglass and his family at Douglass Farm in Mora, MN.

cropped-suzie

For the past two years, Chad has picked up all of our spent grain to provide a nutrient rich food source for his animals.  The grain is saved from the landfills on our end, and Chad says his animal’s ears perk up when they hear the truck pull in with the grain.  The cows run beside his truck to get into the proper position for feeding time. Happy cows, happy everyone!

Chad and his wife Brenda and son Cooper have worked their 80-acre farm for two years.  They grow and bail their own hay, as well as some neighboring farms and end up bailing 250 acres each year.  A friend told him about the benefits of using spent grain, so he decided it was worth the hour trip from Mora.  The grain is high in protein, contains good starch and helps the cows maintain a grass-fed diet. In the heat of the summer some of the grain is used as compost for their garden.  They have a list of animals to feed, including Belted Galloway cows, dogs and exotic short hair cats, Brahma chickens, Serama chickens, ducks and geese. We look forward to Chad’s weekly visits. Many times he comes with chicken eggs, rabbit and beef fresh from the farm and we bond our friendship with a couple of pints.

Farm-to-brewery-to-farm-to-table. This is truly local, environmental and sustainable.

Every spring, we release our version of Farmhouse ale, called Saison (meaning “Season” in French). Each year our Saison would be unique, incorporating orange peel, barley, oats, wheat and perhaps a touch of rye. However, just calling it “Farmhouse” isn’t enough this year:  we are bringing the farm to our north Minneapolis brewery. Boom Island parking lot will host baby Rex rabbits, miniature Serama chickens, a Galloway calf or two and some new hatchling baby ducks.  Maybe even a pony or two, and possibly a goat.  Chad Douglass will be on hand to answer questions and sell a few of his wares. Dog treats using spent grain will be made available for dog owners and their pets.

Come during the day to pet the animals and stay for live Jazz at 7pm. The MN Hard Bop Collective will be playing music of Bobby Watson.

Saison5x7
Saison,  Farmhouse Ale

Saison – 6% ABV

Appearance – Light copper in color with a fluffy white head

Aroma – Soft and subtle citrus.

Flavor – Smooth mouth feel, light spice bitterness with its trademark dry and delicate finish.

Eat local, drink local!

Cheers!

 

Conversation with Thijs Maenhout

qiuxiaHeadshot
Qiuxia Welch, Co-founder Boom Island Brewing

On February 23, we released our first collaboration beer created in partnership with a small Belgian brewery, Brouwerij Maenhout. The beer, Kollusion, is a Russian Imperial Stout. It’s not a style commonly associated with Belgium, and neither Brouwerij Maenhout or Boom Island has released one before. I checked in with Thijs Maenhout to get his thoughts on the experience.

What inspired this collaboration?

It was a fun experiment! Kollusion has been very well received in Belgium, in fact it sold out in three days! I have never made a stout before, and I was excited to try something new. Here in Belgium traditions are strong. People like to drink what they are familiar with over and over. But as a brewer, I like to try new things and experiment with new styles. It can be boring if you just make same beer every day. I’d like to brew more collaborations with Boom Island. I think we could learn more if we were to brew side by side.

What is your favorite Russian Imperial Stout?

Mmm…honestly, I have never had one before! This beer was a pure experiment and I had a lot fun making it.

What are your thoughts about the craft beer industry in America today?

I am very interested in learning more about the U.S. craft beer industry. I’m a member of the Brewers Association and I’m active on many online craft beer forums. Belgium and the U.S. are very different. Here in Belgium, people stick to traditions. It takes a long time for brewers to come out with new beers, because our consumers like to drink the same beer that they have been drinking for years. It is changing, but slowly. There are more hoppy beers now in Belgium, and brewers are experimenting more with other styles. I like what is happening in the U.S. The market is very diverse. Brewers and consumers aren’t afraid to try new things, and they’re not afraid to think outside the box. Sometimes these new beers work, sometimes they don’t. People just move on and keep trying new things. I like that. I like that spirit. That is why I want to collaborate with Kevin and learn from him.

This collaboration is a story of what’s possible when two breweries from different countries learn from each other. What would you like people in the U.S. to know about Belgian beers?

Two things. Tradition and balance. We have a long history of making beer, so there is a lot of knowledge that comes from brewing Trappist beers to lambic and gueuze beers. These traditions have been passed down for hundreds of years. Belgians are good at brewing! Another thing is balance. We always try to make balanced beer. It is never too bitter, or too sweet. We believe that is essential for making good beer.

What do you say to people who say “I don’t like Belgian beer.”

Try another. There are over 1,600 different beers in Belgium. Trust me, you’ll find one you like.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk about this collaboration. Do you have plans for another one?

Yes! I am looking forward to brewing another beer with Boom Island when you Kevin come to Belgium in April with your tour group.

 

More readings on Belgian beer history and Belgian beers:

The Great Beers of Belgium – Michael Jackson

CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide to Belgium – Tim Webb, Joe Stange

The Belgian Beer Book – Erick Verdonck

 

 

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