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

 

 

The Kollusion Kollaboration

From-Kevin“Why would two different brewers stick their mash paddles into the same pot?”

This was a question posed to me by a Dutch brewer in a small enclave of Belgian territory about 5 years ago. That has been my thinking ever since regarding collaborations. They almost always come across as a marketing gimmick, despite the positive reaction from the public.

My mind was changed however, on our last trip to Belgium as I had the opportunity to visit one of my closest brewing buddies in Belgium, Thijs Maenhout of Brouwerij Maenhout. Thijs’ brewery is similarly sized to that of Boom Island. 12-15 BBL batches, unfiltered and bottle conditioned as is consistent with Belgian tradition. Thijs’ brewery is unique in that it qualifies as a genuine “Huisbrouwerij” under Belgian law meaning that his family’s place of residence is under the same roof as the brewery itself. The thing I most respect about Thijs though, is a quality I strive to execute here at Boom Island. That is nailing down the classics of the Belgian tradition of brewing first, then stepping beyond that realm to show one’s true understanding of the broader brewing culture.

Maenhout glass
Boom Island Belgium Beer Tour 2017.
brouwerijmaenhout31_lightbox
Thijs Maenhout, Brouwerij Maenhout

On that last trip to Belgium, I was lucky enough to meet up with Thijs over a few brews as he casually tossed out, “Why don’t we do a collaborative brew of some sort?” Having never approached the topic before and without hesitation, I responded, “Absolutely!”. So what follows is how it all went down.

He chose the style, Russian Imperial Stout. I added the idea of using a bit of Chocolate to represent Belgium and a bit of Coffee (supplied by North Loop Dunn Bros.) to represent Minneapolis’ vibrant coffee scene. Both ingredients to be kept subtle and balanced as should be in true Belgian fashion. From there, Thijs developed a recipe and sent us the samples via a friend who happens to work here in Minneapolis a couple of weeks each year and also happens to be his logo designer. The entire Boom Island team agreed that test batch was outstanding! No changes necessary.

kevin-thijs.jpg
Kevin and Thijs in Brouwerij Maenhout, Pittem Belgium

Then came the biggest challenge, naming the beer. Let’s see:  Russian Imperial Stout, behind closed doors, Belgian brewer meets with American brewer. No paper trail, no missing emails, no dossier, and until now no one has had to recuse themselves.   The name “Kollusion” surfaced, seemed perfect and was agreed upon

 

Kollusion –  Russian Imperial Stout, 11% ABV

Appearance –Thick and inky as a blackout velvet curtain, with a deep espresso head

Aroma –  Roasted malt, with hints of chocolate and coffee lurking in the shadows

Flavor –  Bold but light on the palate, with notes of dark malt, coffee and chocolate in equal measure.  Flavors emerge as the beer warms in the glass.

Kollusion is bold, beautiful and a little mysterious.  It is a delicious departure for us, and we are excited about it. See for yourself on Friday, February 23 at 4pm.  Another collaboration beer with Thijs is a distinct possibility that will be discussed in late April when we visit the Brouwerij Maenhout with our Boom Island tour group. On the 23rd we will have bottles for sale and will be pouring it as fast as we can get it into a glass.

Kollusion line
Kollusion, Russian Imperial Stout
Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

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.