It’s Only Wit But We Love It! Brouwerij Maenhout Collaboration

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From Qiuxia

What does “collaboration” mean in the fast-paced, and ever changing craft brewing world? There are plenty of one-and-done collaborative beers out there. They appear fast and disappear even faster.

Boom Island Brewing is no stranger to the collaboration beer scene. Last fall, we released our first collaborative beer, Kollusion, a Russian Imperial Stout,  with a small family brewery in Pittem, Belgium, Brouwerij Maenhout.

 

Kollusion
Our first collaborative beer finally met! The best part was the side-by-side tasting.The beer was an instant success on both sides of the pond. Thijs sold his batches within days, and we had to carefully guard our bottles and kegs so it lasted a little longer.

 

I always thought real collaboration should have a lasting impact, and it should come from something deeper than a quick flash-in-the-pan event. This is why I am moved by the friendship and creativity of Kevin and Thijs.

The inspiration of Lemon Drop Wit comes from a memorable trip and an evening of fun in the small town of Pittem, Belgium. Last April, we traveled with a group of beer lovers for our Belgian beer tour. Before the trip, Kevin and Thijs was already talking about another collaboration. They both felt that even though the first collaborative beer was great, they would have benefited more from brewing together. Since we were going to Belgium, Kevin decided to skip a day of the tour (he actually skipped Zythos Beer Festival!)  and go brew with Thijs. But what beer should they make together? How about Witbier? A beer style almost expired and later resurrected by Pierre Celis who created Hoegaarden.

The interesting story is, Witbier was the first beer we released in Minneapolis and Thijs in Belgium has never made a Witbier! To make it more “American”, Kevin decided to dry hop it with a hop variety that is not available in Belgium, Lemon Drop. Here is where the story gets juicy. Since we ran out of time to ship the hops to Thijs for the brew, the only choice we had was to bring the 11 pounds of hops in our suitcases. Luckily, we had a group of adventurous and willing tour folks, all the hops arrived safely (hopefully, no border control people are reading this).

Skip ahead to their production day, we go to the party later that night.  Kevin was invited to a special fundraising rock concert “Pure Rock” in the township, benefiting a local non-profit group for people with disabilities. Interestly enough it was organized by Thijs’ brother, Ward. The entire town was there and Kevin was welcomed by everyone (who said Belgians are boring and shy). We get so much done when we are having fun! By the end of the night, the name of beer, the label concept and taglines were all in place. We have a new collaborative beer!

Next day, when the tour group arrive at Brouwerij Maenhout, we were greeted by two good friends who have shared some amazing experiences together and the result is our second collaborative beer, Lemon Drop Wit – It’s only wit, but we love it!

Come celebrate the release Lemon Drop Wit, Friday, October 26 at 4pm.

The Beer:

 

Wit
Lemon Drop Wit, It’s Only Wit But We Love It!

 

The Lemon Drop Wit has a slightly peppery taste from the spelt, along with a velvety and hazy mouthfeel from the yeast.  It’s pale and cloudy and enriched with coriander and lemon zest. Lemon Drop Wit weighs in at 5.5% ABV, a modest 16 IBU, and is amazingly delicious.

 

Belgian Pale Ale, what might be one of the most under-recognized of the Belgian styles.

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From Qiuxia

Silvius Brabo was a mythical Roman soldier who killed a giant in Antwerp, Belgium.  The story goes like this: once upon a time there was a giant named Droun Antigoon, who asked for money from people to cross the only bridge over the river Scheldt. If they couldn’t pay, he would cut off their hand and throw it in the river. Silvius bravely fought the monster, cut off the giant’s hand and threw in the river.  Everyone lived happily ever after. Today, you can see his statue in front of the Antwerp City Hall in the main square.

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The statue of Silvius Brabo in Antwerp

But what does that have to do with our Belgian Pale Ale? Before I answer that question, let’s first talk about Belgian Pale Ale, what might be one of the most under-recognized of the Belgian styles.

Pale Ales were brewed as early as the mid-1700s. But it took the popularity of German “light beers” to put Belgian Pale Ale on the map. In the 1800s light, clear and low alcohol German Lagers were extremely popular. Many European brewers rushed to try to imitate the new light beer style. The Belgian brewers had to come up with their own version of the new trend.  They drew inspirations from British ales, used pale malts and Noble hops, but the yeast stayed truly Belgian. The “everyday” beer became more popular after World War II as a refreshing, malty and lightly hopped session beer.

Belgian Pale Ale (BPA) is a significant departure from its abbey beer cousins and is much less driven by esters, phenols, and alcohols. Instead, BPA relies more on the malt to carry the flavor. What really makes this beer is not just malt, but also the fruit esters.  When properly balanced, this beer should be a showcase of bread, toast, biscuit, and caramel. It is (ironically) not pale, but rather, a nice, rich amber, with some examples settling solidly into the red range. It can also be more bitter than most other Belgian styles, though even a “bitter” Belgian beer isn’t going to come across that way.

A true example of Belgian Pale Ale is the city beer of Antwerp, De Koninck APA (Antwerp Pale Ale), that is also the inspiration of Silvius, our version of Belgian Pale Ale.  Years ago, when having a brewery was just a wild dream of ours, Kevin and I took a trip to Belgium. On a very sunny afternoon, we stumbled upon the city festival in the center of the town in Antwerp. There was music, food, happy crowds and plenty of De Koninck, the refreshing, malty, lightly bitter Belgian Pale Ale. It seemed like the best beer in the world at that moment. Kevin declared that when he opens his brewery, the first beer shall be a Belgian Pale Ale!  But we needed a name for the beer, and as we were trying to come up with some smart, sexy names for this beer, we took a selfie in front of the iconic statue of Silvius Brabo, the local legend hero. Then Silvius Belgian Pale Ale was born.

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The City beer of Antwerp

A note on the malt itself:  without the malt of the Dingemans Family Maltery in Stabroek, Belgium, Silvius would not exist.  The Dingemans family, now in its 5th generation, started malting grain in 1875. Since then, Dingemans has shaped the flavor of beer in Antwerp, as well as all of Belgium.  We are proud to know them personally and even more to proud to use Karl’s malts exclusively for all of our beer, including our beloved Silvius.

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Owner of Dingemans and Kevin Welch

We are so happy to bring it back to the taproom. Enjoy while you can, this original Boom Island inspiration.

Cheers!

Boom Days 2018 – Bike to Boom

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Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. It is also known as one of the most bikeable cities in the U.S.. So it is only fitting that we plan an event featuring bicycles and organization doing amazing work for the cummunity through bicyles.

11AM Free Yoga class with YogaFit

But we will start the day with a free Yoga class with a certified Yoga instrustor from YogaFit Northeast location.  It is simple, just bring a matt if you have one, a towel and a water bottle. All levels welcome.

Receive $1 off of your first beer when you Bike to Boom Days

 

  • 1pm, Velofix Mobile Bike Repair Van will be providing free lubes, with the ability to fix anything on your bicycle for a reasonable fee.
  • 4 – 7 pm Pedego Electric Bikes will be leading tours starting.
  • Sturdy Bags, a Minneapolis Bag maker, will also be featuring local bags and bike accessories. Sturdy Bags features a collaborative design and meticulous construction to heighten the cycling experience.
  • 1 – 5pm Full Cycle Bike Shop is a nonprofit bike shop in south Minneapolis that offers quality bikes and service to our community,  and provides important resources and opportunities to young people experiencing homelessness.Got a bike collecting dust in your garage?  Donate it! We are collecting “gently used” bicycles on Saturday, July 14 from 1-10pm. Don’t have a bike?  Drop by and donate some cash – these people are amazing and help hundreds of kids each year.
  • 1 – 5pm Our Streets Minneapolis,  for better biking during the winter months in Minneapolis. Now is the time save up for one of those fat tire winter bikes.  Now is the time to scope out a local shop that sells said bikes, and shop around a little.  Saturday, July 14 is the time to attend a bicycle-centric Boom Days event, drink some Cuvée and fill out a postcard directed to the Minneapolis City Council to improve sidewalk cleaning during winter for bicyclists!
  • 1 – 5pm Nice Bikes. You’ve seen them all over but never tried one?  Stop by the Nice Ride booth and learn about Nice Ride stations near you, and exactly how easy it is to partake.  Hop on a bike and start pedaling: your destination awaits.
  • 1 – 5pm Recovery Bikes. This is another amazing bike shop who does more than just repair and sell bikes. They run a program called More than a Bicycle. They fix donated bikes and ship them to Africa. Parts of Africa are growing rapidly, but there are still serious infrastructure needs and the poorest of the poor are often left behind in a developing nation. In places where it exists even public transportation can be too expensive for a daily commute. Bicycles help pick up the slack. A bicycle can turn a three hour walk to the market into a half-hour errand.

 

Boom Days 2018 – The Beer

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From Qiuxia

Many of you know and love Boom Days. We pull all the stops to celebrate summer and beer. What makes Boom Days special is the beer, the very special beer: Cuveé de Boom. This year we sweeten the deal and will  be releasing our Petite Rosé as well! Both will be available to take home in bottle form, with a limited amount each day of the event.

So what’s special about the beer? Cuvée de Boom  is unhopped and oak aged.  Cuvée consists of 45% Pinot Grigio grapes and 55% Belgian style blond ale.  Specifically created for our annual Boom Days Festival, this blend awakens a nuanced palate for even the most sophisticated beer aficionado. Some people call it Wine Beer, we call it delicious!

We will be releasing the two beers on Friday July 13.  At 4pm, we will tap Petite Rosé and at 6pm Cuveé de Boom will be released. Both beers will be on tap and in bottles.

Cuvée de Boom – 12.5%ABV  Release at

Appearance – Fluffy white head, which quickly dissipates into a light champagne-like effervescent beverage.

Aroma – Light malt that interplays with white plum & grape aroma.

Flavor – Smooth mouth feel from the wine morphs into a collage of champagne with a hint of plum and lingers into an assertively dry finish.

Petite Rosé

Petite Rosé is similar to the Summer time version of the Cuvée, except with roughly half of the ABV, hence the “Petite” of its name. This beautiful beer is unhopped and consists of a hybrid of Belgian blond ale, Pinot Grigio and a dose of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Deep ruby in color, the beer is fermented with a Champagne yeast strain. Imagine yourseld in the the Mediterranean sun when you have a glass in hand.

Petite Rosé  – 6% ABV

Appearance – Shimmering, fluffy white head, deep ruby in color.

Aroma – Red grape and plum, light malt intermingles.

Flavor – A hybrid of Belgian blond ale and a tantalizing sparkling Rosé.

It would not be a beer release party with activites. Here is what we have planned for you. Do Bike to Boom, you will get $1 off on your first beer if you do!

Don Oishi Kitchen Japanese Street Food

Don Oishi

The Skruffians with live instrumental Ska and Reggae

Skruffians

Free Photo Booth with Heather Hanson Weddings Photography

Heather Hason

Bike to Boom Days 2018, July 13-15

 

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A Summer Celebration of Beer, Bands and Bicycles

For our 5th annual Boom Days summer celebration, we will be pulling out all the stops, and more than a few corks. It all begins on Friday evening with the much-anticipated release of Cuvée de Boom and Petite  Rosé.

Cuvée de Boom is unhopped beer that consists of a blend of Belgian blond ale and Chardonnay.  Petite Rosé is a delicious hybrid of Belgian strong ale and a tantalizing French Mediterranean Rosé. Both will be available on tap and in bottles during Boom Days while supplies last.

Visitors can also enjoy local bands and food trucks, take a yoga class, get their bicycles tuned up by Velofix Mobile Bike Repair or Tangletown Bikes, tour the Mississippi on an electric bike, enter a homebrew competition, learn about Belgian-inspired brewing.

Friday, July 13

Don Oishi Kitchen Food Truck

4:00 p.m. Petite Rosé release

6:00 p.m.  Cuvée de Boom  release

7:30 p.m. Live music by The Skruffians

Photo booth by Heather Hanson Wedding Photography

Saturday, July 14

11:00 a.m.  Free Boom Yoga by YogaFit

Vendors:

El Burrito Mercado Food Truck

Velofix Mobile Bike Repair Van

Our Streets

Full Cycle Bike Shop

Nice Ride

3:00-8:00 p.m. Tangletown Bikes offering bicycle adjustments and “Report Cards”

4:00-7:00 p.m. Pedego electric bike tours

Live music by:

3:00 p.m. Miss Myra and the Moonshiners

5:00 p.m. Bill Patten Trio

8:00 p.m.  Eleganza!

Sunday, July 15

1:00-5:00 p.m. On site Homebrewing demonstrations from Northern Brewer and Minnesota Home Brewers Association

2:00 p.m. Seminar on Yeast Propagation by Kevin Welch, Boom Island Brewer/Owner

3:00 p.m. Boom Days Homebrew Competition Awards Ceremony

4:00 p.m. Brewing Tips from Northern Brewer

5:00 p.m. Belgian Travel Insights by Kevin Welch

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.

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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.

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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!