September 24, 2009

L'shanah Tovah

It was going to be an ideal 2JB Moment: a Rosh Hashanah meal at my uncle & aunt's house. My uncle is a beer fan, and his son is the originator of the limited-edition 2JB T-shirts. I chilled a 6-pack of sweet bitter, nested it in a cooler and brought it up the Turnpike to pass around with family.

When I arrived, I showed my uncle the 6-pack...and he immediately asked if he could have it. Not to serve for the crowded RH fete, but for more low-key sippin' after everyone had left.

I was a little disappointed, but also flattered--he'd only had a small sample of our wares, but had tasted enough to know that this was worth stocking away. Well, l'chaim to Uncle Jeff, and a Happy New Year to all in the 2JB orbit!

September 7, 2009

Bitter Sweet

Betting on the "sooner" end of the bitter recipe's line, "Excellent within 2 weeks, sometimes sooner," Nahum and I dipped into the batch of bitter just 1 week after bottling. It was a Sunday night, Mad Men was on TV, and we planned to join the show's characters with a tasty libation.

The first and easiest thing to notice was that this beer was fully, frothily carbonated. There was already a gathering head in the necks of the bottles immediately after popping the tops, and the pour showed our bitter to be actively bubbling with the energy of a freshly pulled tap beer.

The next thing to notice was the bouquet of this particular brew. The graduated hopping had given it a delightfully flowery aroma, but it wasn't overpowering or aggressive. Just a nicely bold set of notes on top of a light-colored body. This was clearly going to be good.

And lo and behold, it was. Really good. Nahum's first word after his first sip was "quenchy," and I agree. The light body made it go down smooth, the carefully complex hops gave it plenty of flavor and the energetic bubbling gave it a nice bite in the end.

Luckily we test-tasted this the night before Labor Day...which means we've got the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day off in the last waning moments of summer.