Reports are coming out of a very unique beer in the works from the Brooklyn Brewery. My hope is that it finally makes drinking beer before 10 AM a socially acceptable, respectable act. It seems that brewmaster Garret Oliver is looking for ways to get bacon into beer.
The reports are sketchy at best, but it appears the beer is starting out with two parallel threads that will be blended at the end. As Garret puts it “Either this will be the most amazingly disgusting thing you’ve ever tasted in your life, or I shall rule the earth.” I must agree, but how’s he doing it?
- A barleywine has been brewed using malt that was smoked in the same room as a batch of Benton’s bacon (Allan Benton is apparently a legend among bacon producers).
- A brown ale is being infused with the essence of bacon fat by a process known as “fat washing.” This process has already been used to produce bacon flavored rum and bourbon apparently (who knew?). The fat is heated until completely liquid, then mixed into the beer. Then the whole thing is chilled until the fat congeals back to a solid state and rises to the top of the beer, where it’s skimmed off. In the process, the non-fat goodness of the bacon is left behind, dissolved in the beer, while the fat is removed from it. This keeps the beer from developing a greasy mouthfeel (also lipids in beer have a nasty effect on head retention as they interfere with the formation of the protein matrices that form bubbles). The brown ale will then be aged in Bourbon barrels.
In the end, these two forces will combine like antimatter to produce a beer that may very well change the world as we know it. I wait with bated breath, very excited and a little afraid…