Leon, Weizen, Weizen, and More Weizen

Here’s the first of two posts this week about all things beer here at Neshaminy Creek Brewing.

Leon Russian Imperial Smores Stout.  You’ve heard about it.  You’ve asked about it.  It’s time to drink it.

We’ll be kegging Leon this coming Friday, August 24th and will be filling growlers starting around noon in the brewery gift shop/tasting room.  We’re only going to brew 45 barrels of this beer this year, and the first 30 are basically already accounted for between our SEPA and NJ distribution partners and what we’re going to allot for growler sales.

Leon is a big beer.  So big, it has twice as much malt as any other beer we brew, and also requires us to do a double mash just to reach such a high wort gravity.  Each 15 barrel brew has 45 pounds of freshly handmade marshmallow fluff made by our in house chef and Production Manager, Steve Capelli, as well as 16 and half pounds of bittersweet bakers chocolate, and 30 pounds of crumbled graham crackers.

The first batch looks to be coming in at 11.6% ABV, which is a little lower than our estimates and also from what we got out of our pilots, but needless to say, this is one beer you don’t want to mess with.  All growler fills will be $18 and limited to two per person.

This is the only Leon we’ll have available for growler fills for the rest of 2012, so once it’s gone, its’ gone.  We will be brewing another 15 barrels next week that will be aged in bourbon barrels as well as hand bottling a small amount that we’ll be bottle conditioning for a brewery only release this fall, so if you want a fresh draft growler, more than likely this week may be your only chance.

The end of summer is just in sight, and while normally most people would be rather upset about that, as a brewer I get really excited.  The colder weather always reminds me of things like Oktoberfest, football, and of course, beer!  After all, why do you think the Bavarians outlawed brewing in the summer?  Not only that, it’s a lot more fun to brew with a slight chill in the air than when it’s 95 degrees in the brewery.  With the somewhat cooler weather we’re scheduled to have this week we’re going to start focusing on our fall and winter beer offerings.

Since we’ve still got a solid four weeks left of summer we decided to throw a few batches of our German Hefeweizen into the kettle just before the short summer days are gone.  Our traditional Hefeweizen is brewed with over 50% white wheat, pilsen malt, a hint of Munich malt for color, and fermented with an authentic German Hefeweizen yeast.  We haven’t given this beer a name yet, but we’ll have one figured out very shortly.  Both our Hefeweizen and Trauger Pilsner will be available at our upcoming German beer event at the Hop Angel Brauhaus on Thursday, August 30th.  If you haven’t been to the Hop Angel Brauhaus before now is a perfect time to check out one of the best German gastro-pubs in the Philadelphia area.  Located in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia, Hop Angel serves German specialties accompanied by traditional American fare and has one of the best tap lists in the city focusing on local and imported German beers.

We’re big Oktoberfest fans, and since we didn’t open until June 1st this year we’re going to wait until next March to brew our authentic German Märzenbier, which we’ll lager five months the traditional Bavarian way before we start tapping kegs.  In the meantime, the chill in the air that Autumn brings is a perfect match for our Dunkelweizen.  Expect this tasty, German wheat beer to appear sometime in late September and be available through November and is a great transition into the darker winter beer offerings.

In late November we’ll be brewing our Double Honey Weizenbock just in time for the Holidays and the New Year.  Coming in at 8.5% ABV, this beer is smooth, full-bodied, yet very refreshing.  If you’ve been to any of our tastings in the past there’s a good chance you’ve run into this beer before.  It’s one of the longest running recipes I’ve done and I’m really excited to brew this beer as this is a style that I think is overlooked entirely too often.

So, hopefully this has your taste buds fired up.  We’ve got a lot of beer to make.  I hope you’re thirsty!

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