A few weeks back on my Facebook page, I shared a really cool contest Innis & Gunn were running called Crowd Brew. They crowd-sourced the recipe by letting people who were fans of their Facebook page to vote on the style, type of malt, hops, and barrel that the beer would be aged in (all of Innis & Gunn’s beers are barrel-aged). If you voted for the winning ingredient you were entered to win a chance to be a “Master Crowd Brewer” where your name will appear on the beer and you win a prize pack.
For the hop type I voted for Northern Brewer hops. At that point Scotch Ale had already been selected as the style, and I thought the almost minty flavor Northern Brewer has would work perfectly with the malty profile of a Scotch Ale. I used Northern Brewer in a Milk Stout a few months back and it was a perfect contrast to the roasted barley and the lactose. I also used a small amount as a late flavor addition in a kolsch. It still had enough of a continental hop spiciness that it gave the beer the desired crisp finish.
I was fortunate enough to be named one of the crowd brewers. My name will be on the finished beer that will be released in 2015. I also received a prize pack from Innis & Gunn headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland with a poster, t-shirt, apron, and other assorted goodies. To state, but not assume the obvious this is not my recipe. I voted on one ingredient along with untold numbers of other people. Unless the contest was a work, and Innis & Gunn wanted a blogger and social media whore to win and tell everybody how great the beer is, my name was pulled at random. I had to bring my mother back down to Earth and remind her that just because her son won a contest, that is not any evidence as to the alleged brilliance of her son.
I can’t wait to see my name on a store shelf and drink the finished beer. All of Innis & Gunn’s beers are excellent. I tend to try new beers all the time whether it is buying beer at a store or of course brewing at home. Innis & Gunn is one of the beers that whenever I buy I ask myself why I don’t buy it more often. The flagship Original is warm beery goodness in a glass; it’s is like a luscious dessert you want to savor and enjoy. The Irish Whiskey Cask might be my favorite. It is not a beer I would necessarily drink if I was out on St. Patrick’s Day dealing with the mass of humanity and amateur drinkers who go out on St. Patrick’s Day. It is a beer for an adult or somebody with enough sense to not go out on March 17 and is spending a quiet night at home. It is bigger than a Guinness Draught, the oak mellows the roasted character of the malt, and the Irish Whiskey (that may or may not be Jameson) adds complexity and add a subtle Irish Car Bomb flavor.