25 October 2016
From Grand Teton:
Our intent for our annual Holiday Ale series is to release a special beer in November for enjoyment with special friends on a special occasion during the holiday. This year’s version is an American-Style Rye Wine brewed with Southern Idaho 2-row pale malted barley combined with German rye and specialty malts. This produces a mahogany to dark ruby red color, generous malt body and peppery spiciness.
The spicy rye is complemented by about five pounds of bold American hops per barrel. Chinook and Galena hops developed and grown in Idaho, along with Idaho-grown Bravos give this strong ale a decidedly American flavor.
Piney floral hops are evident when this beer is enjoyed fresh. Cellaring will enable these flavors to mellow, allowing the malt to shine with additional notes of raisin and fig.
Barleywine and Cave-Aged Gouda are a classic beer-cheese pairing. If a sweet dessert is what you crave, try pairing with a warmed pecan pie served al a mode.
Barleywine has roots in the Norman Conquest of the English army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As the conquering French-speaking foreigners ascended to the throne in London, the tastes and preferences of English aristocrats took on a decidedly French ‘flavor’. This included a strong shift toward the complex fine wines available only on the European continent.
In the early 1700’s, the development of pale malts coupled with scientific advances in the brewing process allowed production of ales that rivaled the finest wines in their subtlety, complexity and strength. These expensive ales, called malt liquors, malt wines, October beers, Stingo, and by the 1800’s barleywines, were not affordable for the working class. The English aristocracy, on the other hand, now had a ‘home-grown’ alternative to expensive and often hard to find French wines.
From the beginning, barley wines were prized, and those who produced and served them were highly admired. These beers were most often brewed by butlers to wealthy families, unconstrained by financial concerns and able to undertake the expensive aging crucial to the flavor and aroma of a fine barleywine.
When produced commercially, a barleywine is rarely a big moneymaker. Rather, it is offered as a seasonal token of appreciation to a brewery’s most loyal patrons, and as an expression of a brewer’s highest aspirations. It is in this tradition that we offer our Coming Home 2016 Rye Wine.