Folks, last Sunday was a pretty amazing day for the SawTown crew. The week before, Scoats and I sat down with Naked Brewing Company’s Brian Sucevic and Jim Crossland to discuss the recipe for our house IPA. And discussing required a lot of tasting. We do what we must. We wanted a big, juicy grapefruit IPA with lots of big citrus hops. We’ve also designed this beer to come in with a 4.9% APV, so you can definitely enjoy more than one.
Scoats had already named the beer Pink Bunny –“it’s hoppy, it’s pink… what else would you call it?” - so finding a way to create the color was also important. The beer is loaded with pink grapefruit juice and zest, but that wouldn’t get us color. Thanks to a suggestion from Jessica Streeter, we used dried hibiscus flowers to add another interesting flavor note and give the beer its natural pink color.
This brewing trip, we brought friends: longtime home brewer Blaise Fougere (St. Blaise Brewing) joined us and shared a jar of his amazing apple pie whiskey; Scott Taylor came along with Manny Alarcon and Scott DeGirolamo, our good friends from FargoSocial who are chronicling our brewing adventures; and my son Eric, a talented home brewer in his own right came along to beergeek it up with us.
Copious amounts of day drinking helped us all happily pass the time on a perfect spring day – Naked provides outdoor seating at this little gem of a brewpub located right in Huntington Valley. As we all talked and laughed – and drank – I was reminded once again how cool it is to meet the folks who craft your beer. We’re brewing our house beers locally so you can also meet the craftspeople who take so much pride in what they do, and taste the difference that pride makes in the finished product.
There was quite a difference between our first two brewing adventures. Sly Fox has built themselves up over the years to a state-of-the-art brewery with an amazing, computerized, closed system. There are miles of stainless steel running through the place, and I started mashing in by pushing a button on a touchscreen. Here at Naked - as the name implies - the brewing experience is decidedly more hands on. We mashed in the old fashioned way complete with a paddle, rising steam and malt dust in the air! There’s a lot of way cool homemade equipment here, and we all had a (literal) hand in creating a beer we can’t wait to taste. These guys are much newer on the scene, but they prove that excellent beer can be made with simple tools in a modest setting - the way it’s been done for a very long time.
We brewed 45 gallons – a little under three kegs – of Pink Bunny IPA, 1.0. That means a second batch will begin immediately after we’ve had the chance to taste this one and gather some opinions from the usual suspects. Shoot me a message if you’d like to be a taster!
The Naked dudes will be on hand when we tap this beauty at the start of Beer Week on May 29. We hope you’ll stop by and give it a try along with our Vienna Lager, SawTown Standard by Sly Fox – debuting on the same day.