The Story of This Beer
The name comes from a poem by John Hammond that I came across while researching the recipe. Randy Mosher mentions it in “Tasting Beer” appropriately enough in the section discussing brown ales.
Let misers turn riches o’er
And gaze on bags of gold;
With my wealth they must be poor
When all their treasure’s told;
But I have more
True wealth in store
And joys that never fail
Whilst friendships’s shrine
My cot is mine,
And a glass of rich brown ale.
-John Hammond, “A Glass of Rich Brown Ale”
I really like the poem and it dates to around the same time as the sources for a lot of my other beer names. While I now have a rig and process with which I can make beer entirely on my own, my very strong preference is to brew beer with friends. The name represents to me the re-dedication this year (2015) to brewing with friends, as well as brewing for its own sake.
After trying the rhubarb hefeweizen for the first time and really struggling on brew day, I wanted my next recipe to be something a little more straightforward. I figure a brown ale, especially one evocative of dessert treats roasted over a camp fire, will be very appropriate to the Fall, when I expect the first batch to really be ready for tasting and sharing.
Recipe and Brew Log
- 1st version of the recipe is on Brewtoad. The idea behind this beer is another I had had for a while. My inspiration is a s’more, hence the addition of a little bit of honey, chocolate and biscuit malt to a pretty standard brown ale grain bill and cacao nibs, vanilla and cinnamon infused in rum into the secondary.
- 1st batch brewed on 2015-08-01. The spices for this batch were infused into Seneca Bay Rum from Twin Valley Distillers, a fantastic, local craft distillery. The cinnamon was stronger than I wanted, which is a common problem with the spice. Otherwise the beer was delicious.
- 2nd batch will be brewed 2016-10-08. I was very happy with how this beer turned out last year. My only plan is to tweak the hop schedule. I have been very happy with Cluster as a bittering hop of late, finding it yields a nice and clean bitterness. Even though it is a US grown hop, traditional English beers even in the 18th century used American hops, Cluster has been exported for some time though I don’t know if it was around quite that early. I finally acquired some Bramling Cross and intend to see how it helps in the finishing of this beer.