Style Guidelines: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Rotation Schedule: First time brew.
Food Pairings: Carbonnade (Belgian beef stew), including making the stew!; roasted chicken with thyme; braised short ribs; any gamey fowl, such as duck; roasted root vegetables; gruyere cheese and red grapes; pineapple upside down cake
Color: Coppery Brown
Grain: British Pale, Belgian Special B, German toasted Abbey, American Flaked Wheat
Bittering Hops: Northern Brewer, Czech Saaz
Finishing Hops: US Vanguard
Adjuncts: Belgian dark candi sugar
Original Gravity: 1.088
Estimated IBUs: 24.3
Alcohol By Volume: 9.2%
First Tapped: July 9, 2011
About the Ale: Barley's Infinity Grand Cru is a wonderfully complex Belgian dark strong ale.
Complex, with a rich malty sweetness, fruity esters and significant alcohol with moderate spiciness.
The malt is rich and forward, with caramel and toast aroma. The esters give raisin, plum and dried cherry notes, with a subtle pepperiness.
This is not a Belgian that's going to get all clove and banana on you. The Belgian yeast strain we used gives us the fruity esters we were looking for, as well as the higher alcohol.
So what's a Grand Cru?
Historically, Grand cru is a regional wine classification that designates a vineyard known for its favorable reputation. The term is not technically a classification of wine quality per se, but is intended to indicate the potential of the vineyard.
At one time, Belgium was a part of Burgundy. Elder Belgians will tell you that their love of great food and drink has its origins in the time when they were part of Burgundy.
Belgium of course has a great tradition of brewing fantastic ales. It's only natural that they would adopt this wine term to describe their best beers.
We decided to adopt this moniker for our Belgian dark strong ale. Barley's Infinity Grand Cru.
Why Infinity? Our Grand Cru was first tapped in the same month that our downtown long time Executive Chef, now General Manager Jason Fabian is getting married to his lovely bride Gretchen. We named it "Infinity" to symbolize the infinite commitment two people make to each other.
Here's Lookin' at you, Kid!