what up y’all. this month’s beer club pick involves a little country called england. specifically in the 18th century. you’re probably wondering, yo, why are you trying to feed me stuff about 18th century england? WE’RE IN AMERICA.
well, it’s the only thing i got so bear with me. at the height of it’s empirialist reach, england wasn’t a chill bro and was a dominant force in global trade for around two centuries. making constant voyages around parts of china, india, & beyond, much trade revolved around exported goods from the british isles. this included, of course, booze in the form of stouts and ales.
west coast IPAs as we know them now (arguably) wouldn’t exist without british trade. a spiritual precursor, english IPAs were brewed strong and heavily hopped to survive the long voyages. likewise, our modern day stouts (for argument’s sake, we’ll call them stronger porters, which have a long, sordid history that i’m too lazy to write about) would not exist either. chocolately, roasty goodness? all brewed for specific regions throughout the british empire. each producer has its own version that depended on regional tastes.
to survive these long voyages, IPAs depended on high hop pitching for preservation – hops are a natural preservative, don’t cha know. export stouts, on the other hand, depended on high booze percentage volumes, as well as secondary fermentation by cask or bottle to ensure trip survival. as a result, ABVs ranged from 6 to 9%.
cue green jack brewery’s baltic trader dry export stout from the UK. you have in your hands an authentic bonafide bottle-conditioned ‘real ale’. what does that mean? real ale is a fancy label in england for a type of beer that is “brewed by traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in a container from which it is dispensed, and served without the extraneous use of carbon dioxide.” in other words, the beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and contains active yeast. also known as, awesome.
i was super stoked to hear from our distributor that they started carrying this little gem. along with winning a bunch of real ale awards throughout the years, baltic trader is a great dry export stout right from the UK that highlights what a stout should be. since we’re going to be transitioning into fall, this beer will pair nicely with lowkey seasonal dishes like turkey stuffing and cranberry dishes or sweet pumpkin desserts. or… you can just enjoy fresh with friends. age up to six months to a year if ya want; would be interesting to try alongside another fresh bottle after a few months.
without further ado, here are some short & sweet notes:
aroma – slight herbal nose, thinking wet hay and post-rain soil. smoke. dark roasted coffee. slight nuttiness like filberts. chocolate.
taste – dark chocolate to molasses to vanilla and then some. toffee, hints of black liquorice give way to prunes and dark fruits. raisins. finishes off a bit smoky, almost oaky. super rich, full-bodied. coats your palate like an oil slick. alcohol is noticeable on the tongue. 10.5%. creamy texture. berry nice.
suggested pairings: shepherd’s pie, pumpkin pie, charred grilled meats – steak would work nice with grilled asparagus.