Beerfly Fights and Soleras

David | Blog | June, 11 2012 | No Comment

Kolsch and Muffins

Wasn’t Chicago Craft Beer Week so much fun!  One of the events I participated in was the Beerfly Alleyfight at the Drinking and Writing Theater at Haymarket Brewery and Pub. With a little help from my brew partners, (and with the ingredients provided by the organizers), I made a spectacular Kolsch-style beer. My friend and housemate Tim Norris produced several dozen mocha, macca, mango, macadamia, Maytag (blue cheese) Mini Muffins, and Renaissance man John Szymanski provided musical accompaniment. Competition was steep, and we walk away with no awards, but with some great memories.

Have you heard of solera? If not you will learn something new today. A solera is system of barrels used for aging things like fine vinegar, Sherries, and in some cases, Belgian lambic beer. Simple description of the system can be found on Wikipedia:

In the solera process, a succession of containers is filled with the product over a series of equal aging intervals (usually a year). One container is filled for each interval. At the end of the interval after the last container is filled, the oldest container in the solera is tapped for part of its content, which is bottled. Then that container is refilled from the next oldest container, and that one in succession from the second-oldest, down to the youngest container, which is refilled with new product.

Beer bound for the Solera


Through the Chicago Beer Society listserve, I was invited to join 5 other brewers/teams to help fill a barrel for a local solera project. Brian Buckman, a Chicago homebrewer, and relative neighbor of mine instigated the project after acquiring a couple used 55 gallon whiskey/stout barrels from one of our fine local craft brewers.

Each brewer/team is producing a certain amount of a similar Old Bruin-style beer, and the weekend after Fathers’ Day we’ll fill that puppy up. Then the fun begins. I’ll try to blog on the project now and then, and I’m guessing that fellow blogger/podcaster Steve Mastny, (also a participant) will too.

If you like this post please share it with others
Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Twitter

© Copyright Reserved Cheese And Cheers 2010. | Site Admin | Log out
Design by: Yoshz