Edible Ojai Ventura Spring 2015 : Page 10
MUST BE 21 LET’S GET SCIENTIFIC W hen Surf Brew-ery’s Oil Piers Porter ages in French oak barrels that previously housed merlot, something scientifi c hap-pens: Specifi cally, it be-comes A-01 Robust Porter in the Ventura brewery’s Scientifi c Series, a recently launched line of barrel-aged and bottle-conditioned beers. Th e limited-release porter—only 2,712 bottles were produced—is a coff ee-colored blend of porter aged nearly three years in French oak merlot barrels and un-aged Oil Piers. Bottled mid-December 2014 and released in February, a secondary fermentation is happening in-side the bottle. Hence the cork top and wire cage. As you’d expect, the resulting porter is complex with a roasty, cof-fee and chocolatey essence that opens up when consumed in a snifter or Belgian beer glass. Tasters note a tart fi nish, which may be attrib-uted to the barrels’ residual tannins and the wild yeast Brettanomyces, explains Doug Mason, mastermind behind the Scientifi c Series. To coax the most from the fl avors, drink it at the optimal tem-perature of 50 to 55°, suggests Mason, Surf Brewery’s co-founder and self-professed beer geek. Checking in at 6% alcohol, the midrange for most beer, the aged porter is food friendly. But you’ll need to pair it with heartier foods that can stand up to its strong, dry fl avor. Mason suggests lamb and roasted or barbecued meats. Chili might be a good pairing as well. Mason swirled the porter in his snifter, watching it move around the glass, as he contemplated the question asked of all the Must Be 21ers: If this beverage was a person or animal, what would it be? It took a moment. “It has to be something woodsy,” he says, adding “an earthy, foresty beast that’s bold. It’s a bold beer.” A black bear, it is, he decides. Yes, a black bear, indeed. For more info, visit Scientifi cSeries.com. 10 spring 2015 edible ojai & ventura county
Must Be 21
Let's Get Scientific
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