I Made a Pie Beer with The Bruery – Now It’s up to you to name it!

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We’ve launched a contest to name my pie beer! “Pie Beer?” you ask… “Yes,” I answer. Below is the story of how my pie beer with The Bruery came to pass.

Pie in the Mash!

A couple of months ago my pal, Beer ChickChristina Perozzi suggested that for a summer project we should get into my kitchen and do my first home brew.  She suggested I think about what kind of style I wanted to play with.  Pretty quickly the words Pie and Beer slammed into each other in my head.  I called her and said “I want to make a Pie Beer”.  To her credit she didn’t say “What the heck is that?”, instead she simply asked, “What does that mean to you”  I said, Rhubarb and Raspberry.  I love sour beers, but know that there should be a hint of sweetness for those of you who might be sour averse.  She then added the key word, Wheat.  An idea was born.  My ideas can often turn into obsessions (as you know from pie). So I thought to myself, why are we making this at home?  I won’t be able to share it with many people.  I called Christina and asked her if she thought a local brewery might want to “collaborate” on a brew.  “Let’s ask!” She responded.  “Who is first on your list?”  Immediately The Bruery in Placentia came to mind.  Under the direction of Founder and CEO Patrick Rue, The Bruery is known for their high quality artisanal craft brews that are often high alcohol (read high flavor) Belgian style beers.  Their beers are distinctive and often made in limited quantities due to the size of the brewery. And he specializes in sours.

up close with malts
up close with malts (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)
Learning the recipe
Learning the recipe (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Patrick said yes.  No, let me say PATRICK SAID YES! and then I waited and wondered, “What happens next?”.  Next turned out to be the following email, accompanied by a brew sheet that reminded me of why I never embraced science in school.

“This beer is designed to replicate the flavors of rhubarb raspberry pie.  The recipe encourages sweetness balanced by tartness, intense fruit character, and a “graham cracker-like crust” flavor.  The high gravity, high mash temperature and choice of specialty malts encourages residual sweetness, while the rhubarb and semi-wild wood fermentation will encourage tartness.  The yeast selection will also add other fruit-like elements, and the esters will add to the perception of sweetness.  Additional blending may occur prior to packaging to either encourage additional sweetness or tartness.”

pie beer 7
Before we threw the pie in the mash. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

I took a trip down to Placentia and spent some time with Patrick tasting malts, some of which smelled like a baked pie all on their own. We had a mind meld.

The Bruery is small and they are constantly brewing to keep up with demand so fitting into the schedule was a challenge.  Two weeks ago I got the call that they were going to brew the next day, and oh yes could I bring a couple of pies down with me so we could throw them into the mash.  I spent the day with a bunch of guys who are crazy engineering perfectionist science geeks watching the mash become the wort. Sigh…perfection.  Now it’s in barrels and we just have to wait.  But if you want to make the pie check out the recipe here.

But, while we wait we need a name so we can make the labels.  Would you like to help? Click here to submit your pie beer name! All submissions will be considered and I will announce the finalists on the Good Food blog on Tuesday, July 9th at 5pm. The winning name will be announced on Wednesday, July 10th at 12 noon on my facebook page.

*All photos from Cambria Griffith, courtesy The Bruery