you know that white, waxy-ish film that covers individual grape berries? it's called bloom. and it contains yeast. which, of course, makes wine and beer and bread and cool pickles and marmite and illness and fuel-cell electricity and etc. ... so, we paired up with a local cat. his name's mark. and he owns and runs august hill winery / illinois sparkling co. that's right. a cute illinois winery. out near starved rock. and we bought a whole bunch of grapes from him. and we let fermentation start a touch. and then we made a sour wheat ale. and blended the grape juice we got from mark's grapes into the whirlpool. and let the thing ferment out. and voila! wine/beer was born! *BLOOM*! a brand new weird beer! tart. peachy. grape jammy. high acid. hip. fresh. flesh. simple.
there's this memory i have of drinking alpha king. a long, long time ago. maybe in 2008? i also have it about drinking goose island honker's ale in the late 90s. it's that what-the-fuck feeling. i was lucky enough to eat at schwa once. in 2005 maybe? and one of the courses had a beer pairing. schwa didn't have a liquor license, but since it was part of a particular dish, they were allowed to serve us a couple ounces of beer. and you were instructed to take a forkful of some collection of food. and then to sip the schwa beer immediately thereafter. and ... it tasted the way a michigan dock smells. all what-the-fucky. is it the wet wood? the concrete pylons? rotting fish in the distance? soggy netting? seaweed? algae? i don't know. but i know that the smell and taste were nostalgic. and achieving that sort of nostalgia in a bite of food was magic. and i've been determined to give the same feeling to the world ever since. through beer. and over bevs. and, now, through pizza and bread and pickles and such.
beer is defined nationally as containing at least 50% malted grain. (and, locally at least, as containing skunk and gut-rot and out-of-place, renaissance fair pictures on the label. we love you, old style.) anyway, *BLOOM*, our wine/beer beer doesn't cause gut-rot. but it does contain about 51% malted grain; it's juuuuust barely a beer. so if your husband hates beer but loves wine. or if your dog loves beer but hates wine and you want to bring him to a patio where he doesn't jump on the table trying to lap up every german wheat molecule. or if you just like to try new beers and beer styles every chance you get. cuz you feel like you've tasted every damn beer in the world at this point. get over to middle brow now. home of weird beers. almost-not-beers. honey wine beers. beers made w bread. grape must beers. beers bleneded w other beers. it's a fucking beer lab here. a tinkerers garage. we'll make you all what-the-fucky about our beers. in a good way. and you'll chase that feeling again for years and years. maybe all the way until you die of death.
*PUB BEER #2*
speaking of weird beers... we made a weird english-estonian beer! the third in our kvass series, and the second in our pub beer series. this kvass is not sour. but it was bred bready. and so it has an incredible bread-crust finish on it. but wait... let me back up.
WE HAVE ANOTHER NEW BEER. this time, we used about 100 pounds of bread. to give you context, that's less than the quantity of bread we used for our previous kvass, *HOUSE SOUR #2*, and more than the quantity of bread we used for the one prior to that, *HOUSE SOUR*. we also didn't sour this kvass at all. instead, we made an english-ish pub beer with it. it might be the coolest nose on any beer in the city right now. impeccably-timed. it smells like when you're driving your car w your knees and opening an orange-caramel candy from olivia's market and you inhale it in one bite and you keep jig-jaggin' through city alleyways trying to get back home without expending too much of your limited patience on traffique. and minutes later, after you've entirely forgotten about the candy, you scratch your nose and smell something amazingly sweet. and you don't know where the smell came from. so you sniff around the car to see if it came from the passenger side or the drivers side. or the front or the back of the car. and you can't find shit. and then you purse your lips a bit to see if the smell is just residual in your mustache. but no. your 'stache just smells like a glass of really fresh, autumn rain. it wasn't that. so you scratch your nose again. aiming to repeat the moment. to bring back the scent. and THERE IT IS! right there. on your fingers somewhere. ... you start sniffing all your fingers. every nook and cranny. like a new pup. and you discover the scent on your thumb and shove your thumb almost entirely into one of your nostrils to smell the hell out of it and it's orange-caramel and OH YEAH! you just ate a fucking orange-caramel candy 7 or 8 minutes ago. from olivia's market.
this beer smells like that. it smells good. delicious. but also search-worthy and focus-friendly. caramel + orange or strawberry or some other delicious fruit. sweet up front. dry on the finish. bread crust all over your sinuses. come get *PUB BEER #2* early today. then eat some bread and pickles. and read a chapter in your favorite book. or talk about health care policy with your favorite friends. and order a *BLOOM* for dessert.
soft boys and soft beers. in logan square.
fresh beer fridays. at bungalow by middle brow.