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Explicit Biscuit

Style: English Amber
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: toasty and sweet, notes of toffee and hazlenut, like a Scottish shortbread cookie.
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

This non-Pylon beer is hanging out on the Pylon page because it is the un-fruited base. I believe any fruited or dry-hopped or chocolate-d (etc) beer needs to be good on its own before you add the extra flavor. With the Pylon beers, I wanted a base beer that spoke of pie crust - toasty yet sweet, slightly buttery, but not distracting. The Pilsner and Munich play a big part in that, but the Brown and CaraMunich malts really push this into pastry territory. 

Sampling this off the fermenter, my partners and I all agreed this was pretty tasty all on its own. So I devised to release all of the pie flavors I wanted for this round and then finish off with the foundation. If you've been following along with the other variants, this should be a special treat.

Cheers !

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Bourbon Praline Pylon

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: praline and bourbon flavorings, milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: nutty, toasty, toffee, vanilla and oak
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

Praline is not a common flavor up here in the midwest, but it's a favorite treat of mine whenever I visit the southern half of the US. It plays well here with the already slightly nutty brown malt and the caramel sweetness of CaraMunich. The flavor extracts crank this base beer up to 11.

Cheers !

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Cherry Pylon

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: montmorency cherries, milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: tastes like liquid cherry pie
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

I love a good brewing challenge. Through the homebrew club I've belonged to for over 10 years (MUGZ), we've done many of them, such as ingredient challenges (ala Chopped) or attempts at cloning a commercial beer. Cherry Pylon started off as a personal challenge of both of these types. There's a popular regional brewery that makes an excellent beer featuring cherries. When I set out to clone that beer, the first challenge was finding which type of cherry they used. And then how much. Not to mention grains, hops, yeast, water, etc. Eventually, I figured it out.  

 

Tasting it blind, it was indistinguishable from the commercial example. I hunted down the brewer at a beer festival and told him what I had done and how. He just smiled and said "Yep. You got it." But I don't want to clone his beer. You can buy it yourself. I want to make something different with the tricks I've learned dialing in that clone. That's when I decided on my next personal challenge – can I make a beer that tastes like cherry pie? 

 

Just to be clear, I didn't shove a cherry pie into the kettle. This is not beer brewed with cherry pie, but you'd be forgiven for thinking it was. There are real cherries here – a lot of them. And that pie crust flavor was not an accident. This is a beer that hopefully makes you not only think "cherry pie" but also "really tasty beer". 

 

Sante! 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pylon

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: strawberry puree, diced rhubarb, milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: tastes like liquid strawberry rhubarb pie
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

Strawberry rhubarb pie is a personal favorite dessert of mine during the summer months - so why not release it here during the coldest months?

Cheers !

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Apple Maple Pylon

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: apple juice, maple syrup, milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: bright red apple, sweet bread, graham cracker, vanilla, maple syrup finish
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

I like to cook and bake and along with that habit comes a questionably healthy obsession with food blogs. A little before Thanksgiving this past year, one of the blogs I frequent listed off alternative pies for the holiday. One of these pies allegedly hailed from Canada and was essentially an apple pie with a significant amount of maple syrup added. Full confession: I have not made that pie yet, and I've never even had one like that before, but I did have a tank full of the Pylon base. No deep, interesting origin story here - just me discovering a flavor combination I had never thought of before!

Cheers  

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Merry (Cran)Berry

Style: Fruit Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: cranberries, brown sugar, milk sugar
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: tart cranberries, sweet bread, graham cracker, vanilla
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

The Pylon base has been pretty fun to play around with - and it's pretty tasty on its own (but that's for a later date ;). So for a Christmas release, why not add cranberries to it? I'm surprised at how expressive the cranberry puree was here. I've added whole cranberries to beer in the past and it became quite tannic. I guess puree is the way to go because I detect zero tannin here. Not much else to add here except I hope you have happy and safe holidays!  

Cheers  

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Pumpkin Pylon

Style: Spiced Beer
ABV:   6.0%
Grain: Pilsner, Munich, CaraMunich, Brown
Hops:  Magnum
Extra: brown sugar, milk sugar, pie spice blend
Fermented with English yeast
Tasting notes: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, graham cracker crust, caramel and toast
Pair with: great as a post-meal dessert on its own

Brewer's notes:

Pumpkin beers have been the butt of a lot of jokes the past few years. Do a quick search on pumpkin beer memes and you'll be hard pressed to find any that put this style in a positive light. It makes sense that there would be backlash after we've pumpkin spiced everything. It used to just be lattes, but it's in our breakfast cereal, our liquors, granola bars, and even cat litter. And when it comes to beer, more often than not, the brewer either had too heavy of a hand when adding the spice or seemingly forgot about the trend and tossed spice into whatever beer they had trouble selling. This results in beers that are either under- or overwhelming -- I totally understand how we got here. So let's bring this back.

How do we save this style? I think it starts with shifting the focus away from the spice and back into what we like about the OG pumpkin spiced thing, pumpkin pie. There's a creaminess from the filling, a soft spice and buttery flavor from the graham cracker crust, and then there's that classic pie spice blend.  I build this beer with a full creamy body, add graham cracker flavors, and trick this particular strain of yeast into producing just a little bit of butter flavor. And then I go light-touch with my own pumpkin spice blend.

 

Allow me to drop some science here: I believe a lot of why people don't like pumpkin spice in beers is due to the flavor compound 4-vinyl-guaiacol (4VG), which is perceived as clove. It's an unwanted flavor in most beers (with the exception being weizens and some Belgian styles) indicative of something having gone wrong during fermentation. Even in the acceptable 4VG styles, Americans tend to prefer the beers with less clove and more of the flavor compound on the other end of this seesaw, isoamyl acetate (perceived as banana). Clove just isn't a common flavor in American cuisine, leading many of us wired to think something is off when we taste clove. Guess which spice blend includes a healthy dose of cloves... Many brewers of pumpkin spice beers are adding this perceived off flavor into their beer! /science

So let the haters hate and enjoy yourself a tipple of pie.

Cheers