Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How about a demo brewery? Old Abbey in Abbotsford

   What's a demonstration brewery, you ask?  Well, just over the border in Abbotsford, B.C., it's a brewery built by an importer of craft brewing equipment, to show what that equipment can do.  At Old Abbey Ales the equipment can do quite a lot.  Head brewer Tony DeWald, whose many years of experience include a stint most recently at Dead Frog Brewing, creates some of the most celebrated Belgian styles: a quadrupel, trippel, dubbel, sours, etc.  He also brews a number of the better known west coast styles.  A full picture of the tap list last weekend is better than 1,000 words.
The quadrupel was not on tap, but it was for sale in bottles, so I took one home and tried it later. Having been in Belgium just over two months ago, I can attest to the authentic taste. the rich mouthfeel is all there.  What I did start out with was a Brett Texas Brown Ale, pictured at the left.
Why Texas?  The Lone Star State has no particular beer cachet.  Well, they said, Texas just connotes big and brassy, and that's what they got here.  7.1% abv and the bitterness units, a surprising 64.  You can hop a brown ale a ton, most folks don't but no one legislates the beer styles any more.  A very complex mix of malt and lupulins, tasty.
Had to try the Hophefeweizenbock just to see if I could get all the German syllables off.  As the numbers on the board indicate, this was a balanced hefe with a lot of alcohol.
My last 4 oz. sample (their license limits a customer to 12 oz. per visit) was the Kettle Sour. listed in the Standard brews column. That was worth a growler fill, The nose alone was singularly fine.
About the equipment being demonstrated, there were some nice tanks up front, a number more in the back, and a couple of tall grain silos outside. Brew-Stuff advertises itself as a fabricator and assembler more than a manufacturer per se.  A couple of customer reviews available online indicate that the basic manufacturing is done in China, at least some of it.  On a Sunday afternoon, no one was on hand to walk the curious around the equipment.

(Visited 08.10/15)

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