We will be tapping our first high-alcohol brew this weekend, at the Music City Brewers Festival in downtown Nashville!
The beer named SUE is best described as an big Smoked Porter. We tossed in loads of pale, chocolate, caramel, and black malts, along with a brand new malt on the market - cherry-wood smoked malt! I had some of this malt this year at the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, and knew right away what beer I wanted to try it in. The sweet smoky caramelly aroma and body of this beer reminds me of a great wood-fired pizza, balanced out with some earthy acidity from plenty of Galena and Perle hops. It's got a great clean finish, and you have no idea that it weighs in at just over 7.5% abv (until you have had a few!).
Future batches will probably come in higher in alcohol - I just didn't want to overwhelm the great flavors from the smoke. But now having tasted it, I think we could get it up to 9% or so without taking anything away from the smoke at all.
OK, that's the good news! Here's the bad news: we can't serve this at our Taproom. Sorry, once again, blame stupid Tennessee laws. To serve anything above 6%, we would have to get a liquor license. When you have a liquor-by-the-drink license, you can't sell ANYTHING to go, and that would mean an end to our growler business. So, for the meantime, look for this beer at the Music City Brewers Festival this weekend, and after that, at your favorite local pub that has a liquor license. We plan of hosting a series of tasting nights around Nashville and possibly in Alabama in the coming months.