A BrewView on any beer from THE BRUERY is long overdue from us. We’ve had many a beer from them these past 5 years or so, but for some reason never got around to writing about one until now. However, as the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday was approaching, we knew exactly which beer we wanted to pair with our meal. This was our first time trying AUTUMN MAPLE– (it only became available in the Redding, California market somewhat recently) and what a great beer it is!
ABOUT THE BRUERY
The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel aged and experimental ales. Founded as a small, friend & family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes it’s unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname.
Patrick picked up homebrewing as a hobby, later to become an obsession, as a distraction to the banality of law school. Soon he was winning numerous awards for his beers and driving his wife, Rachel, mad with the messes that he would leave on the kitchen stove. Upon finishing school, he took it upon himself to draw up a business plan rather than study for the California Bar exam – a risky endeavor that shows through still today in the creative, genre-tilting beers that The Bruery prides itself on.
The Bruery is founded on the excitement that Patrick felt in those first years of homebrewing and they continue to strive for that same passion in every aspect of their business today. They never stop challenging themselves to develop distinctive & imaginative beers, constantly pursuing improvement in all that they do. They brew dozens of original beers each year with their list of ingredients and inspirations growing perpetually. Their collection of oak barrels has also become a primary element of their brewery. Nearly half of their beer is aged in wine or spirit barrels bringing forth flavors reminiscent of the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers. (Source: The Bruery)
BEER STYLE AND COMMERICAL DESCRIPTION FROM THE BRUERY
Style category: Spiced Belgian Brown Ale
Brewed with 17 lbs. of yams per barrel (in other words, a lot of yams!), this autumn seasonal is a different take on the “pumpkin” beer style. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, and fermented with our traditional Belgian yeast strain, this bold and spicy beer is perfect on a cold autumn evening.
OUR BREWVIEW OF THE BRUERY AUTUMN MAPLE
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
10% ABV. Poured into a tulip-shaped glass, and served at 50°F. Pours a deep copper color, SRM value at 20. The light tan colored head pours an easy 4-finger height, with large and small bubbles, and dense. The head sustains extremely well. The rim variation color is the same.
As the head collapses, the Brussels lacing it leaves behind is very thick and even. (We ensured this was a “Beer Clean” glass). The meniscus is extremely slow rising. There was a cloudy haze to the beer, due to the bottle conditioning and extremely heavy yeast sedimentation.
5 minutes later, the head still sustained a 1/2″ inch in height, with even sheeted Brussels lacing on the glass.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Very unique for a Belgian Brown ale, but then inventiveness is what beers from The Bruery are all about. It has a complex mix of funky aromas of a traditional Belgian Brown, with the holiday spice mix in the forefront- cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. The pungency of the yams follows, with the bouquet of molasses, vanilla, in the background, but not far behind.
BAM! Can you say SPICES? Wow… wow… wow! Prepare to be blown away upon your first sip. Awesome mix of funky tartness with the massively complex spice mix makes Autumn Maple taste much like a Glühwein or a Nordic Glögg, but with a hearty malt backbone. Southern baked candied yams meets, Belgian funkiness. Think of the best fruitcake you’ve ever had. Maple syrup with white peppery notes.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The initial spice hit on the tongue can be a bit intense for those less experienced beer drinkers. This is a full bodied beer with its sumptuousness. It’s not a super carbonated beer, however the mouthfeel after the first sip is intense in its spiciness. Wonderful finish of nutmeg, cinnamon, deep molasses, and semi-sweet maple syrup. There is a tender “puckering” as well, due to it being a Belgian Brown ale. Very well balanced.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Puff pastry cheese straws. Cheeses- cheddar, stilton, gorgonzola. Shrimp wrapped in bacon. Toasted pumpkin seeds or roasted chestnuts.
ENTRÈES: Deep fried turkey, sweet spiral ham baked with cloves, buttery mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied yams.
DESSERTS: Figgy bread pudding, vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon or nutmeg, drizzled with light molasses. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this, BrewViewing a beer from the Bruery was long overdue. We found this bottle at the Liquor Barn in Redding, California. They have recently begun stocking many of The Bruery’s beers, which future BrewViews of their other beers will certainly be in store.
The complexity of this beer (along with the 10% ABV level) easily allows this beer to be mulled. Simply pour some Autumn Maple into a large clear glass coffee cup, add a cinnamon stick, and heat it up in the microwave for about a minute or so. This makes an excellent fall / winter warmer.
We are so impressed with The Bruery as a business enterprise; from the labeling of the beers, to the uniqueness of flavor and style combinations, makes them one of the top craft breweries in the United States, if not the world.
This beer is not for the faint of heart. In our opinion, you have to already appreciate Belgian Brown ales to realize the inventiveness and unique twist The Bruery has placed on this classic style. Beers like this are fun to drink. Is it something you should set aside for those holiday meals surrounded by loved ones. Beers like this bring back wonderful memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas times past… it warms the heart and puts a smile on your face. The ingredient list on the label creates curiosity. It certainly raised ours! It’s brewed at world class level, as with all their beers. Seek this one out- it’s seasonally released, so buy a case when you see it on the shelves at your local retailer! You can cellar this up to 5 years- the spice complexity will be outstanding by then.