With the weather still on the chillier side for not much longer, I wanted to highlight our newest dark and warming offering in the Idle Hands Taproom, Annika. While we brew with a large breadth of styles, lagers are certainly a major focus for us. Last year we brewed our Russian Imperial Stout, Crossroader; this year, I wanted to take a lot of those rich and robust characteristics and apply them to our lager program. We found inspiration from near and far; Jack’s Abby Framinghammer being my favorite American example of the style and Zywiec Porter, a favorite European example that can be found on our local shelves. For our version we combined a variety of dark malts: German dark Munich malt, to provide a dark fruit flavor. English brown, dark crystal and chocolate malts to provide flavors and aromas of roast, bakers chocolate and espresso. All of these built upon American pale malt base and just a touch of Applewood smoked malt for added depth.

After weeks and weeks of cold conditioning to clean up the yeast character and to meld all of those flavors together, what presents is a bold and robust lager. A nose of bakers chocolate and espresso, the flavor matches with dark chocolate mousse, cola nut and just a hint of smoke reminiscent of burnt ends on the finish that does not linger. While we bet you could drink mugs of this, we recommend pouring it into a snifter or tulip glass and pair alongside grilled red meats, root vegetables or seasoned goat cheese spread on a slice of warm and fresh rustic bread.

Oh… and remember how I said we opted for a Baltic Porter over a Russian Imperial Stout. We’ll maybe I put some of this away in a few bourbon barrels just like I did for Crossroader… stay tuned to find out. Cheers! — Lead Brewer Brett Bauer


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Brewer’s Spotlight: First Pitch

  First Pitch is a strange beer. There, I said it. That being said, I feel like it needs a bit of an explanation so everyone understands where we are coming from and why we brew it. To do so, you need to rewind the clock a bit, back to the fall of 2013 in […]

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Brewer’s Spotlight: Four Horsemen

This week I wanted to put the spotlight on an annual release for us.  A bold beer that goes back to our roots as a Belgian inspired brewery; our Belgian-style Quadruple Ale brewed with spices, Four Horsemen.  This year’s release has particularly stood out to me.  While this beer to us has always been known […]

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