A Belgian and a Scotsman walk into a bar… ahhh the beginning to a very lame joke. But still, Belgian and Scotch – these are two words you rarely find in the same sentence, let alone the style description of a beer. It would be like labeling a wine as a “Bordeaux-style Tuscan.” Just seems weird.
All joking aside, Belgian-Style Scotch Ale, the fourth installment in the REUNION Beer series, is set to release later this month. For those of you who cannot wrap your heads around such a concept, let me break it down. Essentially, the beer is brewed using a Scotch Ale recipe, with 5 different malts, hopped with Kent Goldings, and then fermented at a high gravity using Trappist yeast (aka Belgian yeast). Scotch Ale, Belgian yeast. Got it?
This year’s recipe was designed as a tribute to REUNION Beer Co-Founder, Virginia MacClean, who passed because of complications from Multiple Myeloma in June 2007.
“Virginia emphasized the importance of continuing our support of IMBCR [The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research],” noted REUNION Co-Founder Alan Shapiro. “She believed wholeheartedly in the work of The Institute and understood the value of bringing hope to others. Every dollar raised helps us honor Virginia’s memory.“
RENUNION 2010 is being brewed by two different breweries, Bison Organic Brewing Company on the West Coast and Terrapin Beer Company on the East Coast. Each brewery has created its own specialty label for the release. The beer will be available in both 22 ounce bottles and draft in 14 states (California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama New Jersey and Pennsylvania).
I had the opportunity to taste the Belgian-Style Scotch Ale this past Spring at the 2010 Boonville Fest – one of the perks of sharing a campsite with Bison Brewing founder and brewmaster, Daniel Del Grande. The beer is deep amber in color, with a complex malt palate, notes of Belgian yeast, fruity esters and subtle hints spice.
REUNION Beer is the inspiration and collaboration of Alan Shapiro, president of SBS Imports, Pete Slosberg, creator of Pete’s Wicked Ales, and Virginia MacLean, long time friend and colleague, as a way to raise awareness of and donations for The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research. To date REUNION has raised in excess of $130,000 for The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research via profits from beer sales, retailer fundraising events, and private donations.