Friday, October 12, 2007

October: A Good Month for Bears and Beers

We here at Bicycle Brewing look forward to the month of October as an opportunity to celebrate two of our favorite things:
(1) Bears ...
Thanks to our savior Jeff Tedford, we Cal folk revel in the still-hard-for-us-to-fully-believe feats of our Golden football team each fall. And October is usually the month--this year being no exception--when early season success revives perennial dreams of making a long-awaited return to Pasadena's Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Indeed, this year has been so special that the Rose Bowl might actually not be good enough, as the #2-ranked Bears (something not heard of since the legendary days of Pappy Waldorf) now have visions of a date in the national championship game to be held in New Orleans.
... and (2) Beers
Thanks to Bavaria's Ludwig I, who as Crown Prince in 1810 celebrated his marriage to Princess Therese with a horse race which subsequently morphed into an annual half-month-long festival that begins around the time of the September equinox, October has become the world's unofficial beer month: or at least the month we devote to malty Germanic lagers accompanied by healthy quantities of polka and sausage. Prosit!
In honor of both Bears and Beers, BikeBrew has been enjoying a number of our late-summer and early-fall creations. This summer's Wit and ESB are long gone, but there is still plenty of porter available both on draft and in the bottle. And along with our CrossXtoberfest, which lagered up very nicely and makes the short list as one of my favorite beers brewed to date, we've added in September a dry, refreshing batch of Bicycle Wheat, as well as an IPA that has just finished dry-hopping. The Wheat (OG=1051, ABV=5.5%) is my standard recipe of half malted barley (pilsner and munich) and half malted wheat, with a moderate touch of Cascade hops and coriander. My Century IPA is likewise a tried-and-true recipe, presenting healthy amounts of Cascade and Amarillo hops against a strong background of British and American malts (OG=1062, ABV=6.5%). Thus, win or lose, we're well stocked for the rest of the Cal football season. Go Bears! (And Go Beers!!)
UPDATE 14-October-2007: OK, so October isn't going to be such a great month for the Bears after all. At least the beer still tastes good--and is now needed more than ever!

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