Getting all experimental...

Fluxy! So if you've been following along on GrassLands' social networking journey this week, much like the infamous Doc Brown, I must've bumped my noggin because I've been obsessed with the concept and design of a new beer - an Imperial Red. The term "imperial" in beer lore has its roots with the royal (Imperial) court of Russia when England would ship its beers (primarily stouts) to the red country in the 18th century. Nowadays, any ale, pilsner, stout, bock, etc., etc., etc. that has the word "Imperial" in its title typically refers to the fact that the beer is big and bold, regardless of the style. Usually, there's a bunch of hops and malt to go around, and more often than not, the ABV range is high (>7%).

This past winter and spring, much of what I've been brewing has been on the lighter side (not necessarily ABV, just lighter malts - i.e. wits, saisons, etc.). I feel that I've gotten slightly away from my love of caramelized, malty big beers. Well, my schedule is about to change. Enter the "Le Roi Rouge Imperial Red!" For those of you who enjoy the works of Stephen King, you'll get the reference. This will be a red monster of a beer with an attitude. I proudly state that I've got no artistic bone in my body, but when I get to designing beers, my creativity comes out in full force. I want this beer to be something not easily forgotten. It'll be malty, it'll be hoppy, it'll be filling, and at an expected weigh-in at 8% ABV, it can punch you in the mouth (figuratively...or literally?).

It seems like a bunch of breweries have their standard house beers that fit into a certain style. I'm proud to say that the majority of my recipes are more out of the box - pushing the limits so to speak (if you wanna get cheesy about it). Le Roi Rouge Imperial Red will be no exception. By my count, I've got seven, count 'em, SEVEN different malts in this bad boy, accentuated by generous additions of Columbus and Willamette hops - resulting in what should be a heavy, hoppy and spicy drinking experience. Color me excited! I'll probably get this going next weekend, so I'll try to document that as best I can.

So what else? The Red Panda Rye and Citrus Meyeri Wit have all but finished fermenting, so into the kegs they go next weekend. Oh, I've been informed by the awesome folks over at Red Panda Network that September 15th is International Red Panda Day! With GrassLands' love for the furry little guys, we'll see about doing something special. I mean, how could you not? When GrassLands is finally in operation, expect an annual philanthropic celebration of International Red Panda Day!

As previously stated, the Citrus Meyeri Wit and Secale Cereale Saison are competing soon in CASK's First Coast Cup, so we'll see how they perform! It'll be interesting to compare judges' scores from the First Coast Cup to the most recently entered event: Hogtown Brew-Off, as these beers are from the same batch. Also, the Fiery Plains Imperial IPA will get served up at next month's club pool party, so expect pics to follow that event, if anyone can remember anything from it :). What else? A bunch of my fellow brewers and I finally took our BJCP certification exam and while it was intense, I've got a good feeling about us as a group. I think that come a few weeks from now, there'll be more than a few certified beer judges residing in the Big Bend.

That's it! Enjoy your weekend, dear readers! I know I will.

Prost!