Think about the luscious flavors in the IPAs you love. Perhaps you like old-school IPAs with big piney bitterness. Or maybe you search out IPAs with lush tropical fruit notes. Or maybe you seek dank aromatic qualities in your IPA. Or perhaps you prefer an IPA that flirts with a few of these different flavor and aromatic profiles.
Take a moment right now and imagine the sensory experience of your dream IPA. See its appearance in the glass. Breathe in its aroma. Taste its malt and hop profile. Envision the aftertaste on your tongue.
Repeat the above steps until your mouth is watering like one of Pavlov’s canines. Thirsty? I am.
I’m sure you can name at least two or three IPAs that fit your dream profile. But what if you could brew your own IPA that would slake your hoppy beer desires?
Kyle Jongerden at Maine Brewing Supply, known already for his Clone Brew Kits, has put together a “Build Your Own IPA” program. He takes your IPA cravings and mashes them with his brewing knowledge to construct a recipe that will help you brew an IPA that meets the demands of your palate.
I recently visited the home-brew supply shop on Forest Avenue to construct my own IPA recipe. What I found most engaging about Kyle Jongerden during our meeting is that he’s patient and listened carefully as I talked about what I look for in an IPA. He has a background in education, and it showed as he answered my questions.
For my IPA, I told Kyle that I wanted to explore the Falconer’s Flight hop. I’ve noticed that it’s in most the IPAs I love, and I wanted to let it shine in my home brew. I also told him that I like dank aromatic qualities. Jongerden schooled me on Falconer’s Flight, giving me a brief history of the hop, and suggested that I add a couple ounces of Citra hops to the mix. To obtain the dank qualities, he pulled out a half ounce of Columbus hops for bittering. He then suggested grains and yeast that he felt would give me the best results for the IPA I seek.
He wrote down the hop schedule for my boil and explained why he was using that schedule. That’s what I love about Jongerden: Not only am I going to brew a beer I’ll love, but I’m also learning the brewing tricks behind the creation of those flavors in beer.
I left with a bag full of ingredients and a head full of new knowledge.
Jongerden explained that people should think of his IPA program as a beer consultation. I would agree and add that the consultant is highly knowledgeable and a great brewing teacher.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to starting home brewing or to dust off your home-brew kit, this is a great opportunity. And as the Christmas shopping season approaches, this is the perfect gift for the home brewer in your life. Buy a $75 gift certificate and tell them to go see Kyle Jongerden at Maine Brewing Supply to construct a recipe that will make their IPA dreams come true.
Maine Brewing Supply, 542 Forest Ave., Portland. brewbrewbrew.com
Open 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Consult with Kyle Jongerden to create an IPA homebrew recipe to meet the needs of your IPA desires.
OTHER BEER HAPPENINGS
Hesperus Release from Rising Tide Brewing Company
12 to 7 p.m. Thursday, 103 Fox St., Portland.
If you’re looking for a big beer to drink during your Thanksgiving celebrations, pick up some bottles of Hesperus from Rising Tide Brewing. Hesperus is a bourbon barrel aged barley wine blended with strong ale. Rising Tide’s barrel aged beers brim with complex flavors while not exuding too much of the harsh booziness found in some barrel aged beers. Enjoy chocolate pairings from Christopher Hastings Confections during this release starting at 3 p.m.
Industrial Way Tap Takeover at Elements: Books Coffee Beer
7 p.m. to Close Thursday, 265 Main St., Biddeford.
Elements is one of my favorite beer bars in the state of Maine. And that’s saying a lot in a state chock-full of great beer bars. Elements offers music on the weekends, a beautiful selection of books for purchase, fresh-roasted coffees, and an astounding array of Maine craft beers on tap. Starting Thursday, Elements will feature a tap takeover of the beers being brewed in Portland’s fabled Industrial Way neighborhood. Look for two lines each from Allagash, Austin Street, Foundation, and Bissell Brothers brewing companies. Expect some of Maine’s best beers, including Curieux (Allagash), Double Dry-hopped Patina Pale (Austin Street), Swish (Bissell) and Epiphany (Foundation).