Steel City are back at the collaboration game, and this time it’s big. Any time Steel City and Lost Industry collaborate it’s like a nuclear arms race of mad ideas, but this time the brand new Emperor’s Brewery was also involved. Damian of Emperor’s is an accomplished home-brewer who has just acquired his brewing license, and he doesn’t believe in beers being less than double digit ABV! One beer quickly escalated into six beers, all from the same mash. Damian is a big fan of a certain series of films (now owned by a mouse) and names and labels his beers accordingly. The Stout Wars collabs draw inspiration from the same source. The shopping trip the day before the brew may raise a few eyebrows among the more traditional drinkers, with a couple of hundred pounds spent on ingredients that were not malt, hops, yeast or water!
The main brew is a big Imperial Stout, with 377kg of grain and 735 litres of water crammed into a 1000 litre mash tun, physics be damned! This was then split into three separate fermenters each with different adjuncts, with the main fermenter then being further split into barrels for ageing. With such a huge mash, there was still plenty of fermentable sugar left in the grain after the copper was filled, so the second runnings were soured overnight, fermented and then put in a red wine barrel with a mixed Brettanomyces culture (courtesy of the Abbeydale Funk Dungeon!) for a few months. The variants are:
Episode I: The Phunky Menace – red wine barrel aged bretted sour stout;
Episode II: Attack of the Nibs – a solitary cask and ultra-limited bottle release, imperial chocolate stout;
Episode III: Revenge of the Pith – imperial stout with lemon and orange peel;
Episode IV: A Tiramisu Hope – rum barrel aged coffee and rum infused imperial stout;
Episode V: The Cookie Strikes Black – maple & pecan cookie imperial stout;
Episode VI: Return of the Cake – red wine barrel aged version of Cake, the chocolate cherry cheesecake stout
Episodes II, III and V will be released at a launch event at the Rutland on Friday 9th February, while Episodes I, IV and VI will be released simultaneously at the Shakespeare on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you…). The only places to get casks will be the Rutland and the Shakespeare, while kegs will be released into the wild, and bottles will be available from Beer Central, Hop Hideout, Cotteridge Wines and Hoptimism.
Also around during February will be the My Wine In Silence white wine barrel aged grape IPA, while The Blood, The Wine, The Roses red wine barrel aged stout will be launched at Sheffield Beer Week in March. The 2018 brew schedule is far from finalised, but will mostly consist of Dave clearing his ‘collab debt’! The next known brew is a home three-way with Lost Industry and Neepsend, a dry-hopped sour in time for Sheffield Beer Week.