There was so much interest in our last post from nanobrewer Steve Finnie of the Wee Highland Brewing Company that we persuaded him to write another. And, of course, Chef Trevor’s dessert with beer pairing was so popular that we just had to do it again. On Wednesday, March 14th, we’re proud to present the latest beer brewed right in the Söntés kitchen in collaboration with Wee Highland Brewing.
Read on for the latest in this nanobrewery tale from Steve.
The best thing about making beer is that there are so many beers to make!
Where to start? I have a group of friends who like beer and also give honest feedback of the beers I make, which I think helps me to challenge myself and make the best beers I can. Making beer is very social for me; it’s great to make (and then drink) beer with friends!
Overall, I love the creativity of making something from scratch, and the variety of beers available to make. I like to try new flavors and experiment with recipes by trying multiple types of grains and yeasts. I love pale ales and am currently experimenting with recipes to make an extra hoppy IPA or double IPA. I am also working on a few similar beer recipes, including a kölsch, an amber ale, and a cream ale—all of which make great summer quenchers. In addition, I especially like Belgian beers, so I’m always interested in making one or two of them. There are so many options!
My top two tips for homebrewers:
In my opinion, the main secret behind brewing beers is sanitization. It’s so important to keep everything clean throughout the brewing process. If you can do that, you’ll find that it’s not too difficult to make a tasty beer. The second most important part is ensuring you have a healthy yeast; without a healthy yeast, your sweet wort (prefermentation beer) will not have enough yeast cells to help convert the sugar to alcohol. It’s all about the yeast!
What’s next at Söntés?
The next Wee Highland beer up at Söntés is a coconut porter, inspired by one of the Maui Brewing Company‘s wonderful beers that I sampled on holiday about four years ago. I’ve tweaked my recipe several times; this one has a more chocolate flavor with subtle undertones of coconut at the end. The base for this beer is a good porter recipe made with an Irish ale yeast and blackened, roasted barley. To this I add toasted coconut and, later in the brewing process, bourbon vanilla beans. I think this beer is a great dessert beer. It’s smooth, chocolatey, sweet, nutty, and a perfect accompaniment to Trevor’s desserts.
That’s right! And here’s what Trevor has dreamt and cooked up most recently. In honor of this week’s time change for Daylight Saving Time, he’s thrown in some coffee. (Or maybe that’s just so that he doesn’t fall asleep over the oven!) Either way, come by on Wednesday and order Trevor’s latest creation to sample the Wee Highland Brewing Company’s most recent concoction.
Sumatra Coffee Bean Cake
Coconut glaze. Les vergers boiron coconut. Wee Highland Coconut Porter.
P.S. – If you love homebrews, microbrews, nanobrews, or just beer in general, you’ll want to keep an eye on our event calendar for the BBQ & Beer event we’re working on for May…