3 Sheeps Brewing Company - Cashmere Hammer
- ABV: 6.5%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 29
- Serving Temperature: 48-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Rye, Caramel 120, Chocolate, Midnight Wheat, Torrified Wheat
- Hops: Columbus, Saaz
Instead of carbonation, this delicious stout from 3 Sheeps uses nitrogenation, which most of us have encountered with Guinness and occasionally some other beers which are also usually (but not always) stouts. We wish more brewers would offer nitrogenated beers, as the effect is similar to carbonation, yet different. Whereas carbonation can add significant bite (think of the nasal burn one gets when inhaling a soda that's freshly poured and giving off a bunch CO2), nitrogen contributes a much softer effect – no surprise given that it makes up most of the air we breathe. Thus, the choice to nitrogenate a beer fundamentally changes one of its key dimensions, and in the case of Cashmere Hammer, makes for a luscious, super smooth experience – one that took the crew at 3 Sheeps 18 months to perfect as they built a bottling line capable of doing it.
Very dark on the pour with a rich medium-brown head, Cashmere Hammer displays some of the trademark nitro cascade effect in the glass as its tight-bubbled mousse builds. Tons of lace are left behind as the head subsides and we drain the glass. On the nose, look for big, bold roasty notes invoking dark chocolate, cocoa powder, darkly roasted coffee, and touches of brown sugar and caramel. The roasty character is big on the palate, too, and there's an impressive amount of coffee flavor despite no coffee being used in the recipe. Charred toast, roasted barley, scorched caramel, wisps of smoke, and a touch of earthy spice well up from this beer's center, and there's a light residual sweetness which finds itself nicely countered by the hops and roasty malt bitterness which linger in the finish with a drying note. Creamy, with that cashmere-like smoothness, this brew also delivers a big, bold, roasty hammer that makes it a natural pairing with grilled meats of all kinds. We'd go with a nicely crusted steak, blackened chicken, and smoked brisket or ribs. Cheers!
In 1926, 3 Sheeps' founder Grant Pauly's great-grandparents acquired a failing brewery, renamed it Kingsbury Breweries, and set about building it into a successful national brand. Grant grew up hearing stories of the brewery from his father, so when Grant ended up getting into homebrewing after receiving a homebrew kit from his wife for his birthday, it set into motion a hobby which ultimately would turn into a career. It would seem that brewing was in his genes.
When his town's only brewpub closed its doors and went under, Grant saw an opportunity to get out of his family's business where he worked pouring concrete all day. He approached the facility's new owners and struck an agreement: he would take over the brewing equipment and launch his brewing company in the back of the building while the owners would open a bar in the front – quite a synergistic relationship. 3 Sheeps opened for business in 2012 and quickly won praise and attention from local beer fans, including being awarded Best New Brewery in Wisconsin by RateBeer.
In 2016, 3 Sheeps opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. Taproom and barrel house in one of two buildings of a former Coca-Cola plant. The second, and larger, building on the property serves as a dedicated brewhouse. Their philosophy towards brewing is to avoid doing things which have already been done; instead, they seek to brew new types of beers in new ways, while keeping each brew approachable and balanced. They currently offer six year-round brews, three special seasonals, and over a half-dozen small-batch barrel-aged and blended beers. For more info, call 920-395-3583 or visit www.3sheepsbrewing.com.
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