Sand Creek Brewing Company - English Style Special Ale
- ABV: 6.3%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 25
- Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Briess 2-Row, Caramel, Special Roast, Victory
- Hops: Cluster, Cascade
Expect a dark reddish amber color on the pour, topped with plenty of pale foam which drops some lace as you drain the glass. We found the aromas fairly complex, with a rich, malty core delivering plenty of bready notes and deep caramel, along with some hints of toffee. There’s a bit of a light juicy impression as well, with hops adding a mélange of spicy, floral, earthy, and woody notes. We got a bit of straw or hay, too. On the palate, this brew’s huge malty core forms a delicious, round center with lots of toasted bread crust, brown bread, caramel, nuts, and a wisp of cocoa powder. That estery fruit quality implied on the nose is present here as well, offering an intriguing, and very British, interplay with the toasty notes. Light hop bitterness maintains good balance with the mild sweetness. Try pairing this brew with fish and chips or mild English cheeses like Lancashire. Cheers!
Brewmaster Cory Schroeder began homebrewing in his spare time in the late 1980s and soon realized his knack for crafting good beers. In the late 1990s, he teamed up with business partner Jim Wiesender, and the two set out to build a brewery on the Schroeder family dairy farm. A large shed served as the brewhouse, with various scrounged-up materials serving as the brewing equipment, including a refrigerated semi-trailer which became the beer cooler, and pudding tanks as the mash and brew kettles. The Sand Creek Brewing Company opened for business in 1999, marketing their ales in local taverns and restaurants and via promotion at beer festivals throughout Wisconsin, all the while working to expand and upgrade their brewing facilities.
In early 2004 the opportunity arose to acquire the historic Pioneer Brewing Company in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and Sand Creek relocated their brewing to that facility. It’s an historic building, dating to 1856 when it started life as the Oderbolz Brewing Company. Brewing had stopped in 1920 due to Prohibition, but Pioneer had revived operations in 1995. Cut into the side of a hill, the brewery was built with thick stone walls insulating a beer storage cellar which Sand Creek uses to this day. The move to this facility gave Sand Creek the opportunity to expand their line-up to almost a dozen different beers, not to mention seasonal and limited-run beers like their huge and very tasty Oscar’s Double Chocolate Milk Stout (11.5%), and this month’s featured SMaSH Series APA. Pioneer’s very talented brewmaster, Todd Krueger, has remained as Brewmaster and is now a partner in the new, combined brewery operation. He is a multiple World Beer Championship gold medalist—quite an asset to the brewery. For more information about Sand Creek, their tap room, and brewery tours, call 715-284-7553 or check out their web site at www.sandcreekbrewing.com.
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