Sand Creek Brewing Company - SMaSH Sorachi Ace American Pale Ale
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):~60
Serving Temperature:45-50° F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
Malts:Briess 2-Row (and a splash of Vienna “for balance”)
This limited edition is the first of Sand Creek’s new SMaSH series (Single-Malt and Single-Hop), and is a distinct variant of their normal APA. We love single hop brews because they’re so perfect for getting to know the characteristics of a given varietal. This brew features U.S.-grown Sorachi Ace (originally developed in Japan) for both bittering and aroma. Golden-amber with a robust, fluffy, tight-bubbled cap of foam, this brew offers up plenty of Sorachi Ace’s typical lemony notes backed by pale malts, leading to a bit of a lemon cake impression. At least as prominent as the lemon is an exotic spice-like quality tending toward coriander and dill. On the palate, look for the pale malt to come through fairly robustly, though purposefully simple, providing a strong, clear stage for the hops whose acidic citrus notes manifest decidedly lemony while spicy tones add further intrigue with the aforementioned coriander and dill notes, and a peppery character. Sorachi Ace adds a creamy, almost buttery quality, too, which we found well-balanced by its bright, firm, and very spicy bitterness. Try pairing with lemon pepper chicken or chicken gyros with a yogurt dill sauce. 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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