Drinking great beer is fun, but what’s even more fun is brewing great beer. Colleen N, Chelsie, and myself have all home brewed before, but this past Sunday we got the chance to brew on a big system. We’re collaborating with Pizza Boy Brewing to create a special beer for Harrisburg Beer Week. In case you hadn’t heard, the Stouts and Stilettos team along with Sara Bozich are organizing the first ever Harrisburg Beer Week this April 24-May 2. HBW is benefitting the Harrisburg River Rescue, thanks to our awesome sponsors. This particular beer will be available at the Little Big Beer Festival on May 2nd.
When meeting with Terry Hawbaker, brewmaster at Pizza Boy Brewing, we all tossed around a lot of different beer styles and ideas of what we wanted to make. Of course, we landed on a nice big Russian Imperial Stout. But what would we do to make it unique? At first we were thinking about making it spicy and thought we had it down with a serrano citrus stout. But with it being winter we didn’t want to run the risk of not being able to get fresh serrano peppers. Instead, we decided that a super sexy Chocolate Orange Stout was in order.
Sunday, we spent a few hours zesting and juicing a huge pile of oranges and then took our turn adding honey and lactose to the Braukon. As fun as home brewing is and being able to taste the wort and use the hydrometer, it’s so refreshing to be able to press a button and have the system take care of itself.
Next week we’ll be adding the cacao nibs, and in a few more weeks we’ll be back at it with the oranges again for more juicing and zesting. So what are we going to call this brew? Well, we’re leaving that up to you!
We tossed around a lot of fun beer names, but it’s hard to pick just one. We’re down to two that we love, but we’re open to more suggestions. Leave a comment with what you think we should call it, and in a few weeks we’ll have an official vote.