North was originally made for the Great Alaskan Beer and Barleywine Festival in Alaska, which is North of Astoria...
Our Winter Seasonal that we make different every year. One common feature is usually that it is a Strong Ale that somehow brings out the spirit of the season through inspired ingredients.
A Russian Imperial Stout
How much grain can we get in our mash tun? This is a question that has haunted our brewery from the beginning. How do we find out? Let’s make a Russian Imperial Stout for this year’s North, our winter seasonal. So enjoy this huge stout, once popularized by Russian tzars and their families, while taking refuge from the cold outside. Imagine streams of black and roasted barley cascading down to the brewery floor during the sparge, and the groans of mechanical rakes trying to cut through the grain bed. How much grain can we get in there? The answer, my friend, is in this bottle.
A Barrel-Aged Imperial Belgian-Inspired IPA
2013’s North VII was brewed with a complex malt bill and a tremendous amount of hops. Fermented with a Belgian yeast for a touch of spice, this Imperial IPA was then steeped for just the right amount of time in the freshest Kentucky Bourbon barrels this side of the Rockies.
A tractor-trailer sped 2400 miles through the night to deliver American Oak barrels to the Fort George Brewery, staves still engorged with Kentucky Bourbon. Seventy-two hours after being emptied at the distillery these barrels were harboring a winter wonder, working their alchemy on the hop and barley elixir nestled within. With the addition of more hops as the beer left the barrels, North VII was born – fully aromatic and pungent with vanilla, bourbon, oak and flowery lupulin magic. North VII was brewed with a complex malt bill and a tremendous amount of hops. Fermented with a Belgian yeast for a touch of spice, this Imperial IPA was then steeped for just the right amount of time in the freshest Kentucky Bourbon barrels this side of the Rockies.
A Strong Coffee-Infused Porter with Cranberries
As our hemisphere approaches the cold, dark side of the sun the warmth and brightness of summer become a fading memory. The nights are starting earlier, but you can’t really justify going to bed at 6pm just because all the streetlights have come on. Warm yourself up with North, Fort George’s tribute to the season of scarves and sweaters. North is a strong porter infused with Astoria Coffee Roasters’ Working Girl Coffee in the mash, the boil and finally the conditioning tank. North also undergoes a secondary fermentation on 100 pounds of organic cranberries from Starvation Alley Farms on the Long Beach Peninsula. By teaming up with these local craftsmen and farmers, Fort George has created an ale whose robust cimmerian sips match the pitch of the evening, while espresso and roast aromas mingle with the tart undertones of the season’s favorite fruit.
A Holiday tradition continues at Fort George Brewery with our Fifth rendition of the North Series. Originally brewed as an entry for the Great American Beer and Barley Wine Festival in Alaska, we change this beer every year, but keep the Strong Ale base as a constant.
Last year we imagined a Christmas Tree being thrown into the beer and devised a recipe that included spruce buds, cranberries and a giant candy-cane.
This year we took another Holiday Icon, The Fruitcake, and designed our Winter Seasonal in its honor.
A mash of barley, oats, wheat, rye, rich caramel and honey malts are mildly spiced with Cascade and Saaz hops, fermented with Fort George House Yeast then allowed to condition on hand-splintered, rum inspired oak. A Glase Fruit
concoction that includes cherries, pineapple, orange and lemon peel is dissolved into the finished beer to add the final touches.
While designed and bottled to be aged, we are sure this version of The Fruitcake will not be passed down for generations, but opened and imbibed at many a cheerful gathering.
Twas the night before Christmas and all throughout the Fort,
Not a creature was sober, spare one brewer, dreaming of sweet wort.
A beer was to be made for family, for friends, for the masses.
But what style to make? What hops to use? What would fill their glasses?
As he gazed at the tree, covered in cranberries and candy canes,
His eyes widened, an idea came to him that was anything but mundane.
In a flash he was on his feet, headed for the tree,
An idea so bold that it filled him with glee.
Dashing up the stairs, he stuffed the tree into the mill,
Soon the tree was gone, cranberries and all, as he was careful not to spill.
Along with the tree he threw in some chocolate, caramel malt, and even some 2 row.
While he stirred the mighty brew, he dreamed longingly, and his face became aglow.
As the beer boiled he threw in the best hops he could find,
Hops that would epitomize the joy of mankind.
He put in some US Challenger and some Czech Saaz,
Egads he couldn’t wait to share this beer with Santa Claus!
He bottled it with care for this beer he was truly proud of,
He had created a wonderful holiday ale that was filled with brotherly love.
We hope you enjoy this wonderful strong ale these holidays,
It goes good with food, friends and a fires blaze.
North the Fourth was made with a 2 lb candy cane, 60 lbs of cranberries, and over 40 lbs of spruce tips. Hoppy Holidays from all of us at Fort George!