The start of October means that the Gallery Series is back! But what is it exactly? Hear what Becca & Joe from our team have to say about the inspiration behind the program, the events and the three beers brewed exclusively for this year’s series:
What’s the primary goal of the Gallery Series?
BECCA: The goal of the Gallery Series is to bring some of our “brewery exclusive” beers to the rest of South Florida so people can enjoy a Concrete Beach Brewery experience even if they’re miles away. The Gallery Series allows us to DRINK ART and create eclectic, unique events tailored to different restaurants and bars by highlighting this special series of beers.
We often say “drink art make beer” at the brewery, but what does that mean to you?
JOE: Beer and art are both experiential and can be thought-provoking, or tell their own story. Brewers and artists are creators looking to share with people at large. Except beer is our medium; malts as our oil, water as our canvas, hops as our stone and yeast as our chisel.
With these four bases, we can build flavors historic or brand new. Stiltsville Pilsner tells the story of soft water, grainy Pilsner malt, spicy hops and a long, cool fermentation and lagering period. It’s also the history of Josef Groll and the city of Pilzen. But we tell it here in Miami, so we swapped out the Saaz for Motueka, Citra and Centennial. We made it fruity and citrusy, rather than spicy and noble. To us that is the art: paying respect to the craft and the history of the brewers before us, but making it relative to the here and now then sharing it with the community.
As for the 2017 Gallery Series beers… what was the inspiration behind each one?
JOE: Bouvalay is Haitian slang for “malarkey.” It’s a Belgian style known as Bier de Garde, which we brewed with Malbec grape must and aged on French oak. Combining dark fruit flavors like plums and black cherry from the Malbec, complemented by rich vanilla tannins from the oak, it has an almost silky mouthfeel from the long aging. This beer had a little more lagering than planned due to Hurricane Irma, but the result was smooth and rich. The nose on this beer alone is enough to make anyone swoon.
Size of the Coconut is a bit of a play on Monty Python and the Holy Grail and that it’s a big 10% Belgian Quad. It was brewed with Chocolate Rye malt, brown sugar, and 170 lbs. of toasted coconut to create a wonderful interplay with spice from the rye and Belgian yeast with the toasted coconut.
Sangre de Flor translates to “blood flower” or “flower of blood.” The idea was to make a beer that had a deep crimson hue when poured. It’s made with Hibiscus, brown sugar, and cocoa and blends the chocolatey and fruity/floral together nicely.
Where did the idea for the Gallery Series come from?
BECCA: Walking the streets of Wynwood, you see art on every wall and a gallery on every corner. The galleries display their most precious pieces for all to see, so we wanted to invite our community to taste our beers even if they weren’t able to get to the Social Hall. We envisioned each event in our community to be unique (just like each beer) and our crew has done a great job working with local chefs to create these events!
What were some of the highlights from last year’s Gallery Series?
BECCA: Sangre de Flor was a showstopper. It became a crowd favorite so we decided to highlight this Chocolate Hibiscus Porter again this year! The pairings really stood out to me because there was so much passion from area chefs to pair these beer creations with specialty menus.
What opportunities or challenges does each beer present when chefs are selecting foods to pair with it?
JOE: As with all beer/food pairings the most important thing to remember is to set up complementary pairings, so that neither food or beer dominates the palate, instead synergizes for better flavor and aroma together than either would alone.
Bouvalay has an intense and powerful aromatic presence, so I think it presents the biggest challenge. Right away you start heading for dessert pairings, right? Crème Brulee will pair well with the shared vanilla flavor, but, it may be too heavy on the palate with both the beer and the dessert being smooth and rich. Ultimately, I would lean towards Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, or German Black Forest Cake. The chocolate and vanilla play off well while the whipped cream and sponge cake will keep things from being too rich. The cherry will find synergy in the beer itself and the oak balances the sweetness.
Size of the Coconut is an oddity — high ABV, however well hidden. Complex, rich and dangerous (if you’re into those types of things). You can go any direction here; though I’m going to stick with the dessert idea and pair with cardamom carrot cake with its cream cheese frosting. Rye spice and the cardamom join forces, while the coconut flavor rolls into the cheese sweetness.
From a pairing perspective, Sangre de Flor is viewed as a bigger, more flavorful porter. Grilled meats are a great complement to the roasted malts. You’ll find synergy in the Milliard compounds from the malts and those nice char marks on your steak. Despite the cocoa and brown sugar, Sangre is not a sweet beer. It finishes dry and toasted, the perfect way to wash down flavorful meat juices and clear the way for the next bite and sip.
If you’d like to try our three latest works of art, find us at an exclusive Gallery Series event throughout South Florida this month!