Beery Christmas Day 9: Basqueland Brewing Project Mimosa
Basqueland Brewing Project Mimosa Pale Ale
Based south of the Basque city of San Sebastien, the award-winning Basqueland Brewing Project is another welcome return to Beery Christmas, following its awesome entry to the 2017 Calendar. The brainchild of three Americans, this trio of gourmets, which includes one Michelin-starred chef, has built an up-and-coming brewery motivated by fresh, flavoursome beers. Limited only by their imagination, they draw their inspiration from a range of sources, including the wild Bay of Biscay, Basque culture and some colourful local characters.
To freshen up your palate after yesterday’s sizeable Stout, Basqueland Brewing Project propose a change of pace with their light, dry Mimosa Dry Ale. Inspired by the classic Mimosa breakfast cocktail (aka Buck’s Fizz) – two parts Champagne to one part orange juice, in case you were wondering. Personally I think it’s a waste of good orange juice :p - this dry-as-a-bone Ale is brewed with Champagne yeast to remove any trace of sweetness - just like a great Brut sparkling wine.
Add a generous helping of fresh orange pulp and zest for an inviting orange-blossom note, and this light, fragrant Pale Ale is a crisp, dry delight.
The hazy pale gold body is refreshingly light, and full of biscuit malts and spicy hops that make a perfect backdrop for the subtle bitter orange, to lead you to a long, dry fantastically fragrant finish.
Beer & Brunch...
Inspired by the famous Mimosa or Bucks Fizz cocktail – a drink traditionally consumed before midday, Mimosa is great with an informal brunch of toast and scrambled eggs with fresh-squeezed orange juice.
It’s equally at home with mushrooms – button, chanterelle, cepes it’s all good! Try them fried in butter then add chopped parsley and a generous spoonful of crème fraiche and serve on toasted rye bread.
Basqueland also recommend virtually any pasta dish, or maybe some great seafood – especially lobster. Treat yourself, it’s Sunday after all!
Pale Ale, anyone?
The lighter, cleaner, more easy-drinking little brother to India Pale Ale, Pale Ales were traditionally a rich-man’s drink. The style evolved in the late 18th Century with the invention of Pale Ale malt – a type of malt that, thanks to the production method was relatively expensive to make.
The result was bright, sparkling beer with a fresh, clean maltiness. Added to this were classic English hops varieties like Fuggle and, later on, Whitbread Golding, that give the beer its typically fruity, spicy hops profile.
More recently the style was picked up by American breweries, giving birth to American Pale Ales or APA’s a style with an even lighter malt profile and a more classic citrus and pine American hops character
Pale Ale Malt originally used coke - nope, not the stuff that comes in a red can - a kind of clean(er) version of coal, during the roasting, which meant it didn’t have the unpleasant coal-tar ‘inside of a chimney’ taste of common malts used at the time. Coke was WAY!!! expensive to produce, and so the malt was more expensive and so was the beer! The poor folk had to make do with the cheap sludgy-looking stuff!
Thankfully we can now make Pale Ale malt cheaply enough for everyone to enjoy!