Monday, December 6, 2010

CT Column 1/12/2010 : Seeing the light

I FIRST met Kirsten Taylor while judging at BrewNZ in 2009. At that point she was helping Lion Breweries to formulate the malt extract homebrew kits produced at their Christchurch Brewery. By the time we judged together again this year Kirsten was working on something much more interesting. Having decided that she wanted to move into the craft brewing part of the industry Kirsten teamed up with Richard Fife, a brewer with over 20 years experience. They formed a company called KJD Brewing and released a dry crisp cider called Eves NV. Now they have come up with their first beer.
KJD Chocolate Cherry Porter is a very grown up, original and complex fruit beer. It’s a beer that combines the complex smooth richness of a porter with the deep fruitiness of cherry brandy. The beer starts its life as a rich smooth chocolaty beer brewed broadly in the Baltic porter style, a branch of the porter family that developed in the Baltic States using smooth lager yeasts rather than fruity ale strains. On the second day of fermentation 80kgs of Marlborough cherries were added to the fermentor adding their own complex ‘red’ fruity character. Chocolate Cherry Porter offers up aromas of caramel, toffee, dried berry fruit and a hint of Christmas spice, in the mouth the beer offers up loads of sweet malt, toffee, chocolate, dried fruit and cherry fruit flavours with a surprisingly lean mouth feel. At 6% the beer is robust enough to match with food. Kirsten recommends serving it with Christmas Cake, beef and cranberry stew, and Maasdam or blue cheese. I think it’s a perfect match with traditional northern hemisphere Christmas fare, try it with a slice of rich fruitcake and a generous wedge of Stilton cheese. Both Eves NV Cider and Chocolate Cherry Porter are available from Regional Wines and Spirits, while the Porter might be making an appearance at Hashigo Zake sometime soon.

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