Lest you think I was going to leave you without a recipe, here’s the official commemorative beer of next year’s conference, which is, at the time of this writing, slumbering in a bourbon barrel in the cellar of an unnamed Chicago-area brewpub. You can brew it yourself, or you can show up at next year’s conference to find out what it tastes like after a year in the wood.

These days you can hardly throw a sack of malt without running into a homebrew club or beer event. If you’re not already hooked up with one, I urge you to do so. The angel and the devil on your shoulders are both saying, “Do it!”

Commemorative Bourbon-Barrel Stout

As brewed for the upcoming 2003 American Homebrewers’ Association National Homebrew Conference in the Chicago area next June. This recipe makes a 5 gallon batch.

9 pounds pale malt (2 row)

1 pound crystal 90L

1/2 pound black patent

1 pound chocolate malt

1 pound wheat malt

1 pound Special B

1 pound roasted barley

1/2 pound flaked oats

1/2 pound brewer’s choice of a sugar

3.3 pound amber malt extract (liquid)

2 ounces Fuggles hops (4.7AA)—75 minutes

2 ounces Willamette hops (4.8AA)—30 minutes

1 ounce Goldings hops (7.3AA)—10 minutes

Mash at 145 degrees F for 1.5 hours.

Ferment with a British style alcohol-tolerant yeast. Get ten of your buddies together and fill a barrel. Or, for a single batch, use a half a dozen finger-size sticks of charred white oak which have been marinating in bourbon for a month or two, and add them directly into the secondary.

Thanks to Jerry Sadowski and the rest of the AHA02 Brew Crew who collaborated on this recipe.

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