Worthy Brewing

Eruption Imperial Red

A Worthy Day in Boise

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:55:00


The craft beer scene in Boise is hopping. Michelle and I loaded up the wagon and headed East to check it out. Naturally, the Walter Mitty in me imagined what a few of Boise’s landmarks might look like with a Worthy touch up.


We rented cruisers from Idaho Mountain Touring, which is a great place with a friendly staff. We rolled over to the beloved Boise River Greenbelt, a smart, smooth and gentle path through lush riparian habitats, and headed upriver. First stop was Bronco Stadium, with the iconic blue turf. The curtains match the carpet, no?


We crossed over the swift Boise River on a foot bridge near a golf course and it seemed appropriate to break out a can of the Easy Day Kolsch. Cruising on a fat tire bike with a big soft seat and a wire basket, checking out the sights, enjoying the sunshine, with no particular destination and no clocks — this is what we invented Easy Day for.

We came upon a garden of bright pink and orange tulips and they just sort of reached out for us.


I’d never been to Idaho before. My impression going in was that Idaho was another word for “potato.” I expected to see shiny bronze monuments glorifying the almighty tubers.  After all, Idaho is the leading producer of spuds (in front of Washington and Wisconsin). But the locals shrugged off the association, educating me that Idaho was instead “the gem state.” I learned that pioneers flocked to Boise and parts surrounding in the 1860’s because of the discovery of gold. Not finding any spud statues, we pedaled over to the local co-op to lay hands upon a bushel of home grown Yukon Golds. No, our IPA isn’t made with potatoes.


We stopped by the State Capital and found the obligatory Civil War vintage cast iron cannon. Not sure the last time this big fella erupted in fury. We learned it was a “sea coast cannon” used by the Confederacy in the Civil War.  Idaho didn’t join the Union until 1890.


In 1906, a bunch of motivated Boise schoolchildren cobbled the funds to build the “Pioneer Monument,” which depicts a Nez Perce Indian counseling an apparently lost Lewis and Clark on how to get back on The Oregon Trail. No, they probably were not asking for directions to “Beertopia.”


Boise’s vibrant downtown pub and restaurant scene lived up to its reputation. I’m sort of a fan of the back alleys, where a spray can and an independent spirit can sometimes unite with brilliant results. We found “Freak Alley,” a dumpster strewn corridor in which local artists are encouraged to let their “Freak Flag fly.” Even without a black light, the colorful murals at dusk cast a three dimensional glow that opens the mind’s eye.


No, alas, we found no potato pedestals, but we did find an interesting tribute to those brave and adventurous souls who came to Idaho 150 years ago to pan for gold. Today, the locals seem more interested in prospecting for the latest golden IPA.


After a fabulous day touring the University, the Greenbelt, the Capital grounds, and the Anne Frank Memorial (my favorite motto: “Idaho is Too Great for Hate”), we settled in for dinner at The Fork. We were absolutely dazzled by the asparagus fries, the roasted beets on a bed of warm Golden Greek cheese, the pan seared Idaho trout and the ale-braised short ribs. Scrumptuous! As an added treat, Shaun, the bar tender and our gracious server, poured us a can of Worthy Pale Ale from his superbly stocked cooler.

We had a wonderful trip, the locals were super friendly and we can’t wait to return.




By in Eruption Imperial Red 0

Worthy’s Imperial Red Ale: An Eruption of Amazing Flavor

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 18:55:00

100+ IBUs
8.0% ABV
6 Lbs Hops/BBL
6 Hop Varieties

This is a big, bold Imperial Red Ale that’s tantalizingly smooth.   While it’s triple digit IBUs suggest another violent “bitter bomb,” the Eruption instead releases onto the palate a glowing stream of balanced, bittersweet goodness that warms without dehydrating the tongue.

Don’t let the 100+ IBUs scare you – this is not a slab of red meat for the chalk-tongued hop monsters.   Big numbers don’t always mean big bitterness. We use a whopping 6 pounds of hops per barrel, but only a fraction of our hop bill is for bittering.  Instead we rely on fruity, fragrant, top shelf floral, piney and citrusy beauties like Cascade, Centennial, Crystal and Meridian to build up the taste without injecting too much acid to tear it down.

Introducing Mandarina Bavaria
Normally, we prefer Pacific Northwest hops for flavoring.  But for our relaxed version of the West Coast “hop bomb,” we took a chance and sourced our primary aroma variety from Germany, the birthplace of noble hops but not a hotbed for new craft-oriented cultivars.

Introducing “Mandarina Bavaria,” a citrusy, tangerine-ish hop whose mother is none other than Cascade, Oregon’s very own Grand Madame of Craft hops, which herself has roots in English and Russian land race cultivars.

Quintuple Hopped
The result of this historic Pacific Northwest meets Bavaria combo is a hopquake that doesn’t burst, jar or crash, but instead steadily surges forward with a Big-Number-Be-Damned benevolence.

How do we achieve balance with all that firepower? Quintuple hopping. That’s right. Six  hop varieties, 6 pounds per barrel, dosed in five discrete segments. First the boil, then the late add, then we push the wort through the whole cone packed hopback, and then two separate dry hoppings with our Mandarina Bavaria. When it comes to extracting the nectar from our aroma hops, Chad does not mess around.

A Most Moist Dryness
The reddish-amber glow with the thick frothy head portends the sense of impending glee.  The first tremor on the palate is a robustly carbonated caramel and toffee sweetness. The second shake-rattle and roll unleashes a distinct but smooth bitterness, which pauses for a moment demurely before gently rolling forward towards a lingering and pleasant dryness.

That last bit bears repeating : the finish is both dry and pleasant, a dreamy mixture of “wow,” “ahhhh,” and “yumm,” with an omnipresent overtone of “Are you kidding me?!?”

Aroma You Can Chew On
One mark of a well-balanced beer is whether it can satisfy the senses if you simply stick your snout down into your pint glass and take a deep whiff.  Does the malt sweetness meld with the grapefruit, tangerine and piney aromas, to the point where you can virtually “chew on it?” Is the aroma “meaty” enough to trick your brain into being satisfied without having to slam it down? The aroma itself should be an appetizer to the main dish.

We hope you’ll agree that a snootful of Eruption’s rich aroma has the compressed power to trigger that coveted happy, glowing sensation on the top of your head.  Perhaps, it will even summon a favorite song, such as that old but fitting classic — “I feel the earth move under my feet…”

Whatever it does, enjoy the tremble.  We hope you will enjoy drinking Eruption as much as we enjoyed brewing it.