We are currently in one of those periods when our draft lineup offers more than one hop-forward beer. Obviously, we are known for producing traditional malt-driven ales, but being traditional, we know that hops have been used to balance malt sweetness and impart subtle notes that can be floral, spicy, fruity, woodsy, piney, etc.
Our UK IPA is back and better than ever. This classic IPA uses a blend of malts from England and Ireland as well as dark cane sugar, approximating the brewer’s caramel used to increase richness and alcohol, without imparting too much body.
UK IPA is hopped during the boil with four different types of English hops. What really comes through on the nose and palate, though, are the varieties with which this ale is dry-hopped: Challenger, Progress, and East Kent Goldings.
In the end, our UK IPA showcases a range of English hop characteristics without being over the top. While clocking in at a robust (for us) 70 IBUs, this balanced beer does not come off as overly bitter. Enjoy spicy, floral, grassy, earthy, and herbaceous hop notes in this traditional IPA.
American craft drinkers are more accustomed to the American take on IPA or on APA, both styles foregrounding decidedly different hop notes. These styles have their own history. West Coast breweries like Anchor, Sierra Nevada, and Bert Grant’s were critical in establishing American craft beer.
The original workhorse hop at American craft breweries was Cascade, and that is the hop we use for each addition in this delightfully refreshing ale that celebrates hops without bruising the taste buds.
Our APA is just 35 IBUs but has noticeable hop character. Cascade’s dominant characteristics are pine and citrus, with yellow grapefruit notes predominating. Cleaner, lighter, and less malty than English IPAs, APAs are truly refreshing.
Join us as we enter spring with this great style as well as our UK IPA. As always, these beers are balanced and drinkable and are known to promote civility. See you soon at the pub!
American Brown, Angel & the Sword, Northern English Brown and ESB now available in cans ONLY at the brewery!
$32 a case (Mix & Match)
SAME NEW IMPROVED LOGO ON OUR AMERICAN BROWN CAN!
The American Brown you love is now also filtered! SAME GREAT TASTE SAME GREAT BEER. 3 out of 3 brewers agree! And 99 out of 100 people will not notice until they are almost finished with their pint! Last statement is not scientifically proven, yet.
LONG VERSION: READING TIME DEPENDS ON HOW FAST YOU READ.
On Tuesday our new American Brown can with almost SAME NEW LOGO was released into the wild! Due to two average sales days it hasn't been circulating as much as it had wanted to but you have the power within you to change that by coming down to the brewery and buying a 6-pack or case.
There is no doubt that we loved our first version of American Brown cans. Our trademarked chap with two obviously Imperial Pints takes center stage and for good reason on that version. It's not possible to see on the below picture but he is definitely on the new can as well but just a bit more subtle.
We loved the previous can but there was something we noticed in our cold room when these cans were stacked next to other cans. Can you tell? I hope so. The below picture on the left is actually not one but two different beers! So that made us start thinking because if we are ever really LUCKY ENOUGH to be case stacked by some higher than genius level retailer some day we had to find a way to fix this issue. We also know the crazy competitive market is just going to get more competitive over the next few years and we are doing everything we CAN (See what I did there?) to keep this little company of 9 full time and 3 part time employees moving forward rather than just sideways which we have been doing for 3 years now.
Enter problem. Enter solution.
We discussed with our uber talented can designer (Brian Woolbright) and he went to work. How could we improve on what we already thought was a great can? We also pulled in another regular and “big picture thinker” David Boyd to give us real direction on how to someday present ourselves to a wider audience. Now just to be clear, these aren't just two Civil Life drinking regular chaps, these chaps do this sort of thing for a living. We never could have afforded them if they didn't like our beer so much. They also have followed me from my previous ownership of 33 Wine Bar to the Civil Life. I have spent countless hours discussing a range of topics with them and they were the ones we turned to when we realized how important it was to get this right for our little company.
The question evolved, into, "How do we convey some of the really great things about Civil Life to a group of people that may not have been to the Civil Life?" Shocking right to find out that some people haven’t been to our pub. But it’s true, just like it’s true I once tried and failed due to a supply error to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in every state across America in my failed PBJ Across the USA train ride in October of 1996. Meanwhile, back to what we were talking about. “How do we get a person that doesn’t know our great staff, the great food we serve and our pub to pick up a can that says Civil Life on it?”
For those that say this new logo looks familiar, you are correct as this new logo was quietly released in the pub on our printed menus a few weeks ago. In the next several months it will arrive on merchandise, coasters and growlers as well.
The new same logo is everything we hoped it would be.
What else is new you say?
What follows is very important news concerning our American Brown! Aren’t you glad you read till the end? After deliberation and a solid tasting analysis we will be filtering our American Brown going forward. This is our flagship beer and no doubt the reason we are still in business. So rest assured, we take no chances or do no experimentation with this beer (rarely with any of our beers) and always, always keep this beer the same. Some business decisions are often made about how to squeeze extra margin into products. You remember when a bag of chips had at least 12 chips in it? In our case it's more of can we use a little less of that expensive grain? Can we pitch the yeast a few more generations? It’s easy at the Civil Life to make these decisions as the number one response I give is, “Will this in any way, even small, change the consistency of our Brown or change the taste of our brown?” Small changes do not work for us as it isn't the foundation on which this company has been built. We aren't some jello manufacturer? We make good fairly priced beer. And drinking our beer is no different then slipping into a conversation with an old friend.
It goes like that for all of our beers, but I just want to settle the nerves of those reading that are not able at this particular moment to also be drinking an American Brown. Our panel gave high marks to the filtered version and found that the differences (albeit really really, really small! Notice the exclamation point and the extra really for emphasis) are very slight appearances in taste and obviously very large in appearance. In all honesty, it really just looks like we left it in the fermenter for a few extra weeks before we canned it. That’s another way to filter.
If there is any disagreement among our customers in the market, we will be providing counseling over a pint of American Brown in our pub Tuesdays to Thursdays 4 to 11. Fridays 12:00 am to 11 pm, Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm and Sundays from 11 to 9 pm.
So that’s it for today. Please stay tuned to this channel. We have more things coming over the next year. Keep your ear to the grindstone and your nose in your pint glass. Or whatever that is supposed to be.
Long live the American Brown,
Captain of the Sometimes Wayward Barley Ship
Our beer board has seen many changes lately. We have some favorites that have just returned that you won’t want to miss. Stop in soon for UK IPA, Scottish Ale, Wee Heavy, and Extra Stout.
We are not known for brewing IPAs, but when we have them, they sell fast. Our UK IPA is firmly grounded in our love of classic English beer styles. The style of IPA that dominates the American craft beer market celebrates classic American hops, sometimes to extremes. These beers are generally redolent of citrus fruit and pine. Our classic UK IPA balances hop bitterness against solid malt body. Our secret blend of English hop varieties imparts a woodsy spice with notes of stone fruit. It’s so smooth and easy drinking you won’t believe it’s 70 IBUs and 6% alcohol.
While the UK IPA is light colored, dry, and sharp, our Scottish Ale is very dark with a slightly sweet, rich malt character. We haven’t brewed this favorite in years, so get it while we have plenty in stock. Its rich and layered roasted malt is reminiscent of toffee. The hint of sweetness is saved from being cloying in part by the judicious addition of American Cascade hops.
The same Scottish yeast strain is used for our classic Wee Heavy, a very full-bodied and rich Scottish style. Although lighter in color than the standard Scottish, it is sweeter and has a fuller, silkier mouth feel. The Wee Heavy is deep copper to brown in color with a rich, layered malt character. It’s complex with huge caramelized malt notes, nice spice, and a pleasant sweetness.
Our darkest, roastiest beer at the moment is our Extra Stout. This style of beer was originally called Foreign Export and then Foreign Extra Stout, referring to a stronger style brewed for export (most famously by Guinness). Black as a moonless night, this stout has intense roast flavors and a dry finish with intriguing earthy notes of herbs and licorice. This beer is excellent on cask, so try some while we have it.
Also note our Northern English Brown Ale is back on for those who like browns with an earthier, nuttier roast character. The end of this month should see our next run of canned beer. In the meantime, get your Northern English Brown Ale and ESB in six packs while supplies last.
Hope to see you all soon down at the pub. Cheers!
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.