Just in case SF Beer Week isn’t enough for you, our friends at 21st Amendment and Magnolia have declared every February for the past decade plus to be Strong Beer Month. Not ones to miss a party, we sent lead brewer Alexandra Nowell westward to 2nd & De Boom to collaborate with 21A’s Shaun O’Sullivan on an Imperial IPA sure to hold its own against the rest of what Strong Beer Month has to offer. Then on the brew day January 5, the Drake’s crew (including John Martin, Packaging Supervisor (and former 21A brewer) Mike Pawlicki, Marketing Director Kelsey Williams, and Sales Manager Dow Tunis) came out in force to lend a hand (or drink and supervise) as the brew commenced.
Nelson, Jade, and Helga, which was brewed Saturday, January 5 at 21st Amendment, will be a Triple IPA made with 2-row, caramalt, rye, chocolate malt, and a little roasted barley, along with a combination of New Zealand (Nelson Sauvin & Pacific Jade) and American hops (Centennial & Amarillo) set to hit 10.5% ABV.
The concept of this beer harkens back to a cask Alex made for the Aroma Coma and Aroma Prieta release on July 28th of 2012. Alex had decided to do a yin and yang sort of thing, adding NZ hops to a cask of Aroma Coma US-hopped IPA, and some US Chinook hops to a cask of Aroma Prieta NZ-hopped IPA.
Anyone who experienced the latter cask on that day can attest to its brilliance. It had all the elegant, aromatic gooseberry, lemon, tropical fruit experiences of the Nelson Sauvin, Pacific Jade, and Motueka hops with an added sturdy backbone of pine-woodsy aromas from the Chinook. It was a tremendous cask. Those who received it were lucky bastards indeed. So, Alex brought the idea to Shaun, and together they came up with the final Drake’s Collaboration submission to the strong beer month lineup at 21A.
“Expect an incredible hop aroma with a firm malt backbone, but the hops are gonna be the showcase here,” said Shaun during the brew day.
“It will have notes of tangerine, gooseberries, and muscat grapes from the NZ hops with the pine and citrus US hop backing,” added Alex.
Don’t know about you guys, but it sounds like its gonna be pretty damn good to us. The beer will be released on Friday, February 1st at 21st Amendment alongside a lineup of five other beers over 8.5% ABV at the pub and 6 other strong offerings at Magnolia. If you manage to try all 12 beers within the month, you will receive your own Strong Beer Month glass to commemorate your staunchness in the face of delicious, liver-crushing dangers. Drink Drake’s and Godspeed.
Enjoy Pics from the Brew Day below.