I wrote about how home brewers were stepping up their game, and even putting a few commercial brewers to shame with what they had to offer.
Back then I was given a bottle of strong Stout from my (at the time) work colleague Tom Fozzard called Konstrukt. It was an interesting item for many reasons. Mainly because it had a sticker on the top saying "Do not open till October the 1st", but also for all the things this prospect and the bottle brought about.
At the time I can remember saying "Bollocks! I'm opening this next week!" ... It seems though, that my magical beer chest of wonders can make time fly by pretty quickly when beer is hidden away, out of sight, and out of mind.
I've taken the wait though, and come hell or high water, I'm blogging my findings on this beer at October the 1st, 00:01, be it good or be it bad... Tom has made me wait so I'll honestly tell him what it's like in my personal opinion. After all I can't resist a strong dark brew.
Konstrukt is a 9.2% beer, coming across with a devishly dark pour and a large lively white/tan solid but rocky carbonation. The aroma is light and very reminiscent of the flavours you might find in a strong German Dark Lager like Kaiserdom Dunkle. Chocolate, some wood and a little light coffee and vanilla.
The first thing that's immediately apparent is that over six months this beer has not lost any of it's carbonation or liveliness, you also notice straight away how roastedly bitter the beer is. Dark malts and woody/chocolate body overtones mix amongst a little smoke and a bit of dried rich fruits like figs and raisins. A little sweet in the body, but the carbonation lends itself well to a dry, moorish-ness which makes the beer very quaffable. If I had to classify it, it would be like a Russian Imperial Stout mixed with a German Black Lager - it's like nothing I've had before in all honesty.
I'm not just trying to blow smoke up Tom's arse, he clearly knows how to make a good beer, and has a firm understanding of how to create beers of varying styles - it seems he's in the right industry then I guess. This is a very nice beer.
This beer has got me thinking about the first annual Home Brewers Meet-Up at Mr Foleys on Thursday the 20th of October. We should all be bringing down our own samples to evaluate and enjoy together (hopefully). And that's (for me) what home brewing is all about. It's not about being a cheap skate and brewing for yourself. It's about making something that you love, and sharing it with the people you count as your friends. Something that Tom has done very well, so thanks mate, I shall be returning the favour in a couple of weeks....