Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beer of the Moment - French Broad Wee Heavy-est

Yes, this is Bruisin Ale's Beer of the Month. And yes, I have already mentioned it before in a previous post. But I wanted to spotlight a local brew in this installment of Beer of the Moment, and what better way to do that then to highlight French Broad's first ever bottled brew.

First, I have some history with the Wee Heavy. This beer originated long ago at Jack of the Wood, when Jonas Rembert was the head brewer. When I moved here in 1997, JOTW was in its infancy, less than 6 months old. My wife and I were visiting to make plans for a possible move, and a long Saturday night at Jack of the Wood drinking Wee Heavys helped to seal the deal. This was a time when a handful of people would be at Jack on a Saturday night, a far cry from the much busier nights nowadays.

Well Jonas left Jack of the Wood in 2000, and he reintroduced the Wee Heavy after founding the French Broad Brewing Company. The beer has since seen a slight reformulation since North Carolina popped the 6 percent cap and it was renamed the Wee Heavy-er. And now, Drew Barton has put his own spin on the recipe with the latest incarnation of the beer, the Wee Heavy-est. This beer has even more malty goodness packed into it, and it appropriately weighs in at a hefty 9 percent. But that doesn't mean that this beer isn't drinkable. It retains its roots in taste to the original, but what really sets this beer in a different direction is the addition of belgian yeast, which adds a whole new level of complexity to the beer. I think it goes quite well with the rich caramel malts, and the yeast adds some fruitiness as well as some spice. This is a limited release, so be sure to get some as it won't last long. Drew also might surprise us with another bottled beer by the end of the year.

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