Monday, November 1, 2010

Uncommon Brewers 'Siamese Twin'

I'm proud to say I live in a community that is home to not only an organic only homebrew store, but also to one of a select few breweries in the nation that can boast the use of "all organic" ingredients. Santa Cruz's own 'Uncommon Brewers' is not only brewing with organic ingredients but some strange ones to be sure. I sat down with a pint (a pound of beer?) of their flagship ale 'Siamese Twin' to get an insight into what is brewing at Uncommon.

This is a Belgian style dubbel but not your ordinary Belgian beer. It comes at you with a traditional alcohol percentage of 8.5% and all of the qualities that I've come to enjoy in this type of beer. Full-on malt character with caramel, dried fruit flavors including raisin and prune and all-spice notes provided by the yeast. That's where tradition ends and the unique flavors of nontraditional ingredients begin. Lemongrass, coriander and kaffir lime bring a tart acidity into play that reminds me of a Flemish brown reminiscent of Petrus oud bruin or Duchesse de Bourgogne with the lingering sweetness that interplays with the sour. This quality really shows up especially in the nose.


This is an interesting and delicious take on a classic style and if you can get a can of it in your area, jump on it. It may shock you at first because it doesn't fit into your style expectations but as you stay with it you'll be claiming it as a regular selection in your beer fridge.

In the mean time, I just happen to be passing by the brewery and was allowed to wander unattended through the facility as work was in progress canning a batch of this beer. It's unbelievable but every can found out there on the shelves of your local liquor store or supermarket has been packaged by hand. The following video will give you an idea of what it takes to can 600 gallons of beer by hand, one at a time.








Canning beer at Uncommon Brewers
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4 comments:

john taylor said...

What are the odds of that beer making its way to the N.W. That really isn't my style of beer but, you made it sound pretty tasty.
If you get a chance, try the Airways brews. They just opened in Renton and are producing some really great beers.
I have to say; my top 3 IPA's are out of California. Coast Brewing's Wipe Out, Bear Republic's Racer 5 and Green Flash. I can't remember who brews the Green Flash.
Thanks for the video.

Beer Diary... said...

I think Green Flash is out of San Diego and yeah, that's a great hoppy beer.

Dave Kramer-Urner said...

Howdy, Mark! I really appreciate your many contributions to the world of homebrewing--the excellent classes you teach, your blog, your beer reviews--all that great knowledge and energy you put out there!

And I just want to add that if you love the hops, it's hard to beat Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid. I'd rank it up there with Green Flash.

Beer Diary... said...

Hey Dave,
Yes, you really can't go wrong with Lagunitas. I'll make a point of picking up the Hop Stoopid on your recommendation this weekend.

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