Gotham 3.0


Most breweries would probably be lying if they said they didn't have at least one beer that really threw them through the ringer. Whether it's an imperial stout that overflows the mash tun, a wheat beer with a stuck mash, or an experiment with fruit that makes transferring impossible -- the truth is, stuff can and does 'go wrong'.

For the most part we've been lucky. Save for a couple stuck sparges that we've coerced back into life and a few barrels over the years that have turned to vinegar, we've been able to brew pretty smoothly. Of course, it probably goes without saying that experience helps, not just with the brewing itself, but with things like tempermental pumps and bottlers that seem to have minds of their own. We've got a small but great team that can whisper sweet nothings into the ears of motors. And even if we can't claim that toddlers directly improve your brewing skills, they do provide pretty serious cardio vascular and psychological cross-training...

Perhaps you can see where I'm going with this, meandering ever so slightly, before arriving at the topic of today's discussion. May our newest beer, haunter of our dreams, and problem child please stand up:

Gotham Black Imperial IPA.

Much like the name, this beer has had an ominous past, and unfortunately, this is the third time we've attempted to bring this beer to you. Plagued with a variety of problems that seemed to roll in with strong negative momentum, Gotham version 1.0 and 2.0 were never released to the public. We brewed 1.0 with some difficulty, the blend of specialty malts didn't come out dark enough and our original vision of using Brettanomyces exclusively, meant it took half a lifetime to ferment. A few weeks later we approached version 2.0 with what we thought was a clean slate. We changed the specialty malts, got rid of the Brett idea, and just when we thought we were in the clear the beer was overcarbonated in the brite tank. Overcarbonating is a simple human error, and truth be told, we are mere humans -- but being that close to releasing a beer and realizing we wouldn't be able to put it in kegs or bottles was more than a little disappointing. We took it as a bad omen and accepted the fact that this beer might never see the light of day.

And yet, we haven't been completely honest, so if today is about telling the story behind Gotham, we should really tell the whole story. Do you remember that Black IPA we released not so long ago? Well, that was actually a special mix of Grizzly and Gotham, or rather, enough uncarbonated Grizzly to balance out the over abundance of CO2 in Gotham 2.0. With few other options, beer that wasn't actually compromised, and a fresh batch of Grizzly that was scheduled to be packaged the day after Gotham, we did what any brewery in our position would do. We made lemonade.

So yes, come to think of it, Black IPA was actually a very exclusive, VIP only, secret pre-release of Gotham (even if the blend was far more Grizzly than Gotham). But the real Gotham, with a bold but balanced bitterness characterized by citrus rind, orange flesh, dark chocolate, and roasted malts -- is something we're pretty excited about. And even though I'm a little worried that in between now and when we release version 3.0 in bottles next Friday August 8th, something bad could happen, I'm just gonna let it go and leave it up to the divine pagan realm to oversee its safe arrival.

Come hell or high water...