Brynhildr's Gift is a sapid ale brewed with pale malt, rye, and juniper berries.
I've lowered the carbonation this year to emulate a more traditional real ale service.
The Name: Brynhildr's Gift is named for the valkyrie Brynhildr, who, upon being awaken by the dragon-slaying hero Sigfried, gave him the gifts of ale and wisdom. While not a traditional Scandinavian ale, I used rye, juniper berries, and some traditional brewing techniques to create a modern farmhouse ale with character that would be recognizable to the old norse.
Malty, caramel, and spicy with bold fruit and juniper, complimented by herbal hops.
Brynhildr's Gift is designed to be served at cellar temperatures, 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour with or without the lees; a good way to distribute the lees is by pouring the first half of the bottle, gently swirling the bottle, and then finishing the pour.
I highly recommend cellaring this ale. It has aged remarkably well in the two years since it was first produced in spring 2012.
After a year, the young fermentation-derived fruit notes wane, leaving the juniper to shine. After 18 months to two years of warm storage, complementing plum and raison notes emerge.
For the 2014 release, I brought back a bit more caramelization while retaining the complementing juniper's bitterness. The big difference this year is a marked decrease in carbonation.
I'm a big fan of real ale (all my ales qualify) and I believe most beer is over carbonated. I've been looking for an opportunity to dial back CO2 in many of my ales and, after enjoying this in casks the past two years, think this is a great opportunity to try it out in bottles. Let me know what you think.
The 2013 release is less caramelized, bringing the juniper and rye through more than the previous release, and highlighting the juniper's bitterness more assertively in the balance.
The 2012 release was my first spring seasonal. Heavy scortching in the kettle produced a sweet-balanced ale with fruit, herbal, and juniper flavors.