From the Beer Writer: The spirit of craft-brewing innovation is alive in tandem with Viking pride at Mira Mesa’s Longship Brewery, where owner and head brewer Dan Jachimowicz is about to celebrate two years in the beer biz. In doing so, he’s pulling out all the stops, releasing a quartet of wide-ranging small batch beers, including an altbier, a lingonberry-infused saison brewed in collaboration with Beeramar’s Thunderhawk Alements, and a heather ale made in concert with local yeast-production company White Labs. The latter is the first beer ever made using White Labs’ New Nordic Yeast Blend, which is fitting given Longship’s overriding thematic. With credentials like that, one might figure it would be the Beer of the Week, but those honors go to Althing 2018, a nine-ish percent alcohol-by-volume Scotch ale ripped from the pages of Jachimowicz’s homebrew journal. The beer pours a rich brown foretelling of its caramely flavors. That mildly sweet base is given impressive depth by undertones of dried fruit (plums, dates, maybe even some figginess) and spikes of bright, berry-like tartness (blueberry or elderberry in nature). Bourbon brings on a thread of earthy vanilla that ties everything together and makes for a well-made celebratory quaff that can be had at Longship’s anniversary event, tomorrow at 1 p.m., where all of the aforementioned beers will be on tap.
From the Brewer: “We named our beer after the historical Althing (pronounced All-ting), which was an annual gathering of Norse clans from across the land to discuss, collaborate and, of course, celebrate. In order to create Longship’s second-anniversary beer, ‘Althing 2018,’ we flipped through the archives for a strong beer from my early homebrew days and dusted off an old recipe. The original version of this Scotch ale was last brewed in 2009 for a friend’s wedding and hasn’t been tested on the big system until now. We like the idea of our anniversary beers being higher in alcohol with rich, complex flavors, which we accomplished this year by using a combination of two yeast strains and bourbon-soaked oak chips. The results were amazing. This beer has an intense caramel and strong alcohol aroma with a hint of vanilla. A medium-bodied beer, it is sweet and balanced with a slight boozy kick at the end. We had a lot of fun making Althing 2018 and will have even more fun sharing it with guests at our second-anniversary party. There may even be a barrel-aged version to enjoy at our third anniversary! We are proud to add this to our list of annual Althings and will hopefully have many more to come. Skål!”–Dan Jachimowicz, Owner & Head Brewer, Longship Brewery