Boom. Roasted! Cof­fee Porter

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Recipes In This Issue - Steve Luke, Cloud­burst Brew­ing Com­pany

“[Our IPAS are] more bit­ter and less mud­dled than [New Eng­land–style] IPAS but not as resiny or harsh as tra­di­tional West Coast– style IPAS nor as malty as tra­di­tional North­west IPAS. We tend to grav­i­tate to­ward bright, fruit-for­ward hops fla­vors, a present but in-check bit­ter­ness, and a dry, crisp fin­ish.”

The Mar­ket Fresh Se­ries, and most of Cloud­burst’s beers for that mat­ter, don’t last long in the tast­ing room. Luke and Korn­feld brew them on their 10-bar­rel sys­tem, of­ten tak­ing risks on process and in­gre­di­ents. “That risk is min­i­mized be­cause we brew such small batches,” Luke says.

They might not al­ways be avail­able, but the Cloud­burst beers are re­mem­bered for their bold names and the causes they sup­port. For ex­am­ple, 10 per­cent of the rev­enue gen­er­ated from the Rhythm Method IPA was do­nated to Planned Par­ent­hood. The Al­ter­na­tive Facts IPA was pur­port­edly brewed with 1.5 mil­lion pounds of Cen­ten­nial, Ci­tra, Amar­illo, 522, and Man­da­rina Bavaria hops.

Another un­for­get­table Cloud­burst beer is the Swedish Prison Orgy, a Triple IPA hopped with six dif­fer­ent hops. “This is not a coun­try-club beer, and it’s not go­ing to apol­o­gize,” says this beer’s de­scrip­tion. Ar­guably, that’s a state­ment that ap­plies to all of Cloud­burst’s beers.

“It al­ways cracks me up when peo­ple are shocked at our beer names [and de­scrip­tions] or at our causes be­cause we all look like hip­pies,” Luke jokes. “That’s one of the side perks to own­ing your own business—we get to play around with beer names. And we get to do­nate to who­ever the hell we like.”

They get to brew what­ever the hell they like, too. “We don’t re­ally dis­trib­ute out­side of Seat­tle, ei­ther, so we can brew what we like with a longer leash for play­ing around with new tech­niques, or hops, or other in­gre­di­ents,” says Luke. “We don’t re­ally have a shtick when it comes to beer styles.”

They might not have a shtick, but Cloud­burst has a lot of soul. “Our build­ing is 120 years old. We tried to source used equip­ment. It’s not the pret­ti­est, and it’s not the warm­est space as far as the lawn fur­ni­ture goes, but it feels good to be in an old build­ing and mak­ing some­thing new in it.”

The brew­house at Cloud­burst came from Sil­ver City Brew­ing in Bre­mer­ton, Washington. There’s also a fer­men­tor from Fremont Brew­ing, a cou­ple of grundy tanks from some other Seat­tle brew­eries, a walk-in cooler found on Craigslist from a north­ern Washington dis­trib­u­tor, a hot liquor tank that used to be an old dairy tank from Wis­con­sin that Luke says he found on a sketchy auc­tion web­site.

With all these finds, Cloud­burst opened for less than $700,000. “My grand­fa­ther was a fish­er­man in New Eng­land, so I like grit,” Luke says. “I’m skep­ti­cal of new and flashy and pol­ished things. But maybe that’s just the New Eng­land chip on my shoul­der. My phi­los­o­phy is to start at the bot­tom, work your way up, learn every­thing you can, move on some­where else, rinse, and re­peat un­til you think you have enough to go out on your own.”

Luke’s North­east­ern back­ground also ex­plains his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for haze. Cloud­burst’s IPAS tend to be hazy from the hops polyphe­nols due to large rates of dry-hop­ping. “While we don’t fil­ter our beer, we do cold con­di­tion it be­fore pack­ag­ing and sta­bi­lize the haze with a fin­ing agent. Those fin­ings bind to yeast and large pro­teins and then pre­cip­i­tate them out.”

The IPAS at Cloud­burst can’t re­ally be qual­i­fied un­der one sub­cat­e­gory of IPA, Luke con­tin­ues. “They’re more bit­ter and less mud­dled than [New Eng­land–style] IPAS but not as resiny or harsh as tra­di­tional West Coast– style IPAS nor as malty as tra­di­tional North­west IPAS,” he says. “We tend to grav­i­tate to­ward bright, fruit-for­ward hops fla­vors, a present but in-check bit­ter­ness, and a dry, crisp fin­ish.”

Most of the beers at Cloud­burst are fla­vor-for­ward and ag­gres­sive, Luke says, which is why he likes the brew­ery’s name so much. “The mean­ing of the word res­onated with me—‘a sud­den, un­ex­pected on­slaught of rain,’ ” he says. “That car­ries over to fla­vors in beer.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.