COAST FORK CHRONICLES: NEWS ABOUT BREWS
Learning to Love the Lighter Side
As a self-professed Anglophile (a lover of all things British) Coast Fork Brewer Stephen Mathys admits that he may have gotten a bit sidetracked on one particular end of the beer spectrum.
“Because of my focus on traditional British Isles ales, I realized that I had a board full of red beers, but nothing golden,” Mathys said. “And I feel like we need to be a little more well-rounded than that.”
If you’ve visited the Brewstation recently, you may have sampled the results of Mathys’ journey to beer’s lighter side. Nowadays, you’ll find the Culp Creek Cream Ale, a light, easy-drinking ale that’s ready to go in a hurry.
“It’s got a fairly quick turnaround, and it allows me to get a yellow beer ready without all the time it takes to brew a pilsner,” he said.
Fans of lighter fare will also want to try the new Armory Amber Lager, billed as the launching pad for Coast Fork’s new slate of lagers that we’ll continue to roll out throughout the warmer months. But don’t let the ‘lager’ label fool you; this one’s also got plenty of punch.
“It’s basically a vollbier, which translates to ‘full-bodied,’” Mathys said. “It’s a little more robust, with a copper color instead of straw, which gives the red ale drinker something to like from the lager family.”
Classic lagers aren’t exactly regular fare here in the Northwest, and Mathys explained why.
“If you have to ferment cold, as you do with a lager, you also have to have cold storage and increase cellaring time,” he said. “With ales, the turnaround is quick, especially with a hoppy IPA – you want to serve that as fresh as possible. But a lager can take 4-6 weeks, which ties up your equipment and requires more time and planning to produce the way you want it.”
Translation: brewing a lager or pilsner takes longer. But as you’ll be able to judge, the results are certainly worth it. Soon, you’ll be able to sample our first Czech pils, which is currently fermenting and will bear the name Parker Creek Pils (named after a creek in the Coast Fork watershed, a pattern you may have already begun to recognize.)
Later, we’ll feature a New Zealand-style Pilsner, a “down-under” interpretation of the classic style that uses a unique style of hops to produce a floral hop character. Our London Springs Lager will also make a return this summer.
“The goal was to produce a variety of crisp pilsners and lagers throughout the hot months,” Mathys said. “I’m even toying with the idea of brewing a straight-up, old-fashioned American light beer.”
Well, there you have it – here’s to a summer here at Coast Fork that’s smooth, crisp and oh-so-easy to enjoy!
PICTURED: Brewer Stephen Mathys and owner Emily Rinck display a slew of our newest brewed beauties.