The creation of Hunter’s Moon Ale is a sad story with a happy ending. Originally, Katryn and I set out to create an Oktoberfest to share with everyone. However, just like the problem we had with the Finger Tip Ale, Oktoberfest beers are actually lagers. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to brew a lager so we had to modify several parts of the recipe, including not using a lager yeast. The next set-back occured when both Katryn and I got really busy at work and couldn’t find the time to do any brewing. By the time we got around to actually brewing the beer we knew it would come out after the traditional Oktoberfest season.
Allow me to digress and lay some knowledge on you: The first Oktoberfest Festival was celebrated in 1810 for a royal wedding in Munich, Germany and has been going strong ever since. The festival lasts for over two weeks (why don’t we have anything so awesome here in the U.S.!?) from late September to Early October.
For those of you who are looking at your calendar and realizing that it is now November… We know. Because Katryn and I let time get the best of us we had to come up with another name for our beer. Our first choice was to call it “Harvest Moon Ale” but then we did our homework and figured out that we had even missed that this year too! Fortunately, we found out that the first full moon after the Harvest Moon is called the Hunter’s Moon. Considering our logo always includes the quintessential hunter, a lion, we had to jump at the chance to use the Hunter’s Moon to name our beer.
The Hunter’s Moon is so named because the large, orange, full moon provided enough light that it allowed hunters in Europe to shoot migrating birds at night. Depending on the year, the Hunter’s Moon appears in late October or Early November.
With the naming of our beer finally put to rest, Katryn and I opened the first bottle with a fair amount of trepidation. Someone (ok, ok, it was me) forgot to put in HALF of the hops which our recipe called for. Hops usually help to offset the sweetness of the sugars in a beer, so we were understandably concerned that the beer would be too sweet. To our surprise, Hunter’s Moon Ale was subtly sweet to first taste, settled with a copper flavor, and then finished with the faint hint of coffee.
All of our mistakes and set-backs turned into happy little surprises that produced a tasty and complex beer for everyone to enjoy!