Every once in a while Katryn will set me free and let me nerd out. Recently, I got it into my head that I wanted to make a series of beer labels for our home brew called ‘Pennant Ale’. My idea was to use the most intimidating warriors from the past which had penants, flags, or otherwise displayed their colors and shamelessly give them our Rampant lion logo. Katryn gave me a pat on the head and left me to my drawings like a proud mother letting her child go at it with macaroni, construction paper, and glitter.
My first idea was the most logical… I drew a mounted knight and gave him the Rampant lion. The inspiration for our Rampant logo and the term ‘Rampant’ derive from medieval heraldry in which rampant refers to a heraldic lion that is raised on its hind paws. This made going with a knight for my first Pennant Ale a no-brainer. Also in the works are a Japanese Samurai, Greek Hoplite, and Roman Centurion.
Ok, nerd timeout over!
The beer that we brewed which has the privilege of being the first ever Pennant Ale is actually the new and improved Happy Hipster Hippo Ale. Not happy with the 7.75% alcohol content of the first I wanted to kick it up a notch and make this beer stronger. In true amateur fashion we loaded this one up with a ton of malt and the alcohol content shot up to 10.5%! However, the additional malt made the beer heavier and instead of a Golden Ale we ended up with something closer to a Belgian Strong. We used Belgian Trappist yeast to give the beer some authentic citrus notes but they are mostly lost in the malt and ester flavors of the beer. Next time we are hoping to find a happy medium between our first two tries and get something that is still high in alcohol content but still light and golden.
I don’t want to give everyone the impression that this beer isn’t super tasty but on the front lines of amateur home brewing nothing is ever perfect! Always onward and upward! Be expecting a meal pairing with this brew soon!