I got the chance to talk with Josh at Back Channel Brewing, we chatted about everything from the “secret names” behind all their beers, to Instagram Influencers on the craft beer scene. We also talked bringing back some of the older styles of beer. And this brought us to the discussion of their experiment with Zachary from Forager Brewing. They collaborated together on a Roggenbier,and Scribble Jam was the result of this experiment. Josh was generous enough to send us home with a crowler the day before the release. Let’s see how their take on this ancient beer holds up!
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Brewery Description: Massive amounts of rye give a velvety smooth, and fluffy, mouthfeel that unfolds into notes of bready spiciness. Fermented with Hefeweizen yeast, we varied temperatures throughout fermentation to tease out welcoming clove phenolics & banana esters. The finishing touch on this brew are notes of faint caramel and molasses which comes from a generous addition of raw buckwheat honey at the tail end of fermentation. Bon appetite.
Scribble Jam poured thick and formed a thick head of nice small tan bubbles. The head took at least five minutes to dissipate in the mug. It is a super hazy, muddy brown. The aroma is like a dark heavy bread, with a thick cloying sweetness lingering in the background. The beer has a thick mouthfeel, and the sweetness of the honey is most pungent, giving the illusion of an almost “sticky” beer. Scribble Jam has little carbonation, which fits the profile. There is a lingering bready taste on the back of my tongue for several minutes after I am done drinking. The hops notes are present but muted under the rye and sweet taste of the honey. Hops bitterness does linger in the after taste.
This beer is one that is going to fit well with salty snacks. It’s a great “pub beer” and will go well popcorn, and pretzels. For meals, I would actually pair this one with with a hearty salad with chicken or salmon. Think of it as a liquid breadstick, with the honey built right in.
Scribble Jam is all about digging into the beer nostalgia pit, and putting it out there for all the world to see. Normally the Roggenbier style is relegated to the experiments of homebrewers, but here we are. Now let me be clear, this is a fine beer, if not GREAT. But it is not refined and scrutinized meticulously by scientist brewers that we are used to. Go ahead and name me one other Roggenbier that is professionally made out there. I will wait. I am betting most of you didn’t come up with one, but here we are. Scribble Jam is for the “beer adventurer”, especially those looking to get away from the recent trend of sweet pastry stouts, and complex sours. This beer is great on its merit of trying to bring back the proto-beers of pre-industrial times, and trying to make it relevant again. And for that this earns the Beerploma Seal of Approval.
So what are your thoughts on this beer? Leave a comment below!
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Will Matthews has been involved with Beerploma and the Minnesota Craft Beer scene since 2013. Will is in charge of business relationships, beer review articles, and gadget reviews. Will’s favorite beer styles include sours, saisons, flavored porters, and California Commons. If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.