Kyoto Brewing Co.

夜雀 (Yosuzume)

1 bar limited to 1x kegs max

Collaborations are an important way to learn something new, and in many cases the exchange of ideas between breweries means we wind up trying to create something that neither brewery has ever brewed before. This collaboration with Anglo Japanese Brewing (AJB) Company in Nozawa Onsen, Nagano, is no exception, and as our discussions about what to brew progressed, attempting to craft a Belgian Barley Wine became the style that seemed to encompass all that we were trying to accomplish: marrying the strong malt flavour and rich depth of a Barleywine with the dry yet complex finish common to beers fermented with Belgian yeast to create something that is just as luscious but without the cloying side effects. In essence, we were setting ourselves up for a challenge of balance and drinkability in a high ABV beer.

Drawing on Tom’s skill in crafting balanced beers regardless of the alcohol content, we looked to malts with more character than our usual Pilsner to make up the majority of the recipe. Golden Promise provided a sweet honey-like background while equal portions of Vienna and Munich gave plenty of sweet malt character and depth of flavour. Flaked wheat helped retain a more full mouthfeel and body despite what is a relatively low post fermentation sugar content. Traditional Tettnanger hops and their mild, spicy character meld nicely with the fermentation flavours from the yeast and round out the finish of this supremely balanced brew. Be forewarned though, the balance more than betrays the 9.0% ABV, so don’t let this brew fool you into drinking too many!

Naming: Japan’s ancient forests and mountains have been both haunted and protected by spirits for the entirety of their existence. While nighttime passage is rare in modern times, travelers of yesteryear had no choice but to traverse them even on the darkest of nights. Legend has it that the Yosuzume, a Night Sparrow, lurked in these mountains and appeared in droves to warn travelers of impending danger ahead. Consider this your warning brew: the balance and luscious malt character betrays its 9.0% ABV, and before you know it you have stumbled, lost your footing, and fallen by the roadside. Was the Night Sparrow warning you about this beer? Or was it the Okuri-inu lurking in the shadows, waiting to devour you!

Style: Belgian Barleywine

Malt Bill:
Pilsner, Golden Promise, Vienna, Munich, Flaked Wheat

Bittering: Merkur
Flavour/Aroma: Tettnang

Yeast: Belgian Ale

ABV: 9.0%

IBU: 33

Gas Volumes: 2.2