“Oh boy. Talk about screwing the pooch,” began Helder Pimentel on his Backlash Beer Co. blog Jan. 15, announcing the final beer in his Apocalypse Series had died in conditioning. The founder of Boston’s Backlash Beer Co. makes wonderfully awesome bombers of craft brew. He’s also a seriously picky brewer, with a great blog that everyone should be reading weekly.
As local Bostonians probably know, Backlash Beer has been debuting new beers as its four-part Apocalypse Series for the last few months. So far Conquest and War have been launched, and Famine should be hitting the shelves in the next few days. Although the timing wasn’t ideal (Backlash had hoped to release all four in 2012), the beers themselves have had great feedback. The last in the series, Death, was slated to hit the market around the end of this month. This is where we’ll let Pimentel take over.
“That was the plan. The thing is, you can plan until you’re blue in the face but things don’t always work out the way you had intended. After doing several test batches and dialing in the recipe, I was ready. I initially brewed Death some time ago, and it’s been conditioning since, slowly mellowing out. In my test batches, this extended conditioning time allowed the chocolate and coffee notes to meld together, while the heat from the chipotle pepper addition lingered in the background — really nice stuff. There were a few hitches on brew day, but nothing crazy. I was eager to see how the beer evolved.
“This weekend, I had Maggie pull a sample off the condition tank and bring it back to me so I could ensure the beer was ready to be packaged. It had been a week or so since I tasted the beer. I raised the mason jar to my lips and was … immediately disappointed.
“What a shitty feeling. The beer wasn’t what I had hoped for. It was good, but (to me) not good enough. So we have several thousand dollars worth of beer (a Russian Imperial Stout is NOT cheap to make) that I am not totally happy with, hanging out in a conditioning tank, waiting to be kegged. But it won’t; its ultimate home is the sewer.”
Unfortunately, there will be no Death — at least not for a while. Backlash will continue to be without a dark beer, for now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have some other awesome beers planned. We’ll keep you updated.