Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vlad the Impaler. A bloody good pale ale.

The first in our character beer series, a throw back to our garbage pale kid collecting days, comes Vlad The ImPALEr. a deep red pale ale inspired by one of history's most notorious badasses. Post humously dubbed Vlad the Impaler, for his particularly sadistic and bloody reputation of impaling his enemies. Vlad also adopted the moniker Dracula, meaning 'son of the dragon.' As a historical tribute, Cervetech presents a Pale Ale worthy of the ruthless figure.
 In crafting Vlad we went with some of the more typical grains used to make a red, such as special b malt at first what really makes Vlad a cut above the rest is our use of  some of the more exotic ingredients  our local climate provides. The red fleshed Dragon fruit (which grows locally from May to November) proved to be an excellent choice for commemorating 'the son of the dragon.'  

Vlad pours a deep yet bright, rich, red brew and holds a finger head of white bubbles. This brew shows nice head retention, leaving some lacing behind as it goes down. Carbonation on the first batch was towards the high end although not unpleasant. The aroma is all hops and this brew runs you through the gauntlet between spicy, floral and citric hops. Flavors are towards the tropical end with some pineapple, grapefruit, and cactus. Cactus??? Remember Dragonfruit is after all a cactus fruit also known as Pitaya. Your first impression of this beer might be sweet at first, but do not be fooled because a well-balanced hop bitterness will be quickly taking center stage. As you sip, bitterness of grapefruit, lemon rind and piney spice remind you that we are hop head brewers with the best intentions of not making an IPA but sometimes we fall short of that task. The middle peaks with a bit of caramel mostly attributed to the use of special b malt (one of our favs).  The finish is slightly boozey but not overpowering, after all this is a 7.5% abv.  The aftertaste takes you back to the front end hops, with bitterness coated in resiny hop oils.

After trying this beer, you too will agree that this is a bloody good pale ale.  I don't want to give away what the next brew in the character series will be but I will say that it makes two extremes make a lot of sense...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Ok so it has been a while since my last post and the one thing that I can say for sure is that life happens in between brewing. That being said I will not bore you with the specific details of the NON-BEER related portions of my life. No, instead I will try and bring you up to speed after many months of slacking on the Cervetech blog.  Most if not all of these next few points of interest deserved their own posts however due to the above mentioned slacking you will have to deal with the shorts.
CerveTech takes, Best Florida Beer at the New Times 15th Beerfest. I am not really sure what that actually means or whom I was up against but hell I will take it. The New Times Beerfest was amazing; we are grateful to have taken part and honored to be recognized. Here is the link CerveTech takes Best Florida Brew.
Miami United Way Brew and Bites was the next event we sponsored bringing us some more of that exposure we so crave. Above the exposure it is a great cause and I would be lying if I said that I did not get a warm fuzzy feeling inside from doing this event. What can I say, I love making beer. And that love of beer making has in turn allowed me to add both brewer and philanthropist to my resume. This event was also special because I was able to team up with my buddy Misha from Mishas Culinary Events. Misha threw down two amazing dishes to pair with our hand crafted ales. Here is the link to the brewery sponsor page Brew and Bites.
The Miami New Times Brew at the Zoo. What is there to say about this event???? How about I say what most people covering these things won't. It is a total debauchery of an event. It is a great learning experience and proof positive that logistically one can pull off a 5,000+ person event. This however was my second year sponsoring this event and I believe that I have officially learnt enough. And here is the link to the sponsor page Brew at the Zoo.
We did a few other small events, private tastings and food pairings. Of these the most significant was Baptist Hospitals Saute and Sips which benefits their Breast Cancer Foundation. Another great way for us to show appreciation for our community and at the same time showcase some of our amazing brew creations. Our line-up that night consisted of a Dragonfruit English Pale Ale, and a West Coast IPA randalized through Pineapple and Sorachi Ace hops. 
For the most part these events paid off big time, not only did we make some great fans but we also got a little bit of notoriety. David Minsky the local beer scenes Clark Kent wrote a great article about us; first on his Blog, and then a follow up that went to print. We also had a cinematographer do a short clip on us as well. Check out my crazy face below to see the video yourself
This should bring us up to what is going on right now at CerveTech and I will do my best to keep these posts current.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CerveTech not just a homebrew club

CerveTech Brew Institute is so much more than a homebrew club. Although we  appreciate the minor mention in the Miami New Times latest article about the Brew and Bites event, we would also like to clarify. CerveTech is a South Florida corporation open for business with a commercial location, which is more than I can say for some of the other "beer purveyors" that seem to be popping up. We are homebrewers yes based solely on license characteristics, but we are also event planners, brewing consultants, beer cave designers and builders, we teach classes, we provide menu planning, we help build the brewery industry in South Florida 1pint at a time.

Tonight we will be showcasing some of our many talents by not only pouring our hand crafted ales but also by pairing them with two food courses. I dont think we are working at the homebrew level here I think we are pushing the boundries of what a small organization like CerveTech can do. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The First of our Brews Coming to You

This week marks a major milestone for CerveTech Brew Institute, as we will be sampling our hard work for the first time since our inception. Although all of our brewers have showcased their brews in the past, this will be the first as a collaborative effort under the CerveTech brand.

This Wednesday, March 14, 2012 we will be sponsoring the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's HYPE Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel Brickell. The Chamber's HYPE Awards itself is a reflection of hard work and collaboration of young professionals that are passionate about their careers and the local community. That being said, this is a perfect event for our members to gain exposure for their brews and hard work in front of a receptive audience. At the HYPE Awards we will be pouring a minimum of three unique styles allowing the guests to experience the wide range of fermentation that has happend over the last few months.

Our first brew is the Starfruit Ale which is crafted more for the non traditional beer drinker; we think anyways, but what do we know. Starfruit Ale, is a play on local ingredients and the slight seasonal changes that we experience in South Florida. Carambola aka Starfruit grows in one of our member's yards and this year we were able to harvest a five gallon bucket worth of fruit which we used in two separate brews. The Starfruit harvest is typically from December through January and its subtle sweetart flovours really do come through if you are careful not to overpower it with hops. This brew is reminicent of an under dry white wine something you would expect in a German wine just with the effervescents of a great beer. As you can see even our Pale Ales have a little more red character to them, something that you will see from us over and over again as we emulate our commercial counterpart's best brews of the year. The picture to your left shows part of the process of Starfruit Ale, at this point we had already fermented and reached an alcohol level of just over 6% prior to aging for another two weeks with the starfruit slices added. This technique allows for the yeast to power through the fermentables without removing our preciouse Starfruit goodness.

Next up is a crowd favorite especially during the colder months, which I might add do not last very long in our area. However, down in South Florida we take our cold fronts seriously so we took advantage of the three cold days a year and brewed a traditional English Brown Ale with some atypical spices. This Brown Ale being from across the pond has a lower ABV%, a malty backbone, and subtle hop hints of spice; but the real spice comes from a secret ingredient that we will reveal after the event. The reason for keeping this top secret, is because we don't want to implant the flavor in your head prior to tasting since we want an unbiased palate.  At our level of experimentation we get to bend the styles or even hybridize as we see fit which affords us the oppurtunity to create some very special brews. This Brown simply refered to as CerveTech Brown Spiced Ale will have all of the deep flavours you would expect from your darker brews with a much higher drinkability better suited for the moderate South Florida cold. The picture to your right is three diffrent versions of the same brew each with its own yeast strain fermenting away. This was done not only to ferment the best brew we could but also to taste the nuainces that a particular yeast strain evokes in the same exact ingredients and brew process with the exception of yeast strain.

Dont forget to keep following our blog as we will be in full swing this event season with at least two events per month for the next few months.