Friday, January 2, 2009

Ballinderry Sword Red Lager

Saturday, January 3, 2009:

In a cold and dark Celtic place an archaeologist recently discovered the ultimate sword, naming it after the place it was found. The Ballinderry Sword is the ultimate dark ages weapon, honed steel lovingly folded many times over and hilted with the skin of slain enemies. I have seen images of this sword and I hearken back to my first "R" rated adventure movie I was allowed to see as a kid.

Conan knew the meaning of life. We must crush our enemies and see them driven before us, hearing the lamentations of the women. We must also have a buddy like the dude in the movie with a hammer bigger than Mount Everest. And most of all, if we are to be incredible Pict warriors, we must slay the Auroch and make a drinking horn for our mead.

I like things that are made with a lot of care and love. It seems to me that those who don't possess a lot but possess good quality seem to live happier, more fulfilled lives than us "WalMart Bagabonds". Someone long ago must have spent many days over a hot kiln and anvil hammering out the sword that would be the pride of a clan chieftain. That person is no doubt somewhere in my ancestral line, whether he was a blacksmith, warrior or brewer it does not matter.

The Ballinderry Sword Red Lager is a fulfillment of my overblown, drawn out and unrealistic dream of my forefathers. If I'm gonna make a great beer, it better have a great name, too. Ballinderry is a brew that has many unique characteristics, the main among them is its balance. It also has a pleasant raisiny tongue that is well married to a cedar background and slightly dry finish. Oh, and don't forget the "cascading" rainfall at the end.

It was an incredible brew day today, not a cloud in the sky in the early morning hours as Mike and I struck our mash. The brew itself went without a hitch except for a quick boilover at the beginning and a little less yield than anticipated, which will ultimately make for a stronger beer (the Druids are crying, I am sure). Days like today make me happy to be Irish Catholic.


  1. Thanks for becoming a "Drunken Stalker". I have enjoyed reading your brew blog. I hope you continue to follow mine. Be sure to check out our video archives. There is a lot of cool stuff to see.

    One tip to avoid boil overs. Use a thermometer. When it gets to about 205 degrees, drop in your bittering hops. The hop oils help keep it from jumping out of the pot. I learned this from my mom. When she boils water, she always puts a few drops of veggie oil in the pot. You still have to keep an eye on it but it does not happen nearly as fast. It will give you time to adjust the heat.

    Happy Brewing

    Keith Gordon (AKA: Freak)

  2. Thanks, Keith. I have been toying with the idea of bypassing a gas powered system and designing a wood/charcoal brewing system for my backyard. I'm pricing trailer winches, pulleys and all sorts of stuff right now. I'm usually pretty good at avoiding boilovers but I have come to find that when you have a few beers and you have a few friends in the backyard you tend to be distracted from the kettle. Good advice, though! Happy Brewing...