Saturday, September 12, 2009

Russian River Janet's Brown Ale

I was given this growler by a couple friends who happened to stop by Russian River in Santa Rosa on their way back down to Southern California from Oregon. They asked the bartender which beer on tap would be the rarest to someone who lived down in this area and he recommended a new beer from Russian River, Janet's Brown Ale. The story behind this beer made it especially cool to me. Over the last couple years I listened to The Brewing Network quite a bit, going back through their archives and listening to everything. One of the brewcasters goes by the name of Mike McDole, who you may remember for winning a spot in the Sam Adams Longshot competition with his Double IPA that is more or less a Pliny the Elder clone. Well, I remember him talking quite a bit, especially on The Jamil Show, about his brown ale. Turns out Russian River decided to brew this beer with him.

We cracked the growler open today during the start of the USC-Ohio State game. What I remember of his recipe was that it's along the lines of an imperial brown (I think up there around 8% ABV) and is hopped a ton. And it is. A good amount of hops in this, no mistake. You get a real green sorta flavor from the hops... some pine and maybe grassy. The body is quite toasty with some chocolate to it, but not too much. It's actually a real easy drinking beer, the body not being too thick (probably slightly more thin than Indian Brown). A real winner of a brown ale, with a little different take on the style. A big thanks to my friends Loren and Rene for picking this up. Loren was able to share part of the growler and he along with everyone else who sampled some really liked it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words about the Janet's Brown Ale. The beer was brewed as an entry into the 2009 GABF ProAm competition. That's where a pro brewer lets an amateur brew their recipe for a one time distribution. In the homebrew world, this beer has a base style of American Brown Ale. Commercially it's fairly close to an emerging style called Black IPA most of which aren't as malt forward as this beer. Thanks for listening to the Brewing Network.

Mike "Tasty" McDole