Last night was the debut tapping for the joint Stillwater/ Oliver "biere de garde," Channel Crossing. It was available oaked and dry-hopped on multiple engines and on firkin, as well as straight up on draft: East Kent and Bramling Cross dry-hopped, and French oak-aged.
Crazy as it seems, the best of the bunch, to my taste, was straight draft. The French oak was just too oaky for my tastes, and cask conditioning, though great for British style ales, can be a hit-or-miss proposition for Belgian-style ales--the flavor was good, but the overall mouthfeel and balance of the regular draft was perfect, almost mimicking a nitro pour beer in character and smoothness. Excellent, and highly recommended.
If you missed this, Stillwater's Brian Strumke (at left in picture, with PSAH brewer Steve Jones) debuts his Cellar Door at Max's Taphouse on Saturday afternoon. Then it's back to Belgium for him for another round of nomadic brewing.
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