The Grand Reserve annual ale from Broussard's Parish Brewing goes on sale Saturday.
Andrew Godley, founder and head brewer of Parish Brewing
in Broussard, hopes to provide Louisiana with a new holiday tradition — this one focused on local beer. Parish’s second release of its annual Grand Reserve Barleywine kicks off at the brewery on Dec. 14.
First released in December 2012, the first vintage was well received by the beer community, says Godley: “We sold out at most retailers in a matter of hours from release.” Although it was a gamble last year to create such an ambitious beer, he says, “it seems people really like strong beer that's quaffable, smooth, accessible and not too radical.”
The brewing process began last spring, when Godley tweaked the 2012 recipe. “We brewed the same recipe as the prior year but added more hops and used two yeast strains instead of only one,” Godley says. “We used our house English Ale strain for the primary fermentation and then adding an American Ale strain at bottling to help further attenuate the beer and assist in bottle conditioning.”
Godley says he’s pleased with the results. “The balance of hops and carbonation to malt sweetness is perfect. The complex layers of flavor and aroma from fermentation, hops, and malts are all there and so delicious,” he says. “As good as last year's Grand Reserve was, I am firmly convinced this year's vintage is even better.”
To meet demand, Parish has produced 50 percent more bottles of Grand Reserve, and next year it plans to double or even triple this year’s amount. For now, Godley recommends buying at least two bottles — “one to drink this holiday season and the others to keep for years in the future to taste alongside future vintages.”
The 2013 vintage of this 11 percent ABV barleywine can be found on and after Dec. 14th at high-end beer retailers..