Andrew Godley, founder and head brewer of Parish Brewing Co. (www.parishbeer.com) in Broussard, La., hopes to provide Louisiana with a new holiday tradition focused on local beer. Parish's second release of its annual Grand Reserve Barleywine has been released by the brewery.
Originally released in December 2012, the first vintage was well received by the beer community, Godley says.
"We sold out at most retailers in a matter of hours from release," he says. It was a gamble to create such an ambitious beer, he adds, but, "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 one," Godley says. "We used our house English ale strain for the primary fermentation and then added an American ale strain at bottling to help further attenuate the beer and assist in bottle conditioning."
Godley is pleased with the results.
"The balance of hops and carbonation to malt sweetness is perfect," he says. "The complex layers of flavor and aroma from fermentation, hops and malts are all there and so delicious. As good as last year's Grand Reserve was, I am firmly convinced this year's vintage is even better."
Parish produced 50 percent more bottles of Grand Reserve this year, and next year it will double or triple that amount. Godley recommends buying at least two bottles, "one to drink this holiday season and others to keep for years in the future to taste alongside future vintages."
The 2013 vintage is an 11 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) barleywine and is available at craft beer retailers. — NORA McGUNNIGLE