4204 Main Street debut’s first original beer from new head brewer, and more

4204 Main Street debut’s first original beer from new head brewer, and more

Two new brews to be on the lookout for, from 4204 Main Street Brewing out of Belleville, Illinois, and one of them has the distinction of being the first original beer from new head brewer Hannah Austin.

Schwarchata Black Lager
Released at this year’s Fall Festival, this beer brings together flavors of cinnamon, vanilla and creamy lactose in a horchata inspired Schwarzbier. The inspiration for this beer comes from Austin’s interest in brewing a Black IPA. “I tried one at a local brewery months ago. The concept of slightly changing the flavor profile of a common beer type while keeping its big, telling characteristics was intriguing. That is where I came up with the idea to brew my own Black Lager.”

Austin originally was going to brew a Horchata beer separate from the Black Lager, but eventually decided to merge the two.

Lactose is added to the boil for this Black Lager, which is not an ingredient normally used for this beer type. The cinnamon and vanilla are added in a secondary boil.

Tasting Notes:

  • On the pour: It pours very dark brown, nearly black, with a light, thin head.
  • On the nose: Roasty chocolate malt notes underlie the sweetness of the cinnamon and vanilla.
  • On the tongue: Cinnamon and vanilla are very present. Light hop character along with the roasty malt balance out the sweetness with a touch of bitterness. The beer stays light and refreshing while the mouthfeel is smooth and a soft lingering flavor of vanilla finishes.

32 Staves
This beer was brewed as a Dark Farmhouse (Saison) specifically for barrel aging. It was aged for 10 months in port barrels and then packaged. The flavors of the port barrels were the inspiration for the beer as the funky Saison flavors were very complimentary to the port flavors.

Barrels used to make port are not often used for barrel aging beer as it lends a very specific flavor profile, so it is unique in the way it was aged. Saisons are also typically lighter in color and taste while this beer is a richer, darker version. It was named 32 Staves because there are typically 31-33 staves (or planks of wood) that make up a barrel.

Tasting Notes:

  • On the pour: It pours dark brown with a creamy, thin head.
  • On the nose: It smells of red wine (which is the presence of the port barrels), dark fruit such as cherries, and a deep malt backbone.
  • On the tongue: The first taste is warm and inviting. The dark malts come across, followed by the port and dark fruit flavors. There is a touch of woody flavor from the barrels as well. The finish is calm and leaves warmth on the tongue and in the chest.

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