What do mountain bikes, epic trails, and delicious beers all have in common? Well – for one they are all a part of the Flagstaff outdoor adventure culture, but they will also all be at the Barn Burner Race on September 8th.
A couple of weeks ago here at Historic Brewing Company we were lucky enough to work with the Flagstaff Biking Organization on a Charity Brew With Us event. An awesome group of their board members spent a Saturday with our brewers, helping to create an India Pale Lager, also known as an IPL, which will be poured at the Barn Burner Race with the proceeds going towards helping build and maintain local trails.
Flagstaff Biking Organization was created in 2001, with the inaugural Bike to Work week which helped get the local Flagstaff community together to promote using alternative forms of transportation to get to work and show everyone just how easy it is to bike in and around Flagstaff. This organization has continued to grow over the years and now has over 300 members. This non-profit works to get more people on the trails, educating people on bike safety, building and maintaining trails, and showing how safe and easy it can be to ride. FBO is an inclusive community of like-minded individuals who all want to make Flagstaff a better place, one ride at a time.
This special hoppy lager, known as Handlebar Hops, has the base of a lager but is hopped like an IPA – making it the perfect combination of light drinkable flavor with a soft bitterness. This beer has an ABV of 6.4% and an IBU of 44, with a light, pleasant aroma reminiscent of mandarin oranges. This aroma and a lot of the citrus flavors in this beer come from the Mandarina Bavaria Hops, which are from Germany and have a strong citrus flavor to them. However, unlike the American style hops which can have more of a pine or grass note to them, this citrus flavor is more like the orange fruit rind which has more of a floral characteristic to it. Handlebar Hops IPL was also brewed with Tahoma and Pekko hops, and dry hopped with Mandarina and Tahoma hops.
Handlebar Hops IPL has a softer bitterness because it was brewed using a Bohemian water profile, similar to the soft water that would be used to brew a Czech Pilsner. The actual brewing process of this beer was pretty straightforward, combining the brewing techniques of a lager but adding in more hops and dry hopping it as well. The board members of FBO got to participate in choosing the style of the beer and the actual brewing process, getting dirty adding in ingredients and learning about how beer is created. Board member Jolene Hayes described the experience as “a very informative but fun experience!” and board member Stephanie McCarthy stated that “making a beer is quite the craft, we had no idea what all is involved in the mastery of beer making.”
The Flagstaff Biking Organization members all got together to name the IPL, deciding on a name that reflected their passion as well as the style of the beer. Handlebar Hops has the crispness of a lager with the full hop flavor of an IPA and a balanced bitterness that rounds it all out. This beer will be released at the Barn Burner Race, with any leftover kegs tapped at our brewery and downtown locations. The proceeds of this beer will put towards creating and maintaining Flagstaff trails, something Historic Brewing Company and its employees are passionate about helping Flagstaff Biking Organization raise money for.
This India Pale Lager is absolutely perfect for a mountain biker who just finished a 100 mile race, or anyone who has just spent a glorious day outside among the trees moving their body and breaking a sweat. This collaboration was the first of our Charity Brew With Us events, but there are many more to come so keep an eye out for all the special brews we are creating with local nonprofits. We hope you come down to the Barn Burner Race on September 8th to support all the riders and our friends at Flagstaff Biking Organization, and make sure you get yourself a pint of the delicious hoppy lager we created just for this race.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in setting up a Charity Brew With Us or looking for more information.
*Photo credit: Tangled Lilac Photography