In preparation for brewing one of our favorite recipes this weekend -- our smoked ESB -- we decided to take things a step further in the DIY direction and give it a Carolina, backyard twist. Instead of using our standard addition of cherrywood smoked malt, this batch will be brewed with barley we smoked ourselves, using freshly cut hickory.
An ESB, or extra-special bitter, is a slightly more full bodied and robust English styled ale. They carry more caramel malt sweetness and hoppiness than a standard bitter, with notes of toast, biscuit, and nuttiness in the background. Basically, it is the perfect style for a light hint of smokiness.
After two courses of hickory smoke, the grain has definitely been infused, and the final results taste and smell delicious. Hickory has given these few pounds a unique aromatic from your standard smoked malts, and our hope is that if ever there was a beer brewed to pair with grilling out and BBQ, this may be it.
We'll keep you posted on the results, but in the meantime, please enjoy some pictures of the smoking itself. Cheers!