Ever since the release of X, the blending of the Anniversary Ale has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, revolving around a reliable team of friendly local winemakers who come for the challenge and the camaraderie.
This year, 17 winemakers convened in late August to help create the blend for XX. As always, they were tasked with creating their own preferred blends, with all of these initial blends later being blind tasted on the group. After votes were cast, the blend by Scott Hawley of Torrin Vineyard was deemed the winner and became the basis for XX.
“It’s always a friendly but competitive gathering,” Brynildson said. “Collectively, the winemakers’ input is invaluable, because they are practicing experts in the art of blending.”
With XX, this proven process yielded a beer for the ages. “There is just so much going on in this beer,” Brynildson said. “It’s big and complex, with all of these different facets from our barrel-aged program that are so seamlessly integrated. We wanted to produce something really special for our 20thanniversary, and I think we did it.”
The Final Blend
“We blended together 250 oak barrels and five different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” –Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Parabola / Aged in New Oak and Bourbon Barrels / 40% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Stickee Monkee / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 20% of Final Blend
-Central Coast Quad Brewed with Belgian Candi and Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar
Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 17.5% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 12.5% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale
Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 10% of Final Blend