More people should know about White Labs.
When you look at a computer, you may see a Dell or HP logo on the case, but inside most computers is a processor made by Intel. You may be drinking beer from Green Flash or Ballast Point, but that glorious buzz you’re receiving is made possible by yeast from White Labs. White Labs yeast is the APU (alcohol production unit, not Springfield’s most prominent Hindu) that brings your beer to life.
Since White Labs produces all of the little critters that make your beer go, you should absolutely take notice when they say they have something interesting coming out. Something interesting definitely came out on Friday when White Labs released Frankenstout, a monster stout powered by 96 different strains of yeast. While the concept may sound like a disaster in the making, the reality is definitely worth trying.
Frankenstout strays away from Hans Delbruck territory into the twisted world of Abby Normal. It pours as black as the darkest recesses of Dr. Frankenstein’s mind with a strong roasted aroma and hefty 8.5% alcohol content. White Labs culled so many different flavors together to create this beast, it’s almost like you get a different flavor on every drink. One sip might taste like roasted coffee, while another may have tartness or chocolate flavors. Funky, filling and flavorful, Frankenstout is not for the weak.
Friday’s Frankenstout release was the opening act for Saturday’s White Labs Day celebration. When White Labs opened their Miramar location in 2011, Mayor Jerry Sanders proclaimed June 15 to be “White Labs Day,” and showed up to cut the ribbon. Sanders made a return trip in 2012 to cut the ribbon on their new tasting room which serves as a showroom for everything that yeast can do.
White Labs used their 2013 holiday to host an open house for the beer-loving public. The tasting room poured all manner of beers made with White Labs yeast with the newly-released Frankenstout as the centerpiece. Attendees tasted different ciders that ran the gamut from sweet to dry, despite being made with the same apple juice. It’s a wonder what those little bugs can produce when they go about their work.
Competition provided an excellent backdrop to all of the imbibing. Attendees vied for supremacy in a beanbag toss tournament, but that was a sideshow to the real competition: a two-style (IPA and Saison) brew-off between John Hunter from Karl Strauss and Joe Kurowski, the head brewer for White Labs. Everyone had the opportunity to sample the beers, and place their vote by depositing a bottle cap in the respective bottle. Kurowski won both categories with the public, but a split-decision from the professional judging panel awarded the Saison category to Hunter.
While Saturday was officially White Labs Day, the truth is that every day is White Labs Day. You celebrate it every time you pour your favorite craft beer or inoculate your prized batch of homebrew. More people should know about White Labs, and the crew hopes that events like this weekend will make that happen.