Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub, a Sparta landmark since 1927, will be celebrating their 15th year anniversary as a “brew pub” next year. So why are they telling everyone about this special event so early? Well, truth is, it will take one full year to age this anniversary beer that will be unveiled on February 7, 2014, but they are doing it in a very unusual way.
The anniversary beer, a Russian Imperial Stout, traditionally takes a year to age. That is not the unusual part. The unusual part is that this beer will be aged in a traditional-style that dates back to pre-mechanical refrigeration days when beer was aged, or “lagered,” in caves. Long ago, caves provided the perfect climate for this aging process, offering a constant temperature and humidity year round. Krogh’s is going to replicate this aging process by storing their anniversary beer at Sterling Hill Mining Museum (sterlinghillminingmuseum.org) in Ogdensburg, New Jersey,
once an active zinc mine in Sussex County and home to “glow-in-the-dark” fluorescent minerals.
Today, Sterling Hill Mining Museum gives tours of their underground, cave-like mine. Visitors of the mine tour will get a chance to view, over the year, the (3)-53 gallon oak barrels that Krogh’s is going to store there on March 13, 2013.
The anniversary beer was brewed at Krogh’s on February 12, 2013 and it has been fermenting for the past month. On March 13, 2013, the beer will be transferred to oak barrels, or casks. One cask barrel was previously used for the aging of bourbon while the other two casks were used to condition barley wine. Once the beer is sealed in the barrels, it will then slowly inherit distinct characteristics over time. The sealed barrels will then be transported to the Sterling Hill Mine
Museum where they will remain undisturbed for one year.
A Russian Imperial Stout is a dark, high-gravity beer, meaning it has a high fermentable (sugar) content, with a full-body flavor. It has high-roasted grain characteristics and an alcohol content of 10% or more, compared to regular beers that typically have alcohol contents of 5-7% and light beers with alcohol contents of 3-4%. This type of beer is typically served in smaller quantities in a snifter glass so the aromas can waft and pique one’s senses.
You can learn more about Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub at kroghs.com and you can follow this event on their Facebook page. Krogh’s has already started a Facebook “countdown” clock until the unveiling event. Hope to see you next year at the 15th anniversary bash for some mine-aged Imperial Stout! Mark your calendar for February 7, 2014 at Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub, 23 White Deer Plaza, Sparta, New Jersey, (973) 729-8428. Cheers!