Ray's Craft Beer Newsletter
Eyes Rye Open
March 2013
Volume 2 Issue 5 
Dear Rays Craft Beer Lovers,
This week reminded us that winter is still going strong. While we may wish for it to be over, we'll persevere through the final push just like every other year! It's in this spirit of toughness that inspired the latest edition of the beer newsletter. Today we will focus on one of the toughest and heartiest grains out there -- rye. After looking at a variety of styles featuring Secale Cereale, we'll wrap up with a special imperial stout version of Substitute Teacher.



Dan Downes
Bell's Smitten Rye
3 Sheeps Rebel Kent the First
The Bruery Rugbrød
Brau Brother Rye Wyne
Substitute Teacher
A Catcher in the Rye
Rye Beers

Able to survive under poor conditions, rye became a staple crop in Northern and Central Europe. Most well-known for its use in baking, rye has also been used quite often in spirits, most notably whiskey. With regards to beer, we can trace one of its earliest uses back to the German Roggenbier. This was a medieval brew usually composed of about half barley malt and equal portions of rye and wheat. Over the years, though, the style (and rye in general) fell off in use. According to the German Beer Institute:
Rye ales declined in the Middle Ages in large part because the absolute rulers of the day decided that certain grains, such as rye and wheat, ought to be reserved for making solid, rather than liquid bread...this logic was also one of the hidden motives behind the now much-hailed Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516.
So how does rye affect a beer? First of all, it makes the brewing process a bit harder to deal with. Barley contains husks, which keeps the mash (the mixture of the brewing grains and hot water) loose and permits drainage. Rye, on the other hand, is huskless and creates a viscous mash that some brewers have described as, "like concrete." For the final product itself, rye increases head retention and gives beer a dry finish. You'll also notice a slight spiciness similar to black pepper. 
Bell's Smitten Rye

Formerly called "Golden Rye Ale," Smitten is the first new regular bottle release from Bell's since the Oarsmen Ale debuted in 2010. Pouring a hazy golden color, Smitten is a wonderful combination of rye malt and Pacific Northwest hops. The rye imparts the black pepper aroma discussed earlier, but doesn't overpower the biscuity notes from the barley. Besides citrus and resinous aspects, the hops also add a floral characteristic. 
Taste mirrors the aroma in many ways. The rye kick comes up front, but transitions to a crisp, clean finish. The hops contribute bitterness and grapefruit, but do not take the focal point. Perfect now or once spring arrives!
3 Sheeps Rebel Kent the First


Next up is a beer from one of the latest entrants into the Wisconsin craft beer world. New to the Milwaukee market, 3 Sheeps brewing out of Sheboygan has started out strong with their innovative branding and (more importantly) tasty beer. Previously known as Enkel Biter, the name caused some confusion among people misreading "biter" as "bitter" so owner Grant Pauly put the name into an anagram generator and decided on Rebel Kent. In hindsight, it was probably a much better choice than Beetle Rink.


Normally classified as an amber ale, they actually took a Belgian Abbey Single, upped the ABV and added some rye malt. Minimal hop aromas, there will be a slight whiff of spice along with some caramel. Pouring a rusty copper color, sweetness hits first, then the dryness from the rye quickly balances things out. A creamy, full bodied beer, there's a lot of subtlety and finesse here. If you thought amber ales were boring, think again!

The Bruery Rugbrød
Meaning "rye bread" in Danish, Rugbrød is brewed with three types of rye malt. Not only does it show off the robust, spicy charcater of the rye, Rugbrød also exhibits the nutty, bready aspects of barley. A deep amber color, the aroma reminds you of a Belgian Ale. You'll catch dark fruits, nuttiness, brown sugar and a bit of banana from the Belgian yeast. Drinking a beer inspired by rye bread may give you certain assumptions, but the taste will surprise.
This beer is a fun experience of conflicting effects. On the front end there are big, juicy fruit flavors of dark cherries, apricots and some figs. These fruity flavors then transition to that rye spiciness that dries your palate at the end. With St. Patrick's Day coming up, this beer would be an amazing pair for a corned beef sandwich! 
Brau Brother Rye Wyne

A couple issues ago we discussed barleywines. I wanted to feature this beer then, but sadly the supply disappeared. Luckily we were able to secure a couple more cases of this limited beer from Brau Brothers in Lucan, Minnesota. Not only is rye used in the mash bill for this beer, but it is then aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels!
A deep mahogany color, this beer has an incredibly complex nose as whiskey, vanilla, cocoa and oak all intermix and the taste keeps this pattern going. Incredibly smooth for its 11% ABV, caramel sweetness with a vanilla tone accentuate the front of the palate. The whiskey isn't as pronounced in the taste as the aroma, but that allows a lot of the other flavors such as: molasses, milk chocolate and a bit of dark fruit to shine. Initially the rye doesn't come out strong and only leaves a dry finish that we've talked about in the previous beers. As it warms, though, the spicy nature of the grain becomes much more distinct. You could still lay this beer down for a couple of years to see how it develops...if you have the willpower! 
Substitute Teacher
If you like...Founders KBS
Then you'll like...Central Waters Peruvian Morning 

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is one of the most demanded beers of the year. In fact, a couple weeks ago tickets went on sale for the brewery release of the beer. Not only did the tickets sell out instantly, but there was such an increase in traffic it brought down the ticketing website's servers! Luckily, though, there's another incredible barrel aged coffee imperial stout option brewed right here in Wisconsin! 
In my opinion, Central Water's Peruvian Morning is one of the most underrated beers in the country, not just Wisconsin. Dark brown/near black in color, aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee and bourbon interweave beautifully. These same attributes transition to the palate and continue with an amazing variety of flavors. The coffee and chocolate comes up front with the oak and bourbon finishing strong. Despite these bold flavors, Peruvian Morning still possesses a lightness and avoids the clumsiness that many big beers fall prey to frequently. This is one of those beers you can drink multiple times and still get a new experience each time. Pour this beer into a snifter and sip slowly!
Save 10%
Receive 10% of all beers featured in Volume 2 Issue 5 of the Ray's craft beer newsletter. Thus, it is limited to Bell's Smitten Rye, 3 Sheeps Rebel Kent the First, The Bruery Rugbrød and Central Waters Peruvian Morning. No limit. Not redeemable with any other special offers. 


Offer Expires: Sunday March 10th at 5:00pm
Thanks again for subscribing to and reading Ray's craft beer newsletter. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me at dandownes@rayswine.com

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Dan & the gang at Ray's

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