When the mercury starts to fall and the leaves have all flown for the summer, the Scorp comes home to roost.
Since Silk Scorpion was one of the first beers we brewed, I can’t help but reflect on the time spent getting the brewery off the ground. Those few months are a permanent member of my highlight reel. From the start we have always been a malt-centric brewery. We talk about this point often and have regularly articulated that our malt-centric approach means that the malt is treated with equal respect to every other component. We don’t use a house pale ale grain bill (recipe) and just swap out the hops for what is new and exciting. We also believe that a grain bill should include as many types of malts as needed to make the beer meet the inspiration. When we work with new hops or a new hop blend, we explore the characteristics of the hops to understand what would best make the vision come to life. We repeat the process with any ingredient we are about to use, or any style of beer we are considering. The goal is always for the end product to be greater than the sum of its parts. So, for the record, being malt-centric has NOTHING to do with mostly brewing malty beers and rarely brewing hoppy beers. It has everything to do with always giving malt the respect it deserves, and responding to the market while staying true to ourselves. A great example of this is that we use an extremely flavorful base malt (Simpsons Golden Promise) instead of a base with a neutral profile, and pay nearly 100% more to do so.
At this point in time, K4 is definitely the house the Fantasy Factory built. Fantasy Factory was brewed to be the IPA I have always wanted. Decent but not overpowering alcohol, a juicy and tropical hop profile, all wrapped in malty sweetness that still fishes clean. I love that beer. Many people may not know that when we opened our doors, we had thought our smoked porter (NightCall) was going to be the leader accompanied by 2 or 3 other maltier selections, and then we would always have a rotating IPA because we love hops and there are so many varieties and combinations to explore. Silk Scorpion (Black IPA) was the first in this series. Fantasy Factory was the second, which was going to be followed by an Imperial IPA, and then an English IPA. Silk Scorpion had a great response and won a few accolades right out of the gate- rightly so. Well, a few months later Fantasy Factory was born and we have never stopped brewing it….and if you are reading this, chances are you know the story from there because you have helped us write it. For that, I (we) are eternally grateful. We have had many speed bumps on this road, and every one has been a chance to recommit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence. With that said, Silk Scorpion is excellent- so get yourself out and about to get some in pints or bottles. You will not be disappointed. We also have a brandy barrel version for sampling at the taproom, and have more to say on that topic in a different post.