Old Scratch

April 11 2012

The Devil will find work for idle hands to do

- The Smiths

It’s been some time since our last pilot plant release. We’ve been tight lipped about the reason for our little kit being idle (apart from a brief sojourn to the hop fields), but the fact is that Wellington is a pretty small place and what we’ve been up to over the last three months is probably no secret to anyone. Anyway, all will soon be revealed.

During our little pilot plant’s period of idleness we have had a keg of something tucked away in a dark corner of the Garage. This Friday, being Friday the 13th and all, seemed like a good time for its release.

There is a tradition of giving strong beers a demonic moniker. The Dark Lord really does have the best nicknames, and if you’re after a good Barleywine or Old Ale name there are rich pickings to be had. Consider Old Ned, Old Nick, Old One, Old Roger, Old Horny (or in the Scottish spelling, Auld Hornie), the old boy, old gentleman, old gentleman in black, old serpent, old smoker, old poker, old dragon, old enemy, old adversary, Old Billy, Auld Clootie and old gooseberry.

So in this tradition we give you (my personal favorite) Old Scratch. A British Barleywine of impeccably dark credentials, Old Scratch was brewed back on Friday the 13th of January, and will be served on Friday the 13th of April, after 13 weeks of conditioning. Brewed with Pale, Amber, Crystal and black malts it weighs in at 8.2% abv, with just enough English Admiral and Challenger hops to balance the hefty grain bill.

Two 19 litre kegs of Old Scratch will be available this Friday the 13th in the bowels of Hashigo Zake. Given the date’s association with ill luck it might be wise to get in early.