Well, I wanted to get this down on record… hey, any brewers, feel free to steal my ideas. I’m gonna try to make these eventually, but you’ll likely make the better beer than I would… :)
I got an idea whilst listening to Frank Zappa‘s 1978 Hammersmith Odeon show, and post-watching the Brew Masters show on the Discovery Channel which covered Dogfish Head‘s creation of the Bitches Brew tribute beer (to Mile Davis).
We need more Zappa beers!!
Lagunitas Brewing did an amazing job on their 40th Anniversary tributes to the first five FZ albums. Upright Brewing made “Billy the Mountain” (a traditional English-style Old Ale, having undergone over five months of oak barrel aging and another several months in the bottle). I hear Upright is about to go into Billy round 2. I have a bottle of the 2009, but I haven’t popped it yet. Rogue Ales has “Yellow Snow” – which may or may not be a FZ tribute. I mean, FZ didn’t invent the term.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on potential Frank Zappa theme beers…
’Amarillo Brillo IPA: 100% use of Amarillo hops. I envision this being a bold, citrus-y hop forward IPA. This is probably the one I could pull off easiest, even in an extract brew setting.
Sour Peaches En Regalia (sorry, Reg-ale-yuh was too corny): I’ve been really digging sour Belgian-style beers. I’m fully blaming my friend and fellow beer-making Zappa head Aaron for that. He turned me on to sours, and it’s mainly what I crave now. I envision this Peaches En Regalia sour to be similar to Cascade Brewing‘s Apricot… but with peaches (duh!). Cascade’s approach is “slow-ripened before being introduced to the beer. Based on a Belgian Tripel, this beer went through 16 months lactic fermentation and aging in French oak wine barrels, then rested on the fruit for four months before finishing.”
Watermelon Ale in Easter Hay: Frank’s guitar solo for ”Watermelon in Easter Hay” is one where I distinctly recall stopping what I was doing to skip back to the beginning of the track and re-listening immediately (from the Guitar record). I love it! For the beer… maybe a wheat beer with watermelon added in secondary (a la 21st Amendment‘s “Hell or High Watermelon” wheat). I’ll admit, I loved 21st’s watermelon the first time I had it (KLCC brewfest 2009). It has sunk on my priority list on 2nd and 3rd tastes (KLCC 2010, Sasquatch, etc)… so, some reworking of that for the FZ tribute.
Pound for a Brown Ale: This one would have to be a hoppy brown ale. To not ruin your pallet, I’d suggest fresh (wet) hops to come up with the required pound of hops. At a rough 5 to 1 ratio, that’s still a big hop build for a 5 gallon beer recipe (3.2 ounces dry hop equivalent).
Any other homebrewers wanna tackle recipes? I’m still new to the craft. Let’s just put these on my long-term pipeline for now…