Drink This Now (Well, Tomorrow): Crank Arm Brewing’s BMX, a Powerhouse Limited-Release Barleywine | Food
Food
INDY Week's food blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, February 5, 2016

Drink This Now (Well, Tomorrow): Crank Arm Brewing’s BMX, a Powerhouse Limited-Release Barleywine

Posted by on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 4:40 PM

click to enlarge Come to daddy - GRAYSON HAVER CURRIN
  • Grayson Haver Currin
  • Come to daddy
To my mind, there are few styles of beer more versatile than barleywine. The European-style versions are often sweet in that malt-heavy way and boozy, dark, and complex, almost approaching old ales. The American take on it, meanwhile, is traditionally more hop-centric and bitter (sort of like a better-balanced double IPA) and often paler, with subtle sweetness. See Dogfish Head’s excellent Olde School Barleywine, one of my favorites of the genre.

It is decidedly into the latter category that BMX, a barrel-aged barleywine that will be released by Raleigh's Crank Arm tomorrow, falls. In fact, the beer is reminiscent of Sam Calagione’s work at Dogfish Head, though perhaps not quite as sweet.

When I told Crank Arm co-owner Adam Eckhardt that, he was pleased: “I’ll take a comparison to Dogfish Head any day.”

This is Crank Arm’s second turn at BMX; last year’s variety was aged for six months in Pappy Van Winkle barrels. But this year, Eckhardt says, those barrels were nowhere to be found. (Eckhardt blames InBev—which purchased erstwhile craft brewer Goose Island, which makes a bourbon-barrel-aged barleywine—for the shortage.) Instead, they bought cognac, Spanish rum, and bourbon barrels, aged the beer in them for six months, and then combined the results. 

Those results are, in a word, superb. BMX is boozy (10.3 percent ABV), hoppy without being oppressively so (58 IBU), and thicker than I expected, pouring a darker brown than many of its American contemporaries. Eckhardt says this owes to the darker crystal malt they use. It was dry, bitter, complex, weighty—and a full 22-ounce bottle did me in for the night.

While this year’s version is sweeter than last year’s, Eckhardt says, he and his business partner, Michael Morris, generally steer clear of sweet beers. What you get instead is a high-gravity, well-balanced concoction that marries  sweet and bitter, subtly drawing out hints of the sharpness of cognac and the spice of rum. 

You won’t be able to get them for long. This is a limited release, available at the brewery (319 West Davie St., across the street from The Pit) starting Saturday at noon. But they only made about 650 bottles, Eckhardt says, and if history is a guide, they’ll be out in a week. (You can only buy four at a time, also.) If they don’t go as quickly as expected, they’ll distribute the remainders to area bottle shops. 

But don’t risk it: BMX is well worth a trip to the Warehouse District. 

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food



Twitter Activity

Comments

Hey maybe you farmers will stop voting for Republicans in the GA... They are the people that actually write these …

by twatts1000 on The Farm Labor Organizing Committee Sues Governor Cooper on Behalf of Farmworkers, Saying a New State Law Is Discriminatory (Food)

It's moving to the former location of Revolution.

by Kenny Levine on The Owners of Old Havana Sandwich Shop Reveal Plans for New Restaurant (Food)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Hey maybe you farmers will stop voting for Republicans in the GA... They are the people that actually write these …

by twatts1000 on The Farm Labor Organizing Committee Sues Governor Cooper on Behalf of Farmworkers, Saying a New State Law Is Discriminatory (Food)

It's moving to the former location of Revolution.

by Kenny Levine on The Owners of Old Havana Sandwich Shop Reveal Plans for New Restaurant (Food)

"Incredibly racist" strikes me as a bit harsh (not to mention a bit simplistic)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-cadet/once-you-go-black_b_5198599.html …

by p80n on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Sure. It's because it refers to a well-known racist stereotype.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Ok INDYWEEEK, help is understand why "once you go black" is "incredibly racist?"

by ksmtundu on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation