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None More Black, The Tale Of The Black Ninja

So what do you imagine is the process that leads to a new beer coming into being? Countless brewery meetings, careful selection of ingredients and trial brews, marketing & design meetings etc. Yep, probably somewhere but it sure as Hell doesn’t happen here. Most of our brews start as a song title on my i-pod … something clicks and the “that’d be a great name for a beer” light bulb pops up above my head. The recipe just sort of falls into place. It’s hard to explain but the feel of the song determines what “style” the beer will be. Often a recipe isn’t commited to paper until the day before the scheduled brew day and often times it is tweaked during the brew day. The one thing that they have in common is that the beer was inspired by a song (or album) that I love. Our latest brew is a variation of that … this one was inspired by a music video/song so awful that it started a week long “crap metal video” tweet. The song is “Black Ninja”, the band Battle Beast. Check it out, it’s hilarious.

So our good friend and “world’s grumpiest brewer” (TM) Kurt Krol over at DuClaw saw my tweet and the following twitter exchange occurred ….



So, there you have it, that’s pretty much how a collaboration with DuClaw, “Black Ninja” came to be. Kurt and I chatted a couple of times and nailed down a recipe … halcyon pale base, caramalt, Briess midnight wheat, black malt and malted oats, bittered with Galena, finished with Hallertau Mittelfruh in the brew kettle and Chinook & Nugget in the hopback. We further dry hopped in tank with Nugget & Chinook. We originally conceived this beer as a session ale with an OG of 1.035 but just the presence of DuClaw brewers, fresh from their new super efficient brew house is enough to increase our efficiency and the brew actually came in at 1.042. We fermented with DuClaw’s Cali Ale yeast which itself was super efficient and just didn’t want to stop fermenting so we came in at 4.6% abv.

Black Ninja is some easy drinking deliciousness with a smooth dry finish and lingering roast notes. It’s on tap at Pratt St now and will be tapped at 3 DuClaw locations (excludes the BWI location) on September 12th and will be the featured cask at Metropolitan that same evening. The Black Ninja will disappear into the shadows from which it came before you realize it was even there so be warned, get it while you can!


Beware the Black Ninja

Beware the Black Ninja



As you may surmise from the above picture, the Black Ninja was not your average brew day! If only every brew was this much fun.