The Anatomy of Shindig
- November 23rd, 2017
- By Stephen Rich
HURON COUNTY LAGER
Golden rays of sunshine beaming through rolling hills and cornfields. Gentle scents of country flowers and grains. Good friends, family, and community gathered for time-honoured traditions and celebrations. These narratives describe Shindig Huron County Lager as well as Huron County itself – where we built Cowbell Brewing Co., and where we call home.
Shindig is crafted with great friends and good times in mind. It is a celebratory beer designed to showcase our commitment to our community, social responsibility, and quality. Huron County is a rural community filled with hard working and quietly proud people; many of whom have been in the county for generations. No beer may represent our community as well as an honest and traditional style like Pivo Pilsner, on which we based our Huron County Lager.
When the Pilsner style was first brewed in 1842, export and domestic versions were created. The export Pils was 5 to 5.5% and bitter; this is the success story beer that became what we know now as Pilsner. The domestic version was exclusively brewed for the local communities around those breweries. This 3.5 to 4.5% version, with less bitterness, was known as Pivo.
Shindig Huron County Lager is 4.2% ABV, with 14 Bitter Units, so it is low in alcohol for responsible and easy enjoyment, and also low in bitterness for a smooth and pleasant character.
WATER - At the Cowbell Farm, Shindig is brewed with fresh water from an on-site well, passed through sophisticated carbon and UV filters to ensure the water is clean and pure. We keep the water as simple as possible, only making slight mineral adjustments in the mash to ensure a balanced finished beer.
MALTS - One of the true honours of Shindig is its malt profile. We brew Shindig exclusively with Floor-Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt from Weyermann Malts, Bamberg Germany. Floor malting is a laborious, time consuming and traditional process, however we believe that it yields the most delicious base malt available. The resulting grain is doughy and warming with round and full sensations. Shindig showcases this single malt, much like that of a single malt scotch. The result is a smooth and elegant, golden lager with gentle, but delicious, flavour and aromas.
HOPS - Cowbell uses two German hops in Shindig. Perle hops are added early in the boil to give the beer a touch of soft, clean bitterness. Hersbrucker hops are added later in the boil for a slight touch of bitterness, but mostly to contribute beautiful aromas and flavours of hayfield, cut grass, and gentle herbs.
YEAST - White Labs 833 is a classic German Lager Yeast – its trademark is a clean and focused fermentation that allows malt character to shine, and offers the refreshing sensation you expect from a sunny golden lager.
We ferment Shindig at 9 Celsius for 13 days, then mature it at 0 Celsius for 30 days more. By then, the beer is smooth and delicious. After a quick spin through our centrifuge to remove yeast, the clear unfiltered beer is ready for keg, can and, most importantly, to fill your mug.