Brewing 'True to Style'
DuVig Brewing Company opened with three beers that are still in the permanent lineup of the brewery; Cream Ale, Pale Ale, and Brown Ale. These beers are brewed to style and follow the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines. It is our philosophy that beers brewed at DuVig will be brewed to style within the clearly defined parameters of the guidelines; and DuVig has brewed a beer from almost every style category.
This philosophy was born out of the belief that in the hundreds of years of their existence, beer guidelines have become a natural extension of what beer drinkers enjoy. The guidelines provide benchmarks for all the things that make up beer; color, mouthfeel, head retention, ABV, hop bitterness and flavor, and explains which ingredients to use that will create a brewed to style beer. When viewed this way, the owners of DuVig came to the realization that beer can be enjoyed in a way that has lasted for hundreds of years, and all that history can’t be wrong. By brewing to style, DuVig has predefined for the customer what the beer will taste like, which is why each DuVig beer is named for the style, as the flavors of the beer are in the style name.
To the average beer drinker, this ‘brew to style’ philosophy may seem like a simple way to run a brewery, but in reality, DuVig has a challenge with each new brew. We must live up to the idea that the beer will be brewed as the style dictates in order to taste as expected. We accomplish this by building a water profile, creating a grain bill, calculating a hop addition schedule, and determining a yeast pitch that will create the proper beer.
A great deal of the beers brewed by DuVig are ‘session beers’ (~5% ABV or less), but brewing session beers is not the deciding factor of how the beer will be brewed by DuVig and how we want it to taste. We do not take traditional beers and make them into session beers. Several of the beers we have brewed are over 5% ABV: Moxie 5.2%, Bock 6.2%, and the soon to be released IPA will be 6.2%. The vast majority of beer styles fall within the session range, so a great deal of DuVig’s beers automatically become session beers.
In the next write-up; Hop Bitterness vs. Hop Flavor