From New Jersey to Azores - Sharing Our Beer Overseas
For this post i've decided to do a little something different. Traveling to the Azores is always really special for me and its beauty is rarely justified by a handful of words on a page. I put together a little video highlighting some of the experiences on this trip.
This trip was particular special because it was our first time back to the island since we have started the Terra Costa brand. We made stops at some of the land marks that inspired some of our beers such as Sete Cidades and Furnas. We also were able to pay a visit to Cha Gorreana, the only tea plantation in all of Europe and also the manufacturer of the black tea in our IPA, Cha Bomb. The views from the ground at Cha Gorreana were spectacular and can be seen in the video.
I've also been taking some time reading into water chemistry, something that can be rather intimidating to any homebrewer, but the effects of water is hugely responsible for separating good beer from great beer. There is a natural fountain in the center of our town in Faial da Terra that serenades me to sleep every night as the fountain is right outside my window. The river flows from the mountains through the center of town and flows out of the fountain. I was always curious as to what that water profile looked like and if it was ideal for brewing and if it was ideal for brewing what type of styles would it clash well with.The water could be completely useless, but if it does come back with some quality elements it could give our beers a special uniqueness tying directly back to our little town in Azores. I bottled up a sample and plan on shipping it out to a lab to perform an analysis. I'll keep you all posted on the results!
The biggest takeaway and greatest experience from this trip was providing some of the locals of Faial da Terra with their first taste of craft beer. The beer scene is Azores is basically non existant. There is one lonely style of beer there (a light lager) so I brought them our Cha Bomb, a juicy IPA hopped with Mosaic and Citra and topped off with black tea from a tea plantation on the island.
Their reactions were priceless. It was like people saw sliced bread for the first time. Some people loved it and others were freaked out by the intense flavor and higher alcohol percentage. Im pretty sure one of the comments I overheard in the bar that day was something along the lines of "Im not trying to die!" hahah I mean to be fair, these beers are not very crushable so I would advise not to house 10+ on an afternoon. I also brought along our new Amber, Antilia. The Amber Ale was more of a smooth gateway into different beer styles. The reaction for that beer was consistently positive. Overall though, I feel like they enjoyed it and I look forward to bringing them more on my future trips back to Azores.
Check out the video here!: