On Saturday Burnside Brewing will finally release the first bottles of
Kali literally means "the black one", though the goddess in Indian mythology is also considered a symbol of time and change as well as a mothering goddess. However, the more popular depictions show her as a darker and more violent image of vengeance and death and bloodshed. Historical artwork often depicts the goddess as being blue with 4 arms, standing over the body of Lord Shiva on a bloodstained battlefield. For the depiction on the label of Kali-Ma, the beer goes somewhat more traditional by depicting her as black instead of blue, also with the 4 arms and more of a tribute to the war goddess depiction of her.
You're probably familiar with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, wherein the main baddies worship the goddess with offerings and by pulling out the hearts of their victims and setting them on fire. This is a controversial vision to Hindus, but it's an image burned into the minds of many, including myself. The relation to the movie and this depiction of Kali was the subject of controversy when the beer was originally scheduled to be released back in May. For this reason the new bottles will be packaged in a white wrapping over the original label.
Burnside Brewing Co.'s International Incident starts out with the inspiration of the year-round offering called 'Sweet Heat', a wheat beer made with apricots and Scotch Bonnet peppers and fermented with the house Scottish ale yeast. After much prodding I convinced owner/brewer Jason Mcadam to make a bigger bolder version of this beer. After coming up with the name 'Kali-Ma', he agreed, and the name itself added inspiration to the recipe.
|Hand-toasting the spices|
|Spices are steeped in the wort before the boil|
One small but very noticeable change in the beer was the fact that it was fermented with Upright Brewing's house yeast strain, the Belgian Ardennes yeast, instead of Burnside's usual Scottish. This adds a fruitier, more estery body to the beer, a character of Belgian yeast spiciness, and perhaps even citrus notes. All of this I think complements the additions of real fruit and pepper, yet takes the beer longer to ferment out and fully attenuate, especially with its especially high gravity.
|The beer as it runs through the heat exchanger|
There will be just 150 1 liter sized swing top bottles available for purchase at the pub Saturday, June 21st, at 6pm at Burnside Brewing. I suggest trying the beer on draft and picking up a bottle. It should cellar very well and be comparable to future vintages of the beer.