Is it possible to make a beer without a flaw? Don’t know. But we decided to try, realizing of course that nothing pleases everyone.
We made a list of beer flaws (which required taste testing a lot of beers over a long period of time). Some were so obvious right away. This beer was too flat. Another had too much carbonation. The next one had some sort of wang at the end. Many had no aroma or an unpleasant one. Some just tasted bad. Duh. Poor head retention. Not filtered properly. No head or too much head. Unbalanced, meaning too sweet or too bitter. Too heavy or, the most common one of all, too watery. Your nearest retailer is full of cheap watery beers.
So we started. A grain bill to achieve the best SRM (color) that we thought not too light or too dark. Needed body. Head retention. Carbonation level. Check, check, check. Balance? This one took a little longer. Aroma? Easy to do but had to be correct for our limited panel of testers. The taste and the finish? These took forever to get correct. Ingredients, temperatures, amounts, timing of additions. The combinations were limitless. But we kept at it.
We never chose a style. It came naturally. Colsons is marketed as a Golden Ale. It probably is closest to a Blonde Ale by the official BJCP style guidelines, but we certainly didn’t target a blonde. We let the recipe lead us. When we get asked, “What kind of beer is it?” “It’s a perfect beer,” we say, half joking. But that is really what it is to us. And when you think about, that is really the best you can expect of anyone. We made the best beer we knew how. And if it’s not for you, that’s all cool. Just keep trying local brews until you find your favorite. There are a LOT of quality beers being made in this state.