When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Sh*t Gold…I immediately thought of this quote from my favorite rap group, Atmosphere, when we had a near catastrophic disaster while brewing last week. The Ape Hanger Russian Imperial Stout had just been transferred into the boil kettle, when a severe storm knocked out the power. Head Brewer Evan called me to discuss the situation, and the decision was made to lower the Ph, cool the wort as soon as the power came back, and sour the beer up with yogurt to create a whole new beer. The alternative was to waste nearly 2000 lb of grain that we used, and dump the beer. Hence, a new beer was born. The beer will next be aged on tart sour cherries and cocoa nibs (1 lb per gallon of fruit) and when the flavor is just right, we will keg it up and see how it tastes. It still may end up as a drain pour, but it also may be the greatest beer we’ve ever made! Either way, it’s gonna be unique. And that, friends, is one of the things that makes a small brewery like Big Ugly, unique. When you’re cranking out 200,000 barrels a year, there isn’t much room to deviate outside the box. When you’re Big Ugly, there is no box! Stay tuned. And if you know of any great names for this lightning inspired creation, feel free to share it with us.