As a big fan of Pale Ales, I was very happy to brew this beer.
My brewing partner Eric happened upon Propeller Brewing Company’s Extra Special Bitter a few weeks ago and fell in love with it.
He suggested our next brewing session should be that of a traditional English Special Bitter. No problem here!
We turned to one of my favourite brewing books, Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer, so we could base our recipe on a traditional version of the style. It’s a fantastic book to reference award-winning recipes for every style listed in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guideline. We had to tweak a few ingredients to suit what we had in stock, so we weren’t 100% true to the style, but the results were nonetheless delicious.
We recently switched to brewing outside now that we’ve got our propane burner set up and working properly. The regulator that originally came with our turkey fryer did nothing but burn bright orange and cover our pot, and everything that touched it, in black soot. My good buddy James stepped up to the plate, and drawing upon his experience in the propane industry, built us a wicked regulator that burns like no tomorrow. This alone cut at least an hour off of our brew day. Now it’s time to step things up to 10 gallons!
Since James’ birthday was coming up, Eric & I thought it a good idea to honour him with the first beer we brewed with the new regulator, aptly titled, “King James Special Bitter”. I wasn’t sure if he was going to like this type of beer, but after repeated requests for another bottle, I think he did.
The label design is courtesy of “The Beer Labelizer”, which I just cutout and glued on with a standard glue stick.
Here’s a small video of the name coming into existence:
Download the recipe here: