Plead the 5th Anniversary Beer Release Date Announced

After just five years, the relationship between Karls Strauss Brewing and Phileas Foggs has grown very strong and yet is relatively new in the grand scheme of things.

After all, when Karl Strauss opened their doors in February 1989 they were the first brewery to open up in San Diego after the Repeal of Prohibition back in December, 1933. They, under the skilled leadership of The Godfather of Craft Beer, Mr. Karl Strauss, were pioneering Craft Beer in San Diego while the likes of Stone Brewing CEO, Greg Koch were still in College guzzling down pitchers of fizzy yellow beer. Twenty Four years on they just keep raising the bar, providing San Diego Craft Beer drinkers with quality, consistent and balanced brews all year round.

So for me it was a natural decision to knock on Brewmaster Paul Segura‘s door when I decided to make an Anniversary Ale to help celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Phileas Foggs Bar & Restaurant. This was a tad audacious on my part, since in their 24 year tenure, Karl Strauss have never brewed a beer for a specific bar. However I was certain that they were the right brewery for the job.

Right from the off, anyone who knows me, knows that this beer would have to be big – typically you’ll find eight to ten percent liquid lacing down the inside of my glass. I’m also a huge advocate of barrel aging so I definitely wanted something that we could “lay down”. And while Bourbon aging seems to be as common these days, as it is delicious, I really wanted to do something a little different.

As well as serving some of the best Craft Beers available in San Diego here at Phileas Foggs, we also have an excellent wine selection so I quickly realized that if I could get my hands on some wine barrels, I might just be on to that “something a little different”. I contacted our friends at Charles Krug Winery and let them know about the collaborative Anniversary Ale with Karl Strauss. They loved the idea and were on board immediately and offered us both Chardonnay and Cabernet barrels.

So now we knew the Anniversary Ale was going to be big and that we were going to age a portion of the batch in Chardonnay and Cabernet barrels for later use but we still hadn’t decided on what style of beer the 5th Anniversary Ale would be. Belgian Quads, Scotch Ales, Strong Ales certainly top my list of preferred styles but I’d certainly thrown the cat amongst the pigeons with the wine barrel aging so after a couple brainstorming sessions (and I might add, a few inspirational quaffs) it was decided.

An English Barley Wine!! It seemed so obvious. A 5th Anniversary ale for an Englishman, a big beer, wine barrel aging, one of the best Brewmasters around – sometimes when you do the math, two and two, quite simply equal four!!

So our 5th Anniversary Ale will be a 12.5% full bodied English Barley Wine with rich toffee and caramel malt flavors, undertones of dried fruit and a sweet warming, yet not boozy finish. Preliminary naming at the Brewery was Budgie’s Barley Wine but rather than use my nickname, I wanted a name that would resonate the success of Phileas Foggs 5th Anniversary year as an entity so I decided on Plead The 5th which while not stunningly creative seemed so appropriate on so many levels.

Plead The 5th will make its debut at Phileas Foggs on Friday, February 8th as the headliner of a Karl Strauss Total Tap Takeover which will feature many rare or retired brews and also serve to kick off a 10 day celebration and special events.

Plead The 5th Stats:

Malts: Pale, Caramel 60
Hops: Willamette, Bravo
Yeast: Chico
Adjunct: Molasses, Brown Sugar
ABV: 12.5%
IBU’s: 60
SRM: 22