Here at The Post Brewing Company we love our friends. Even more, we love making stuff with our friends. For our inaugural “Brewing With Friends” beer, I asked my dear old friend Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head in Delaware, to brew with me. During a top secret man-date, over a few cocktails, the idea for Bulky Oxen was hatched.
The name Bulky Oxen was inspired by Babe the Big Blue Ox of the Paul Bunyan fable, woven into the Dogfish Head ethos from the beginning. It seemed fitting as Babe was always the trusty companion to Paul Bunyan, and Sam and I have had a similar relationship in that we’ve helped each other along, hauling logs and clearing paths.
Bulky Oxen is a beer inspired by food and one dish in particular; The Goodbird Kitchen’s wood-fired pork shoulder with its glorious caramelized onion marmalade. I think about this dish at least three times a day and all I think about while eating it is the next time I’m going to eat it. It’s life changing.
Using this dish as a launching point, we needed to decide what aspects of the food would best translate into a great beer. We focused on caramelization, smoke and luscious flavors. Bulky Oxen has become a deep mahogany English-style barleywine of a modest ABV. It features rich, lush malt flavors balanced by tropical American hops and citrus peel. Added during the boil was a house-made marmalade of caramelized, Sucanat sugar crusted citrus and sweet onion which offers sweet, savory aromas of orange, spice and smoke.
This strong ale is the perfect partner for a hearty meal of pork or beef and is equally at home as a nightcap on a cool spring evening near the fire. Enjoy!