Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company’s first full production foray in to American wild ales happened a few years before their new Woodlands Facility. In 2015 to be precise, with the release of a Brettanomyces yeast heavy Pit & The Pendulum. That beer, brewed with fresh peach puree from South Carolina was so well received that it was made intermittently year-round. This year, a new Pit is coming – SweetWater Cherry Pit & The Pendulum.
Arising from the brewery’snew foudres is SweetWater Cherry Pit & The Pendulum, that has been sitting for over six months on a blend of Montmorency & Balaton cherries. Chris Meadows and Nick Burgoyne, brewers overseeing the Woodlands, started fermentation on Rainy Day Acid Trip (the unofficial name for the base) in stainless steel in July, 016. It was transferred to oak foudres in December, where a blend of Montmorency & Balaton cherries were added to the oak.
The result is a delicate, tart wild ale that almost glows a pinkish-red. While The Woodlands program may be young, after tasting Through the Brambles, Cambium (foudre beer) and Cherry Pit – the word maturity comes to mind. SweetWater, being the biggest craft brewery in the state, doesn’t get the beer geek cred they deserve sometimes. For the past 5+ years, the brewery has put in some serious time internally developing a wild ale program.
Ultimately when comfortable, the brewery pulled the trigger on the wooden palace that is The Woodlands. The brewing team didn’t use their fans as guinea pigs in development. They left much of the triumphs and failures behind closed doors leaving to the public some of the best sour and wild ales the southeast has to offer. This truly is a new era for SweetWater.
A golden ale soured with lactobacillus and fermented with three brettanomyces strains, then aged for 6 months in American and French oak with 3,000 pounds of Montmorency & Balaton cherries. Freshly harvested house brettanomyces was added for bottle conditioning, ensuring evolution in the cellar.
SweetWater Cherry Pit & The Pendulum is a 16.9-ounce corked & caged bottle release.
PIC: Beer Street Journal