Stone Brewing will debut their first sour/wild ale in December.
For the last two years Stone Brewing – known worldwide for their love of hoppy beers, has been quietly designing a wild ale program. As many breweries across the United States are debuting sour ale programs, Stone seemed content with what they do best. IPAs. As you can imagine, this announcement takes the brewery’s fan base by surprise.
Stone’s Mission Warehouse production facility has been churning out barrel-aged and small-batch beers for some time now. The brewery decided that Mission is home base for future “arrogant” sour ales.
Stone Mission Warehouse Apricot is the inaugural release. The base beer was soured, then blended with barrel-aged barleywine and a strong, highly-hopped tripel. Those two threads were aged on three different strains of Brettanomyces yeast. To top it all off, Stone shoved 500 pounds of peaches into the 4 oak barrels used to age this new release. The process took 18 months to complete.
Stone Mission Warehouse Sour is on sale now through Eventbrite. 4-packs of Apricot must be picked up at Stone’s company store in Escondido, Liberty Station or Pasadena from December 3 through 31st.
Image: Stone Brewing
Billed as the “loftiest sour” they’ve ever crafted, New Belgium Geisha debuts.
There are a lot of elements at play in this La Folie Grand Reserve release. First, the name “Geisha”. It comes from the highly sought after Geisha coffee bean that hails from Ethiopia. It found international fame after the bean was imported to Panama and produced by Hacienda La Esmerelda. The family-run coffee grower submitted the bean to the Best of Panama Auction in 2004, winning first place. The Geisha bean continued to win five more times from 2005 to 2010. Basically, it’s a badass.
New Belgium Wood Cellar Director Lauren Woods Limbach’s vision was to blend the Geisha bean’s delicate aromatics with the brewery’s sour beer Oscar. Incidentally, Oscar is the base beer that is blended into famed La Folie Sour Brown Ale. In order to do so, the brewery needed another “threaded” beer to make Geisha work.
Local Fort Collins-based Troubadour Maltings provided a few special malt varieties for a special beer to thread into Geisha. New Belgium calls is a “smuggler” beer, bringing in the oils needed for beer head retention, bridging the gap between Oscar, and the Geisha bean.
“There’s this apprehension to do right by Geisha. I’ve thought more about this beer than any beer I’ve made in my life. Not just because of the expense of the coffee, but because we’re attempting to put something that doesn’t have the classic coffee aroma—floral, tea, notes of citrus and stone fruit—into a coffee beer. – Lauren Woods Limbach
One of the world’s most exclusive coffee beans, an award-winning wild ale program, and an expert blender come together for what New Belgium hops is a truly unique and bold American wild ale.
New Belgium Geisha is available in 750-milliliter bottles in select markets, and both of the brewery’s taprooms starting November 3rd. There’s a price tag for this kind of sensory experience. A bottle’s retail price is around $48 dollars.
Carolina Bauernhaus July Prince returns to the Anderson, South Carolina taproom for a second time on October 19th.
A follow up to the first bottle release in June – June Princess, Carolina Bauernhaus July Prince is an American wild ale fermented with peaches.
The base beer is the brewery’s golden rye ale, femented in Chardonnay barrels with SouthYeast Labs strong ale yeast for seven months. Then the brewery added 200 pounds of peaches and aged it another two months. Finally, July Prince was dry-hopped With Hull Melon and Aramis hops.
The finished beer has a subtle acidity, juicy peach notes, and a light hop note balanced by a dry oak barrel character.
Carolina Bauernhaus July Prince is a 750-milliliter bottle offering. Limited distribution to local area and Atlanta.
Latest Return: 10/19/17
Great Divide Woodwerks Belgian-Style Sour looks to kick off a new specialty series in the near future.
Denver, Colorado-based Great Divide’s most well-known barrel-aged releases Hibernation, Old Ruffian, & their Yeti Imperial Stout. Thanks to extra oak barrel purchases, more of these treats are available nationwide.
Even with more oak, Great Divide still has some small batch love to give – in the form of the Woodwerks Barrel Series.
Great Divide Woodwerks Belgian-Style Sour is slated to be the first in a new line of small batch barrel-aged and sour ales. The base beer is the brewery’s Belgian-style tripel ale that has been souring for 15 months in red wine barrels on plums.
Woodwerks is our new lineup of limited edition barrel aged and sour beers. Kicking the series off in style, our Belgian-style tripel was artfully soured for 15 months in red wine barrels and aged on plums. This rare special spiced sour ale has notes of luscious stone fruit with a tart, dry finish and hint of French oak.
Great Divide Woodwerks Belgian-Style Sour will be a 12-ounce bottle release. The brewery has not announced this offering.
This release is actually the second of three installations in an on-going collaboration with Blackberry Farm. The base beer is a saison brewed with North Carolina barley and spelt, Saphir hops, and fermented on a mix of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus bacteria.
Secrets are hard to keep and jealousy has no bounds. Part 2 of the story told with our good friends at Blackberry Farm Brewery is a mixed-culture saison make with NC barley and spelt, hopped with Saphir hops and aged with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
Burial Beer Jealousy & Murder is available at the brewery starting September 30th. Limited distribution to follow.
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale is all over the flavor map. That’s a good thing. There’s a lot going on in this beer.
As fall creeps in, Asheville, North Carolina based Hi-Wire Brewing has released Sour Pumpkin Ale. Put the pumpkin spiced latte down because things are about to get a little weird.
After spending time wandering around local Rayburn Farm, Hi-Wire was struck with the idea of sourcing a beer from a single farm source. Sure, this is a pumpkin ale so you’re probably thinking something with pumpkins, cinnamon, and cloves. Make it taste like pie and ship it, right? Wrong.
Let’s talk pre-barrel. The base beer spent time in stainless steel tanks, with roasted delicata pumpkins, cinnamon basil, and blue ginger. Blue ginger is a Hawaiian variety known for its superior flavor. Cinnamon basil is also called Mexican spice basil. Methyl cinnamate found in the cultivar gives off flavors of the cinnamon spice when the leaves are crushed.
If this beer is already sounding unique, Hi-Wire isn’t done yet. After three months in stainless steel, the beer was split into rum, whiskey, and red wine barrels for six months, then blended back again. There’s nothing “basic” about this creation.
At this point, it is downright impossible to use something as simple as “pie” to describe Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale. It just doesn’t fit. Sour Pumpkin is aggressively sour as you dive in, melding into a light wash of ginger and cinnamon. As the beer warms, the blend of barrels are fighting for palate domination. Honestly, we think the rum won. This is no simple wild ale, with typical flavors. Everything about this beer is unpredictable in the best of ways. Speaking in the spirit of Hi-Wire’s hometown of Asheville, “Keep Fall Weird.”
Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale is a limited, 375-milliliter bottle release. Not for the faint of heart (or palate).
Style: American Wild/Sour Alehttp://beerstreetjournal.com/tag/american-wild-ales/ (w/ Pumpkin. Blue Ginger. Cinnamon Basil. Barrel Aged. Whiskey. Red Wine. Rum.)
Availability: 375ml Bottles
PIC: Beer Street Journal
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