Delaware-based Dogfish Head has released a few sour ales in the past, starting with Festina Lente nearly 15 years ago. That wild ale won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2006. Let’s not forget current heavy seller SeaQuench Ale, America’s best selling sour according to the brewery. On September 29th, Dogfish KnottyBits will inaugurate the brewery’s full-scale American Wild Ale program – “Wooden…it Be Nice?”
KnottyBits has spent a year in wood barrels with Brettanomyces yeast, aged on 700 pounds of sweet and sour cherries plus rhubarb from Fifer Orchards. That equates to nearly 2 pounds of cherries per gallon.
Additionally, the brewery has announced two more wild ale releases in the new series:
- Wet Hop American Summer (November) – a Farmhouse Ale (7.75% ABV), this beer was aged in freshly emptied Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces for over a year, before being racked onto freshly harvested and hand-selected whole leaf Citra hops, still wet from the fields.
- Eastern Seaboard (December) – Wild ale (8% ABV) brewed with blackberries and beach plums. After spending almost a year and a half aging in wine barrels, the liquid was met with several hundred pounds of blackberry and Eastern Shore beach plums, handpicked and selected by the brewers.
2000 Dogfish Head KnottyBits 375-milliliter bottles will be available at the brewery on September 29th at the brewery starting at 11 am.
Image: Dogfish Head
Ommegang Game of Thrones Mother of Dragons joins the brewery’s Game of Thrones Series in late September.
As the world continues to wait on George RR Martin’s sixth book (for years now), as well as HBO’s 8th season of the live action show, Brewery Ommegang continues to deliver beers inspired by the series. This September is dedicated to the “Mother of Dragons” Daenerys Targaryen.
This release is a blend of a smoked porter and Belgian Kriek, meant to be a representation of smoke and fire, found in the wake of Daenerys as she fights for her place on the Iron Throne. Ommegang describes this release as having “a rich with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate then resolving to subtle smoke and mild sweetness.”
“Mother of Dragons represents in beer one of our favorite characters from Game of Thrones. Daenerys’s ascent from obscurity has been one of the most inspiring storylines of the show, and we’re thrilled to release a blend that embodies the character traits that have underpinned that rise.” – Doug Campbell, Brewery Ommegang president.
Ommegang Game of Thrones Mother of Dragons will be available in 750-milliliter bottles starting on September 28th.
Style: Smoked Porter/Kriek Blend (w/ Cherries)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, (or in this case the day after Valentines), meet Red Brick Table For One.
This limited run of 22-ounce bottles features an imperial porter aged in bourbon barrels with both chocolate and cherries. Bottles are $15 dollars each.
Red Brick Table For One is a brewery release only.
Monday Night Excolatur debuts on February 10th.
The base beer for Monday Night Excolatur, a dark sour, has been aging in a blend of bourbon and rum barrels for more than two years. For the last four months, Excolatur has been aging on Montmorency cherries.
“Excolatur is Latin for ‘Development.’ This beer started out in fresh bourbon barrels before a transfer to rum barrels. We then inoculated it with locally sourced Pediococcus and Lactobacillus strains and aged it for another year before refermenting it on Mont cherries.
Monday Night Excolatur is now available in 500-milliliter bottles at the brewery’s “Garage” location as of February 10th, with limited distribution across the brewery’s footprint.
Boulevard Jam Band that was a draft exclusive in the past, is coming to cans.
This Smokestack Series release is a fruity one. The base beer is created with two-row barley, acidulated malt, and Topaz hops. The “humongous” fruit character (jammy?) comes from blueberry, red raspberry, and tart cherry juice blended at the end of fermentation.
Starting in February, look for Boulevard Jam Band to debut in 12-ounce cans, year-round. The alcohol by volume is a touch lower than its predecessor, now at 5.9% instead of 7%.
Jam Band pours a deep ruby and opens with aromas of dark berries, melon and subtle citrus. Minimal, supporting malt sweetness provides a platform from which blueberry, red raspberry and tart cherry sing resulting in a slightly tart, easy-drinking summer beer that begs for an encore.
Boulevard Jam Band will be available nationally starting in February 2018.
5.9% ABV, 6 IBUs
Schlafly The Devil’s Farmhouse joins the Rare Ibex Series on December 22nd.
Schlafly Brewery is one of the biggest names in Saint Louis, Missouri brewing. The 26-year-old brewery is known for a great many beers, but none so hard to come by as the Ibex Rare Series. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t too familiar with Schlafly Ibex. They are truly limited to just a few thousand bottles, whenever a beer decides that it’s ready.
For the second time this year, the Ibex Rare Series has born another unique fruit – The Devil’s Farmhouse. The name doesn’t conjure up thoughts of Christmas, but the design and rarity are indeed perfect for the season. Something truly special, worth sipping with loved ones.
A plethora of malts, including rye, wheat, and dark malt is what the Brettanomyces has been feasting on for over a year. This is no ordinary farmhouse ale. It’s every bit as dark, brooding and complex as the devil himself, hardened by 18 months of aging in wine barrels with sweet red cherries and black currants. Every sip is a wave of farmhouse Bretty funk, tart, and fruity flavors, with the slightest hint of oak. You are sipping little nuances of oaky time, captured in a sexy 750-milliliter bottle.
No this isn’t a beer for mass consumption. Nor is it something easily replicated. It’s beer and brewer passion, elevated. In this case, the devil is truly in the details.
Schlafly The Devil’s Farmhouse will be available starting December 21st in the brewery’s tap room, plus limited distribution, $30 dollars each.
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