Atlanta's SweetWater Brewing took their time (and a few million dollars to do it right) building out their sour and wild ale program. You can see the result of that effort at the newest addition to their brewery – The Woodlands. On August 5th, the second release from The Woodlands debuts – SweetWater Belgian Rose.
This beer actually got its start three years ago, before The Woodlands was even built. Cabernet and Merlot barrels full of bacteria and yeast – Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, and Brettanomyces Claussenii have been "funking" and souring a Belgian-style ale since 2014
In the months prior to the release, the brewery blended 1 pound per gallon of fresh Georgia grown blackberries to the base beer.
The wine touched oak, fresh blackberries, and sour tartness from the barrels are fighting for your attention, and that's a good thing. SweetWater Belgian Rose is a labor of love and the culmination of patience. Through the Brambles was a beautiful introductory lesson into what SweetWater can do on the wild side. Belgian Rose is like skipping a few grades and jumping right into the more advanced courses. Consider yourself lucky.
SweetWater Belgian Rose is now available at The Woodlands, part of the SweetWater facility in Atlanta.
SweetWater Through the Brambles is a new wild/sour release by the Atlanta, Georgia brewery, and the inaugural release in the brewery’s new Woodlands Project.
The brewery has opened a new piece of the brewery named “The Woodlands”, which is the new home for the brewery’s sour and wild ales going forward. SweetWater has invested over $5 million dollars in this new sour and wild ale facility.
SweetWater Through the Brambles is a sour ale brewed with blackberries that has spent 12 months aging in French oak. The result is something magical. We were wowed by the fresh peach flavor in Pit & the Pendulum. The blackberries in Brambles is equally as fresh and bright. The mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria used here is the beginnings of the house culture, which is sure to become a superstar over time. The beer finishes with just a hint of tartness, and a touch of funk.
Through the Brambles and The Woodlands is just the beginning of a whole new era for the brewery. A strong lab program and a team of incredibly talented brewers will most assuredly turn these releases into household names in the next couple of years. If this is just the beginning, then get ready. There are great things in the works on 195 Ottley Drive.
Rose in color with notes of blackberry, oak and some southern funk form the wild yeast and bacteria. Initially light bodied and slightly tart, this beauty will evolve with time.
SweetWater Through the Brambles is initially on available on special tickets tours at the brewery. 3,500 750 milliliter bottles have been produced.
Image: Beer Street Journal