Brewers’ Reserve Blend #4
Recently we pulled some samples from our barrel stock for the next in our Brewers’ Reserve series (#4). The blend will include three separate brews, each lending its own distinct character to the end product.
Barrel no. 6: Culled from the Maibock brew of last spring, a year in the barrel. It appears that the Brettanomyces strains we pitched got a strong head start with prickly pineapple and funk up front.
Barrel no. 13: Wild Wheat, spent eight months aging, probably the most bracingly acidic barrel of the four selected. We maintained the culture of a soured Witbier previously held in this oak, contributing both rustic herbal notes and the biting aspect of pineapple.
Barrel no. 15: Saison, seven months in oak, tart and peppery. Dry in the finish, this barrel retained a surprising amount of the farmhouse esters from primary fermentation.
Barrel no. 16: Wild Wheat, aged eight months, floral up front with mild Brett funk and a residual pineapple sweetness from the base beer. Twenty-four pounds of amber honey will help encourage the floral character into the finished product.
After choosing the blend for our newest release, we began considering what flavors might add some depth and counterpoint to what we were tasting in the barrels and settled on chamomile flowers and vanilla beans, in addition to the honey addition to Barrel 16. One of the challenges that we often face when supplementing a beer with complementary flavors is to walk the fine line between those contributions being delicate or overbearing.