Brewers’ Reserve Sour – Blend #3 We are very excited about our upcoming Brewers’ Reserve Sour blend as it incorporates quite a few new techniques that contribute to the nuance and complexity of the final product. This is our first beer that is 100% fermented in oak barrels, as well as our first to blend different base beers, so we wanted to share some of our thought process behind the blend. 44% of the blend consists of Weizenbock wort that was fermented on oak with a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria and then aged on plum puree. This has spent five months in barrels and has big notes of sour cherry, toffee, and plum (obviously). This was the platform on which we wanted to build the beer, and we searched through our barrels to find beers that would enhance and deepen these flavors. 31% of the blend is our American Sour Red, barrel fermented with a mixed culture and aged on oak for four months. This portion of the blend contributes some subtle funk, moderate acidity, and more vinous, tannic notes. 25% of the blend is our American Sour Brown, barrel fermented, and aged three months on oak. This relatively “young” sour beer, is much less tart, contributing vanilla, raisin, and fig, as well as a more rounded body, providing balance to the acidity and a complementary flavor profile to the plum of the Weizenbock barrels. These three come together to create something that is much greater than the sum of their parts. We are excited to share this with you and it will be pouring in the Troy Taproom beginning on January 4th. Soon after, the Walloomsac Brewery in Hoosick Falls should be pouring it as well. Cheers to sour beer! Dan and Lee
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.