PRIDE OF THE ORGANIC NORTHWEST
Fruited Saison // 6.2% ABV
Strawberry Dojo begins like the others in the Dojo series, with the same base beer. The various types of fruit and their native microflora define each Dojo's unique flavor. After approximately eight months of macerating the strawberries, the barrels were blended and bottled on March 26th of this year. Three months later, this batch is ready to drink. It's very acid neutral but has waves of brett complexity. Over the next 5+ years, we suspect the intensity of fruit in these Dojo beers to slowly fade. If cellared properly though, this beer will evolve wonderfully.
We purchased the strawberries, as we do with most of our organic fruit, from Hedlin Family Farms in La Conner, WA. Skagit Valley is an extraordinary agricultural space in this world, and we are lucky enough to be able to capture it in our beer from time to time. In the wine world, this sense of time and place encapsulated in a drink is called Terroir.
Fruited Saison // 7% ABV
This saison style ale comes from the same base that Blueberry and Raspberry Dojo originated from. The processes used for making the beers in the Dojo series are identical, stemming from the same initial brew. What differs is the fruit in which each is named after— in all cases the complexity of the fermentation is driven by the native microflora that naturally existed on the fruit. Peach Dojo is the most intensely sour of the three in large part due to the age of this beer which spent nearly 2 years in oak & about 8 months bottle conditioning.
The fruit came from an organic orchard in Yakima, where the peaches were tree ripened. If fruit is removed from the tree too soon, the natural yeasts and bacteria present on the skins are not as strong. This is due to the fruit not being a great source of food, since the sugars are not fully developed. In this case, the fruit provided a wonderful layer of micrflora which created all of the complexity in this beer.
ASHES OF THE FALL
London Export Stout // 12.8% ABV
The inspiration for this creation comes from the original imperial stouts exported from London. What we wanted was to emulate the barrel aging process that these beers went through on their oceanic voyages. After a fermentation in stainless steel was complete, the beer was racked into 2nd use rye whiskey and fresh red wine barrels. These casks were selected to give us a clean slate. Brettanonmyces Claussenii was then added and the beer was laid to rest for 10 months. Brett C is known for being mild, as far as Brett goes. It was also the first strain of Brett to be isolated, uniquely enough, in ale from England. So its addition was very crucial in the historical interpretation of this beer.
Its bone dry character reveals all of the beautiful flavors found in this beer. Black strap molasses, dried cherries, bitter chocolate, light oak, all cinched together by a steely minerality. It began its bottle conditioning with its native yeast on November 2nd of 2017. The aging potential on this beer is phenomenal.
A STUDY OF DREAMS
Mixed Culture Sour Ale // 5.3% ABV
This mixed culture sour ale was fermented and aged in single use French Oak casks for 12 months. 75% of the grain used is a mix of floor malted and raw wheat, with the remaining 25% being Belgian Pilsner. Lightly hopped with Strisselspalt, grown in the historical region of Alsace, France. The mixed culture used consists of 12 varieties of Brettanonmyces, several strains of Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and 1 strain of Saccharomyces - all of which were added simultaneously.
Like some of our previous barrel offerings, expect noticeable oak character woven into the complexity of the beer. While reminiscent of both Napa Valley Chardonnay and traditional Berliner Style Wiess, we are referring to this offering as an American Style sour ale. It attempts to be nothing more than a vessel to contemplate the maturation of beer in new oak.
Rustic Brett Saison // 5.6% ABV
Frances Farmer is crafted with a blend of top fermenting saison yeasts in stainless steel. After primary fermentation is complete, it is transferred into a foeder for maturation with 3 strains of brettanonmyces. This batch began our solera-esque program where we remove a portion of the matured beer from the foeder for packaging. Freshly fermented Frances is then added back to the foeder to replace what was removed, and to continue the maturation process.
Inevitably the subsequent batches will vary slightly and age for different lengths of time. This particular batch was matured in oak for 6 months, then spent 4 months conditioning in the bottle and kegs with brettanonmyces. It can be consumed now, or if stored in a cool dark place, aged for many years.
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER
Dry Hopped American Brett Ale // 5.0% ABV
A mixture of pilsner, wheat, and rye malts make up the base structure of this beer. Fermentation and aging were carried out entirely in french oak that had only been used once for a Petit Verdot, giving the beer a subtle layer of oak character. A diverse group of single-celled organisms are responsible for the fermentation and ester creation that brought this beer to life, inevitably altering its structure over the course of 14 months in oak.
A month prior to bottling, all of the barrels involved in the final blend were individually dry hopped with Moteuka hops, lending generous notes of kaffir lime. After 4 months of bottle conditioning we are ready to release 30 cases and limited draft of this beer. We are calling it a table style brett ale as we feel it aptly reflects a beverage that would be consumed at a casual gathering with food and good company.
Mixed Culture Saison // 5.5% ABV
Justice Temple is a saison style ale, fermented and aged in single use, red wine barrels from a winery in Red Mountain, Washington. The malt make up is equal parts Belgian Pilsner and Raw Wheat from Oregon, with a sprinkling of malted rye. Fermentation was carried out with a variety of Saison yeasts, lactic acid bacteria, and brettanomyces that we isolated from peach skins. After 6 months of bottle conditioning this beer is ready to consume.
This saison is different from others we have produced as it has a more pronounced, albeit balanced, acid profile. The oak that was used on this beer was fairly new, so expect higher levels of vanilla and baking spices normally associated with new oak. A lot of brewers will shy away from newer oak, but we have found it to be a wonderful vehicle to add complexity, as well as a way to further blend the lines between natural wines and properly barrel aged beers.
Foeder Fermented Brett IPA // 6.8% ABV
Space Eagle is an IPA that went through its primary fermentation and secondary maturation in a french oak Foeder. The beer spent 10 months aging and gaining its distinct pungent pineapple character from the exposure to Brettanomyces bruxellensis. It was dry hopped heavily with Citra and Hallertau Blanc, then bottle and keg conditioned for 3 months with Brett brux.
This beer will continue to evolve in the bottle if stored in a cool, dark place. However, the intensity of the hop character will fade over time. The name is a nod to the former owner of the foeder it was aged in: Screaming Eagle Winery in Napa Valley, CA.
Fruited Saison // 6.2% ABV
This saison style ale was brewed over 15 months ago in May of 2017. It is comprised of a variety of malted barley, raw wheat and oats, and lightly hopped with unique Malling hops from Austria. At the crest of summer last year we gathered 600 lbs of organic Heirloom Blueberries from Bow Hill Farms. The fruit was macerated and introduced to the beer in two 400L oak puncheons. A long rest on the fruit lasted until May 6th of 2018, when the beer was removed and bottled. All of the complexity of fermentation, aside from the Saccharomyces we used initially, comes from the micro-flora that was existing on the fruit when we introduced it to beer. Now, after 3 months of bottle conditioning, we are ready to experience the 2017 vintage of Bow Hill Blueberries.
Rustic Bock Lager // 9.0% ABV
Originally all lager beer was brewed only in the winter and stored in oak casks, which were tucked away in caves for long periods of time. Coolships were even employed to cool wort. In our era of brewing these are techniques you might only associate with spontaneous fermentation and beer that has closer ties to Belgium rather than Germany. It really wasn't until the dawn of the 19th century, with advances in yeast isolation at the Carlsberg Brewery and the invention of mechanical refrigeration, that lager brewing really began its diversion to what we now know. When it came time last fall for us to embark on brewing a Bock style beer, we wanted to paint a picture closer to its origins, rather than replicate its modern image.
Our process began with a single malt, Continental Munich from Bamberg, and a single hop, Mittlefruh, grown in the Hallertau region. The mash lasted over 4 hours, starting with an acid rest and ending with a single decoction. Primary fermentation commenced for 9 days at 48 degrees with our house lager strain. On the 10th morning we racked the still-fermenting beer into oak casks, which were then left in a covered, unconditioned airspace from November 17th, 2017 through March 4th, 2018. The average temperature during that time was about 40 degrees. The oak was fairly neutral and clean. At the end of the lagering period this beer had no brett character and was void of all lactic acid bacteria. Electing to forgo inoculating with bacteria, yet wanting to give this beer the historically described "pleasant acidity," led us to naturally carbonate in the bottle with Champagne yeast, which delivers slight acid notes. The character of this beer is surprising, a fathom in depth of malt character, slightly mineral, a touch of oak, and a very unique acidity. This beer was bottled on March 6th and should see great potential for aging if stored properly.