(Updated 3/2/15 with pricing, bottle limits, and special draft offerings for the day)
Well, the snowstorm knocked back the turnout for this past weekend's bottle release, so that we had a nice manageable time of it all day. Thanks for braving the weather! I always like it when we have a chance to chat over couple samples. There's still a bunch left, so stop in and grab some.
Now we've got ANOTHER 3 bottles to release (out of our 8 bottle total), and this time the bottle quantities are considerably less. Since we believe there's a good chance we'll run out of one or more of these on release day, we're just doing it at the Brewery this time, and there will be some bottle limits to make sure every has a crack at some.
Pricing: Each of these beers will sell for $14.02, which is a number that makes the total nice and easy to handle when the sales tax is added on.
Quantities: These are smaller bottling runs than we usually do. There's about 500 bottles of Sketchy, and about 375 of both Brett Hop and Crystal Schip.
Limits: There is a 4 bottle limit for each beer. That means you can get 12 bottles (no substitutions please) before getting back in line - assuming there is a line. But of course, if there's no line, then there's no limit to what you can take home.
You may have heard about this one, as we had it in draft form at the GOOD WOOD Fest, and at Weird Beer Night. Or not. We've been describing it as "A wine barrel aged sour brown ale", but you can get the full backstory on it here if you like, including the part about where the name came from. You may have even seen some on tap at the brewery lately too - in fact, we've got a keg of it on tap right now (2/23/15) if you'd like to stop in a Growler or a pint. But this release is for the bottled form of this beer.
Every year or so, we brew a batch of Illustration Ale, and invite 6 local artists to do a label for it. One beer, six different labels... and now I suppose, we've made it 7 labels. (Thanks Wayno!)
A little over a year ago, we took an entire batch of Illustration Ale and transferred it to wine barrels, dosed them with a Brettanomyces culture, and parked them under our chalkboard in our tap room. You may have leaned on these same barrels while perusing the draft list. Doing this was a pretty sketchy prospect from the start, especially given the nature of everything involved. But the culture eventually took hold in each barrel (the photo on the top of the Weird Beer Night page is actually the view into one of these barrels), and it added another layer of flavor complexity to an already complex beer. Wine like, with a light tartness and some spice, dry finish.
This one was at the GOOD WOOD Fest and Weird Beer Night too. And we've had it on our devoted "Sour Tap" quite a bit over the last couple of months.
It's our flagship BigHop that was fermented 100% with Brettanomyces. It also picked up a bit of lacto-tartness along the way, as it too spent a bit of time in wine barrels. The result is a roller coaster of flavors: fruity, tart, bitter, and sweet with a dry finish of grapefruit pith. There's really a lot going on in this beer, and we're VERY pleased with the results. Which is great, because with a devoted open fermenter, we can definitely brew it again someday.
ALSO ON DRAFT THIS SATURDAY:
We're planning to put all 3 of these beers on tap in our taproom for Saturday, so they will be available in Growlers and pints.
We'll also be tapping our latest batch of Kvass, a Russian Bread Beer that we've done a half a dozen times over the years. Fermented with bread yeast, flavor "hopped" with a couple pounds of crushed caraway seeds, and brewed from 100 loaves of Rye Bread (custom baked for us by Eliza's Oven - which by the way, was made with our beer!), this is probably in our top 5 of the weirdest things we've done here.
While this Kvass is not sour, we've split the batch in half so that the rest can go into wine barrels to get nice and funky for a few months. So this is the "before" beer that you can taste this weekend. And then the "sourdough" version will be out in the summer, if all goes as planned.
See you Saturday!