Stellar in the Cellar: Belgian Strong Ale Fermented with Tart Cherries
For the fourth year running, Boom Island Brewing Company is pleased announce the release of its Yule, the dark Belgian strong holiday ale fermented with tart cherries, with subtle nuances of holiday spices.
There seems to be two major camps when it comes to celebrating the holidays. The first follow the department store model and decorate and start counting down the days weeks before Halloween has arrived. The other group is less sentimental and can’t be bothered to get into the spirit until a few days before the holiday.
Boom Island Brewing Company falls somewhere in between the two camps: the taproom Yule Release Party is scheduled for Friday, November 6th and will be sold in stores throughout the region starting the week of November 9. Yule 2015, fermented with tart cherries will be available on tap and in 750 ml bottles for the holiday season while supplies last. Pours from an oak cask, as well as bottles of the 2014 Yule, which was fermented with black currant, will also be available for purchase during this event.
As an added bonus, the Bill Patten Trio will be playing a set at 7pm and the New Bohemia food truck will be on site as well.
Cellaring craft beer has become more in vogue, and Yule is a perfect candidate for aging. As it ages and ferments the beer becomes more complex and special, worthy of any special occasion.
YULE 2015: 11.5% ABV Dark Belgian Strong Holiday Ale
COLOR: Deep Mahogany with a Sandy Brown Colored Head
FLAVOR: Tart Cherry with Subtle Holiday Spice, Fruity and Sour
YULE 2014: 13% ABV Dark Belgian Holiday Ale, Aged One Full Year
COLOR: Deep Mahogany with an Espresso Colored Head
FLAVOR: Black Currant with Holiday Spice, Rich and Tart
So grab bottles to share, gift, and enjoy for yourself!
Oude Funk, definitely the high point of my brewing career so far. This is a beer which got its start even before the brewery got its. In the tradition of the great Lambic breweries of Belgium, this beer is an authentic example with only the exception of a koelschip. The beer is fermented with two different cocktails of microbes. One was acquired from Pajottenland region one of our trips to Belgium just prior to opening the brewery. The other was the result of a spontaneous fermentation that occurred from the air of southwest Minneapolis where we used to reside just before opening Boom Island. The Belgian microbial mix was used to inoculate the first barrel that we acquired and it became home to a 60 gallon batch of turbid mashed wort for the next 2 years. The first real challenge we came across was when we experienced our first expansion, which included a move. The entire move was planned around how to deal with the liquid in that barrel. We had just acquired several more used wine barrels and placed them strategically in our new brewery just two blocks down the street. On the final day of the move, I tasted the spontaneously fermented two-year old beer. It exceeded my expectations in complexity and maturity. It was everything one could hope for in a straight unblended old lambic. The barrel was carefully drained into four kegs bunged up and moved into place in the new brewery. The delightfully sour beer was then used to inoculate the newly acquired, used (but clean) wine barrels. The following day the antiquated technique of turbid mashing was once again in action around the brewery. The old beer was reunited with itself in a single barrel and new wort filled the rest. This beer proceeded to undergo the same fermentation process as the first vintage with very consistent results. One of the barrels had a slightly slower rate of maturity but given just a couple of months more, it followed with very similar flavor development. One year later, juggle a few more barrels and repeat process. (oh yes…try not to sample to much…very limited quantities.)
The real fun happened when blending day arrived. Three vintages of spontaneously fermented, barrel aged sour beer produced from a turbid mash. Why the long explanation instead of just saying “Lambic”? Also pointing out that by blending these three vintages, then allowing them to referment in the bottle a la Méthode Champenoise would turn it into an Oude Geueze type Lambic.
Actually the use of the term, Lambic, is regulated in the European Union just like the term “Champagne”. Considering that much of my personal inspiration comes from our visits to one particular Lambic brewery whose head is a strong advocate for limiting the usage of the term, I prefer to keep those friends rather than dishonor the tradition that they and generations before have struggled so diligently to preserve.
As a result, I have always seen this beer is an homage to that ancient tradition rather than an effort to imitate it. It is for sure spontaneously fermented. A turbid mash was executed and it was brewed with old oxidized hops. Absolutely, it was aged in old wine barrels of 1, 2, and 3 year old vintages then blended. It was refermented in the bottle creating natural carbonation, just like every single beer we bottle. It is Oude, (which simply means old in Dutch). And it is Funky.
This Friday, October 2nd 2015 at 6pm, we present to you: “Oude Funk”