NEW BEER PROJECT – SOLERA
An everyday drinking beer (or a Wild Table Saison) is borne out of a wildly different concept.
We haven’t previously brewed any beers that could be said to be low abv and only a few that might be classified as session beers. We have not focused on an abv as a target/starting point before but rather seen the abv as one of many factors to consider when designing a beer.
This first batch of Solera is at 4.5% (and we may look at lowering that as low as 3.9ish). He (yes Solera is a he) has a blend of pale English malts, a fair amount of oats for body and some darker German Cara malts. We are complementing the malt with a woodsy and resinous hop called Hallertau Magnum and to ferment the beer we are using our house Saison yeast, which lends a rustic spice to the beer. 33% of this batch is being put into barrels with brettanomyces for future blends. The aim for future brews is to use 10-20% aged beer blended into the fresh brew. We will keep you in the loop on how that goes.
The aim for this beer is to have a barrel-aged aspect, funky yeast complexity, crisp yet round grainy fullness and a European resinous hop character. To achieve this Andrew and Brett did not want to just make a low abv saison which would take about 2-3 weeks. We thought we’d try to make it more difficult for us, and more rewarding for you, by being inspired by the artisan Sherry and Madeira producers Solera blending system. The goal being to produce a consistent vintage, flavour and character. Another aspect of this system is that in every bottle of wine there is a portion of their very first vintage. That continuous blend is what we’re aiming to grab a hold of and re-imagine. Barrel aged mature heady old beer blended into new young crisp fresh beer.
Finding the rhythm – Solera will be a blend of fresh crisp beer and barrel-aged mature beer which should give the beer a long distinct authentic Wild Beer Co. finish. Being students of blending we get tingles and excited when hearing blenders talk about knowing/feeling the barrels and the seasons and the life of the barrels. Solera is yet another opportunity, along with Modus Operandi, to deepen our relationship with the wood, yeast and beer.