New Year, New Beers!
Happy New Year! We felt that it’s only fitting to release two beers in the first week of January and start the year as we mean to continue - with loads of tasty new releases!!
However, both of these unique beers have had major set backs and both have a history that is more complex than their glossy description lets on. It’s an often unspoken aspect of brewing - the delays and setbacks that are the price you pay for balancing innovation with quality.
Billionaire | 10%
Our new Imperial Stout brewed with caramelised Miso paste and Tonka beans was set back almost an entire year! The initial inspiration came from tasting caramelised miso butter in our restaurant, Wild Beer at Jessop House.
Work began on a recipe including finding the best miso. We carefully caramelised it, releasing a rich umami character that was both savoury and sweet.
The trial batches were brewed, yet none of these were quite right. It turns out Miso is a delicate balance in beer, too much and the salt character is overwhelming, too little and the delicious umami notes are lost. This process of test brewing on our pilot kit meant that we were well into spring and still not happy with the result.
Billionaires aren’t used to be kept waiting but we shelved the project to keep it seasonal and we think it’s one of the best beers to start the year with!
Breakfast of Champignons | 4%
We love all things wild and foraged at the Wild Beer Co and we are surrounded by a smorgasbord of various mushrooms in the Somerset countryside. Breakfast of champignons is a foraged mushroom beer brewed using penny buns, seasoned with black peppercorns, and aged with our house wild cultures in oak barrels.
However, it is now out of season. So what went wrong?
The beer blended perfectly, right on schedule and tasted incredible, but our wild cultures caused us some havoc this time around - they are Wild after all… One week later when we were ready to dispatch this seasonal delight a pediococcus infection made itself known in the bottle - the beer was ‘sick’. A jelly-like consistency comes over the beer from the bacteria giving it an almost undrinkable texture. However, with time and patience our yeasty friend Brettanomyces metabolises the exopolysaccharides responsible for the viscosity and it returns to a normal consistency.
Famed sour beer producers claim beers that go through a sick pediococcus stage leave behind flavours that would otherwise be missing from the beer.
Our single biggest problem at the Wild Beer co is space, both in our warehouse and in our fermenters. When things don’t run smoothly with production we end up with delays and potentially disappointed customers.
We could have rushed both of the beers out into the wild but, our focus on quality and research and development meant that we delayed until we were sure they were ready for release.
Making beer is hard; from creating the concepts and sourcing the ingredients to deciding on when it’s ready for release. We will always put flavour and quality first and accept the challenges that come with the territory.