From Four Winds Brewing in Delta comes their “Fortunello Farmhouse Ale” a beer aged in a Foeder for 6 months. The beer pours a orange brown colour with a beige head. The aroma consists of orange peel, anise, herbal, sweetness wood and a floral finish. the flavour is of orange peel, kumquats, herbal, anise, candi sugar, generic fruit, wood, spices, mild bitterness, mild brett and some malts. The alcohol content comes in at 8.3% with an IBU of 15. This beer is one of the more unusual releases from Four Winds Brewing and may be challenging to some but is quite enjoyable.
Commercial Description: This herbaceous farmhouse ale was brewed with dark Belgian candi sugar and bay laurel, then aged over kumquats and bitter orange peel in an oak foeder for six months. Delicate aromas of citrus and annise precede notes of dark pit fruit, settling into a mild Brett funk.
Located in Bend Oregon is a brewery that plays it just a little different. This brewery is called “The Ale Apothecary” and its motto is “Vintage-batch, barrel by barrel. Cottage instead of factory. Flavor before efficiency. Love prior to spreadsheets.” The beer isn’t cheap and it is just as hard to find as it is expensive but if you get lucky you are in for a treat! For my second intro to this awesome brewery I was able to get a bottle of “Be Still” a mixed fermentation ale that has been aged in Rye Whiskey & Pinot Barrels. This beer is fermented with no yeast and only lactobacillus culture, brettanomyces and pediococcus and thus is recommended to be consumed within 3-6 months of bottling! The beer pours a deep brown with no head as it is uncarbonated. The aroma is dominated by lactobacillus, brettanomyces, wine, whiskey and a good fruitiness. The flavour has some dominant notes of Pinot wine with lots of lactobacillus, brettanomyces, fruits, tartness, whiskey, oak, tannins, cocoa and some minor coffee notes. The alcohol content of this batch was 8.4% but does range from 7-9% batch to batch. This was a very interesting sour ale with tones of flavour. If you can stomach the price then pick up a bottle or two if you can find it!
Commercial Description: Be Still is our dark sour and presented barrel-still, without carbonation, for optimum mouthfeel and balance. Brewed with roasted barley and biscuit malts, the structure of the beer comes from acid produced by our house lactobacillus culture as well as acid from brettanomyces and pediococcus activity during the 10-month aging period in rye whiskey and fresh pinot noir barrels. Prior to bottling, the rye and wine portions are blended together and allowed to sit on cascara (sun-dried exterior fruit of the coffee bean) and cocoa nibs to add depth and complexity. The beer retains the fingerprint of our yeast culture and evolves in your glass, but is a wild departure from our lively bottle-fermented offerings. Be Still is a glimpse into an alternative beer universe that is just waiting to be explored. Due to the nature of this beer (yeast-free), it is recommended that you consume the beer fresh within 3-6 months of batch date on bottle to avoid oxidation flavors from shrouding your experience.
Mikkeller is a gypsy brewery from Copenhagen, Denmark that contract their beer to be brewed all over the world. This brew was brewed at De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium and is called “Mikkeller Dry Stout (Sauternes Edition”. This stout was aged in Sauternes wine barrels. The beer pours a opaque black with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, wine, oaky and chocolate. The flavour is of roasted malts, smoke, wine, grapes, dark fruits, chocolate and some funky notes. The alcohol content comes in at 4.1% with an IBU of 20. People seem to be split on this beer as some places give it a 99/100 rating and some give it 54/100. I come in on the much higher side as I really enjoyed this beer!
Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: Dark chocolate truffels
From Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery comes their “Palo Santo Marron” as the bottles says a “Malt Beverage aged on Palo Santo Wood”. This American Brown Ale is aged in a handmade 10,000 gallon oak brewing vessel. The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head. The aroma is of oak, vanilla, caramel and dark fruits. The flavour consists of wood, vanilla, molasses, caramel, dark fruits, burnt coffee and some alcohol. The alcohol content comes in at 12% with and IBU of 50. this is a very big brown ale but it lives up to expectations with tons of flavour!
Commercial Description: An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means “holy tree,” and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.
Food pairings as per brewery: Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar