Here at Peter B’s, Monterey’s original craft brewery, we’re on the cusp of developing some truly funky barrels. For over a year, our brewery operations team has been working on creating some of the best sour beers in Monterey! After some trial and error, all the barrels have developed their funky character all on their own. Truly, the organisms that are expressing these flavors are completely unique to our brewery.
Smelling Aromas and Flavor for Proper Blending Ratios
We take beer fermented with typical brewer’s yeast, and move it into barrels. The first two times or “turns” we put beer into those barrels, they taste of that spirit and of wood. The wood can express itself beautifully- a compound called vanillin is released into the beer giving it vanilla nuances and there can be smoky notes or flavors that remind me of toasted marshmallows.
Sampling Beer out of the Barrel
In addition to barrel blending, I’ll be looking at fermenting with less common strains and other microbes outside the brewery proper in peripheral tanks. Not literally outside (I wish), but in a separate area. We will even start trying to find wild yeasts out in the local environment on surfaces like bark, fruit, etc. Recently, I moved three barrels of stout that soured beautifully and we will serve it once we run out of the Sour Kolsch. It’s simple and has a cherry–like tartness that fits the chocolatey nature of the stout. I even have some barrels that exude flavors reminiscent of apple pie, others that taste like tart cherries and even some that may taste like an aged balsamic.
Sour brews coming soon include:
Disco Biscuit Wild Kolsch: 5.9% ABV
The crushability of a Kolsch with the complex tartness of a wild sour ale. Aged 1 year in wine barrels for honey biscuit flavors & a dry but full finish.
Flanders Fire Sour Red Lager: 9.3% ABV
Tart, cherry-like flavors balanced with hints of bourbon & a caramel-ly sweetness. Over a year in wild bourbon barrels imparted complex fruity aromas & a silky, vanilla laden finish to this Flanders-esque hybrid.
Funkalunk Stouty McFierson Wild Barrel Stout: 7.2% ABV
Tartified and dried out by naturally occurring Brett and Lacto, this beer soured in a hurry. A little more than three months in inoculated bourbon barrels, this beer has a complex aroma of chocolate covered cherries and burnt molasses which flows into tart and smoky licorice flavors.
Recording the Flavors and Aromas
Stay tuned for more unique and innovative releases at Peter B’s!
Guest Post by Justin Rivard, Head Brewer, Peter B’s Brewpub