We were all in a festival frenzy back in September, but Head Brewer Kyle took some time to head out to the USA, where we’d kindly been invited to take a look around the hop paradise at Yakima Chief – our main supplier of hops.
Here’s a little taster of what he got up to…
Collaboration with Wander Brewing, Bellingham
The first port of call was a visit to Wander Brewing, a small brewery making a name for themselves with some excellent sour beers, IPAs, Belgian styles, in fact, anything that takes their fancy. A philosophy we have in common! Kyle’s parents actually live down the road in Anacortes, so he couldn’t visit home without giving the local brewery a call. Not long later, Kyle & Chad were devising some recipes.
The beer they settled on was inspired by the Amaretto Sour cocktail. It’s a kettle sour, with half being clean fermented and the other going into bourbon barrels for mixed fermentation with a house culture and Clausenii.
The beer sat on cherries for a week, and Chad added organic lemon and lime zest for another 4 days, before half being racked to go into bourbon barrels and innoculated with bugs. The remainder has been dry hopped with Amarillo, and is due to be packaged this week! Our latest report is that the beer is tasting great:
“All the flavours are dancing nicely together. The cherry is there but takes a bit of a back seat to the lemon and lime. Sourness level is perfect. Together they all give off an awesome flavour that’s hard to pin down. It’s like a sweet and tart cocktail with dash of spice.”
Collaboration with Reuben’s Brews, Seattle
Jetlag beaten and with a brew in the bag already, Kyle headed over to Reuben’s. Earlier this year we welcomed Adam to Finchampstead for a look around the brewery. We’ve known about and enjoyed his beers for a long time, as their Gose seems to win every award going in the category!
Adam grew up West of London before leaving for the US in 2004, before the craft beer movement had really got going over here. Nowadays its quite a different story. Kyle grew up in the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Kirkland and having previously brewed with Double Mountain. So it was a strange coincidence that both brewers had ended up in similar roles on different sides of the world. The similarities don’t end there – as breweries we have lots in common in our approach to brewing and what we want beer to be.