Strawberry Sour

Brewing with my favorite childhood fruit is always fun, but I wanted to try this fruit in a sour style beer such as Upland Brewing Co.'s Strawberry Lambic and I believe Mr. Barlow brewed a strawberry sour that is currently ageing. While many home brewing texts state that it is difficult to attain a pleasant strawberry flavor or that it changes into something like apricot I have not had this problem. By using fresh fruit and adding it to primary fermentation the flavors of the fresh fruit have been woven into the beers aroma and flavor in ways that surprised me.

With this beer I added two pounds of strawberries to two and a half gallons of amber wort (12.6*p) and pitched wyeast roeselare yeast blend. I'm really enjoying the flavors that are developing in my aging flanders inspired red, framboise, and oud bruin that featured this yeast blend. I brewed this batch a couple weeks ago and the aroma is already fantastic. I'm looking forward to drinking this sometime next year. I may or may not add more strawberries next spring when strawberries are in season once again depending on flavor development until then.

Recipe: Pale malt, Munich malt, Melanoidin malt, Flaked Barley, Briess Crystal 120. Fermented with Roeselare yeast blend and two pounds of strawberries.

Pomegranate Wild Ale

My first experience with this brand of Pomegranate juice was while I was working at my first brewery job at Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs, NY where we poured hundreds of bottles just like the one pictured into fermentors to create Origin by He'brew.

Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. is a contract brewery that is owned by the UB Group which owns a plethora of different distilled brands, malt beverage brands, a chemical and fertilzer co., an airline co., and an Engineering co.. That's why Kingfisher brand beers are brewed at Olde Saratoga. I didn't realize who owned the company until after I saw my first pay check and didn't recognize who was paying me. So, I took the time to look up the company. For me, it rubbed me the wrong way, this isn't what craft beer means to me. I felt like all of a sudden I was a number that worked for huge multi-national company that probably didn't care about a lowly factory worker. I don't have a problem with contract brewing I have a problem with profits going to a far off land away from the American economy in which I live.

In this world in which we live in I believe one of the only ways we have left to vote is with our wallets and pocketbooks. Every time we buy something we're making a political, social, and philosophical act. Do you want to support this or that? Who do you want to give your hard earned money too? I prefer to support the community in which I live. For example; independently owned restaurants, not chains. Now, I'm not trying to be all high and mighty as not everything I buy is a responsible purchase (upcoming iphone release for example) but I try hard to choose the more responsible purchase than not, even if it costs more. I'm shocked that even many retailers sometimes don't even know where the beer their selling and stories their regurgitating come from. For example I had to explain to a retailer that cans of 21st Amendment are not brewed in San Fransisco (Bitter American by 21A is one of the best new beers around, go try it) but are contract brewed in Minnesota. He wouldn't believe me until I showed him on the side of the can exactly where it was brewed. Also, I find many self proclaimed beer geeks hold beer stories near and dear to their hearts without actually looking into the origins or whether the story (marketing) is actually true. Even after I've told people truths I know about the process of how beers are produced they still don't want to believe it. I've even over heard them tell the same false story to somebody else after knowing the truth. Why is this? Why do so many people prefer (and even knowingly choose) romance over reality? As you probably figured out I'm a purist that's become a little jaded from what I've seen (and had to do). When brewing my beers I hold myself to the highest possible standards. We're here (on earth) for such a short period of time, what's the point of pulling the wool over peoples eyes or allowing ourselves to be blind. Be honest, buy local, and take the time to investigate. Ignorance isn't bliss it's just ignorant, rant over.

I've been wanting to brew with pomegranate juice for awhile and I felt the cranberry like tannins and tartness of pomegranate juice would be great in a sour beer. I pitched a Lambic yeast blend and 32 fl. oz. of juice into the primary fermentor. Time will tell how it turns out as this will age for up to a year.

Recipe: Pale malt, Munich malt, Melanoidin malt, Flaked Barley, Briess Crystal 120. Lambic yeast blend and Pomegranate juice.


As I discussed in the Pineapple Wild Ale post a great way to stretch a brew day is to brew a batch of lower gravity wort and split the batch between different fermentors and add a twist to each fermentor whether being yeast, fruit, spices or keep one as a control. As part of a double brew day this batch of Amber wort started at 12.6*P (1.050 SG) and was hopped to 10 IBU's but then had different juice added directly to each fermentor. In this one I added dark cherry juice and pitched roeselare yeast blend to try and re-create the flavors of classic Kriek.

Recipe: Pale malt, Munich malt, Melanoidin malt, Flaked Barley, Briess Crystal 120. Aging with Roeselare yeast blend. Black cherry juice (32 fl. oz) added to primary fermentor.