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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on Stumptown Tart

Apparently everyone got invited to BridgePort to taste Stumptown Tart but me. We've got three reports out from Ken Kane, Angelo De Ieso, John Foyston. Given my level of interest in this beer (high) and my personal knowledge (low), I therefore pass it along. Still no info on exactly how brewer Karl Ockert got it sour, but Angelo describes the inspiration:
“I’ve always been impressed with a good friend of mine in New Glarus, Wisconsin named Dan Carey who makes something called the New Glarus Red” explains Ockert. “It’s a really great Belgian cherry red ale with a really delicious little tart, sour finish to it. So I wanted to do something like that. So, I emailed him to ask him how to do that. And he promptly emailed back and said, ‘I’ll tell you about anything else in the brewery, but I won’t tell you how I make New Glarus Belgian reds.’ So I kind of came up with this one on my own.”
Carey, who spent time in Portland--the link eludes me now, damn bad memory--famously pioneered sour ales back in the 90s. He has been hectored for well over a decade to reveal his secret, but no dice:
New Glarus owner and brewer Dan Carey happened to pass through Belgium after finishing brewing school in Germany. At the Lindeman brewery, he fell in love with kriek, a lambic brewed with cherries. For six years, he perfected his own version, beginning long before he and his wife opened their brewery in 1992. The biggest hurdle for anyone trying lambics is approximating the yeast character, a puckery tartness, which in Belgium is achieved through spontaneous (meaning au naturel, without adding yeast) fermentation. (Later, when he adds the Wisconsin Door County cherries, Carey also adds ale yeast.)

[That's actually from a column I wrote a decade ago.]
So Ockert had to figure it out himself. On to Foyston, who notes this detail:
The beer is called a Belgian style, but it uses BridgePort's house yeast and not the Belgian yeast used in the brewery's short-lived Supris golden ale of a couple of years ago.
And Kane elaborates:
Ockert began with a strong golden ale with very little hops (8 percent ABV but only 8 IBUs). “This is one Northwest ale that doesn’t feature Northwest hops,” he said. But it does feature a ton of Oregon marionberries … literally 2,000 pounds, which works out to more than a pound per gallon. Two-thirds of the original golden ale was refermented with the berries. The other third was aged in French oak casks which had previously held pinor noir from Carlton Wine Studio. After several months of aging, the two radically different beers were blended at the beginning of April.
And everyone mentions that it's probably a one-of-a-kind beer that the brewery may never brew again, and there are only 1,800 cases of 22-ounce bottles (21,600 bottles, 29,700 pints). So when it comes out on the 24th, best make haste. I plan to--

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

check the math, it ain't quite 1 lb./bbl

Dr. Wort said...

Lets hope Karl didn't use the New Glarus Souring technique... Dan Carey might have patented that process! See the New Glarus web page:

http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/beers.cfm?BeerID=10

1 lb per bbl or 1 lb per gallon! That's nothing! While adding berries to beer, one would usually use at least double that amount for decent flavor. In Meads and Wines, you would use up and above 5 lbs per gallon.

Wonder how much Berry flavor it really has...???

Nino said...

Beer Northwest was there as well.

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