Farmhouse Ale Co-Fermented with Blanc du Bois and Gewurztraminer Grapes
Brewery: Jester King Brewery
Style: Wild Specialty Beer (28C)
Package: 750ml Clear Bottle
Purchased: Beer To Go!
Canned Date: Jan 2020
Consumed Date: May 5, 2020
Details From the Brewer
This fermentation blurs the lines between wine and beer by simultaneously fermenting grapes and grain. We took whole cluster Blanc du Bois grapes from the Texas Hill Country, foot stomped them to combine the microbes on the skin of the grapes with the juice, then allowed an ambient fermentation with native yeast to begin. We then added unfermented beer brewed with well water, local grain, and a blend of fresh and aged hops, which fermented naturally with the yeast from the grapes. Shortly thereafter, we added Gewurztraminer from Willamette Valley, Oregon to the fermentation as well. We let the blend ferment to dryness in stainless steel 100% naturally without the introduction of any commercial yeasts or other cultures.
Aroma – 6/12
A moderate bouquet of grapes and acidity jumps to the nose first. The grape component has some orange citrus peel to it, a bit of cotton candy, and some leather notes. There’s some musty funk here as well. Low levels of acetic acid too. Very subtle hay and grainy character.
Appearance – 2/3
Pours a deep straw yellow. Clarity is excellent on the first pour, with the dregs quickly mixing and clouding the remainder of the bottle. Small white bubbles compose a short head that fades quickly.
Flavor – 15/20
A sharp bright acidity bounces off the tongue. The grape flavor quickly comes in with notes of lemon, a PEZ candy sugar, and honeydew. A medium sweetness appears in the midtaste. A leathery, musty brett flavor peaks out. The previous flavors fade as peppery spicy flavor subtly creeps up towards the finish. Any flavors dissipate slowly on the finish, leaving a drying acidity in the mouth. Low level of a cherry-like acetic acid linger.
Mouthfeel – 4/5
Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation hits the front of the Medium bodied with a medium-high carbonation. The body holds throughout the whole taste. Slight tannic finish. A bit softer as the dregs are mixed in.
Overall Impression – 7/10
A fine fruited mixed-fermentation beer. It definitely walks the line of a beer/wine hybrid. There are some nice flavors and aromas coming from the grapes. They aren’t quite as pronounced as I would expect, and are a little overwhelmed by the acidity. Particularly, the acetic acid note doesn’t work with the flavor and aroma profile.
Rating – 34/50
Bier de Blanc du Bois is has become my favorite of their barrel-aged wine fruited beers. While this is similarly subtle, it doesn’t quite have the finesse of that beer. That said, this would make an amazing food pairing. The acidity cutting through a fatty meat, and the bright grape flavors washing in afterwards.