Blended 2017: Our first 1, 2 and 3-year blend

In early 2013, I brewed my first professional batch of spontaneously-fermented beer that was inoculated via an overnight cooling in our coolship. This blond beer was fermented in and aged in French Oak Chardonnay barrels with the intention of it becoming the start of my interpretation of "Lambic" or "Gueuze."

In 2014, one of the barrels that was mature conveyed so many beautiful, concise and nuanced notes that it showed no need for further aging and was selected to be our first "Unblended" release. It became known as Unblended #40 - the number that barrel was assigned at filling. With this barrel now empty, but full of this unique microflora population, I started a new project. This project used this population/barrel to inoculate and entirely ferment a new batch of blond beer every year, with the plan of creating a 3-year blend one day.

That day came early this year.

Over the past 3 years, I have been brewing blond-base beers with subtle changes every year, to harness what this Missouri based microflora can do and to showcase and develop a whole new plethora of flavors and experiences. The yearly brews were:

2014 - A mash bill of 65% Pilsner and 35% Unmalted Wheat that was turbid-mashed and boiled for three hours with hop pellets. Inoculated with Barrel #40 and fermented in and aged in two neutral Hungarian Oak 500L Puncheons. 

2015 - A mash bill of 65% Pilsner and 35% Unmalted Wheat that was step-mashed and boiled for two hours with aged, whole-leaf hops. Inoculated with cultures from the 2014 brew and fermented in and aged in two French Oak 500L Puncheons.

2016 - A mash bill of 70% Pilsner, 20% Unmalted Wheat and 10% Malted Wheat was single-infusion mashed and boiled for two hours with hop pellets. Inoculated with cultures from the 2015 brew and fermented in and aged in two French Oak Pinot Noir 500L Puncheons.  

Blended 2017 is a beer we hope to release every three years. Brewing for the 2020 release has already started as we have refilled these barrels to keep these beautiful cultures happy and thriving. 

Some may ask if this is Méthode Gueuze, but as you can see, this blend consists of threads that were inspired by the traditional techniques and processes, however none follow the strict regimen needed to earn that mark. We do have brews and barrels currently aging that do follow that regimen, and one day, we hope to release a Méthode Gueuze beer, this is just not that...

This is our take and expression, driven by our love of blending beers and our understanding of the tradition of the spontaneous beers of Belgium, of what Missouri terroir can offer with time, patience and finesse. 

On Sunday, April 23rd, at 12pm, we release Blended 2017 to go. The release will be held at our brewery at 7458 Manchester Road in Maplewood. We will start on-site enjoyment of Blended 2017 at both The Brewery and The Side Project Cellar on Saturday, April 22nd. 

$20 per 375ml bottle. Allocations based on turnout. 

Cheers, 

Cory and Karen King

 

 

This Saturday, April 15th: Beer Release + Bolyard's at noon!

Shared Proof 0f Concept #3 and Side Project Bière du Pays Blend #5

Shared Proof 0f Concept #3 and Side Project Bière du Pays Blend #5

It's going to be another fun weekend! This Saturday, April 15th, our lovely Maplewood neighbor Bolyard's Meat and Provisions will be serving up amazing food in our parking lot starting at noon. (Bolyard's will serve food until around 4pm or when they run out. Food will be available for purchase.)

And, we'll be releasing two beers TO GO at the brewery this Saturday starting at noon:

Side Project Bière du Pays Blend #5 - An airy and fluffy malt bill is fermented with wild Missouri yeast and bacteria and our house Saison blend. This refreshing and delicate farmhouse ale was aged in Missouri oak for several months before it was naturally conditioned in the bottle. $20/750ml bottle. Allocation based on turnout. 

Shared Proof of Concept #3 - Double Dry-Hopped New England-style Pale Ale. $16/4-pack of 16oz cans. Allocation based on turnout. 

Cory put together several picnic tables last weekend so we now have outdoor seating to enjoy this beautiful weather with some tasty beer & delicious food from Bolyard's! Our indoor tasting room will also be open. 

So come enjoy some food and beer with us this Saturday, April 15th, starting at 12pm at the brewery!

Also, the new Shared Proof of Concept #3 will debut on draft this Friday, April 14th, at The Side Project Cellar starting at 4pm. Come listen to brewer Tommy talk about this tasty beer at 4pm this Friday! 

PARKING: Please remember that our brewery parking lot will be closed to cars on release days like this Saturday, April 15th. Please use Maplewood public parking - any public street parking or the large parking lot next to The Side Project Cellar at 7373 Marietta Ave. Please do not park in the CVS lot or any other private lots. Thank you.

BOTTLE SHARING: Open containers are allowed in our Side Project Brewing parking lot until 12pm. You CANNOT Bottle Share (have open containers) on the public sidewalks - only in our parking lot. Bottle Sharing ends at 12pm, when our Side Project Tasting Room Opens. Thank you all for making our releases smooth so far! You guys are wonderful! (Also, we have two restrooms inside our tasting room that are available when we open at 12pm, and I will rent an extra one for outside!)

Side Project Trail Dubbel - Our First STILL Beer Release

If you have had the chance to stop by The Side Project Cellar over the last two and a half years, you probably know I am a fan of still beer. I have released several draft-only still beers - The Candles Series and Foedre Beer. I spend a lot of my time drinking beer from the fermenters, from barrels and from blends in brite tanks, so I wanted to start sharing my appreciation of what beer can offer without carbonation. We knew drinking still beer was something new for most beer drinkers so we chose to serve them exclusively on draft at The Cellar so our our staff could explain my intentions, share the reasons and nuances behind serving a beer this way, and field any questions that customers might have.

Well, the time has come to put a still beer in a bottle and share it with more than just our local community. We present Side Project Trail Dubbel, a rich, mahogany beer brewed in honor of my brother-in-law (now brewer at Side Project, Brian Ivers) and sister-in-law's (now Side Project tasting room bartender, Erica Ivers) hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. We brewed this beer in March 2016, before they began their hike, to let it age as they walked from Mexico to Canada to enjoy when they returned.

We brewed a strong Belgian-style Dubbel that was fermented in stainless with one of our favorite Trappist strains before being racked to four red wine barrels, each with a different blend of microflora. Brian selected his two favorite barrels for Trail Dubbel, one that was inoculated with the Side Project cultures and one that was inoculated with a mixed culture that was isolated from a bottle of wine from Morey-Saint-Denis of the Burgundy region of France. At blending, we discovered that the flavors, while still, were exactly what we wanted to share with you. No need for full carbonation, we wanted it bottled and served still.

The result is one of the most vinous beers I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Rich tones of red wine grapes mingle with the oxidative malt notes, warm alcohol and layers of oak and red fruits. This beer sits right between the big red wines of Spain and the Port wines of northern Portugal and enjoying it like a dessert or after-dinner drink offers the best experience. Chilled or at 60F, this beer evolves in the glass at a range of temperatures, and we hope that can open your perception of brewing with us through this adventurous beer.

Side Project Trail Dubbel will be available for on-site enjoyment at The Side Project Cellar and our brewery tasting room starting Saturday, April 8th. Bottles will be available to-go at the brewery tasting room starting at noon Sunday, April 9th. Allocations will be based on turnout. $15 per to-go bottle. 

PARKING & NOTES: On Release Days like this Sunday, April 9th, please use Maplewood public parking - any public street parking or the large parking lot next to The Side Project Cellar at 7373 Marietta Ave. Our parking spots will be reserved for staff and handicap parking. 

Please DO NOT park in the CVS parking lot or any other private lots. Please use public parking. Thank you.

Bottle Sharing (Open Containers) is allowed in our Side Project Brewing parking lot. You CANNOT Bottle Share (have open containers) on the public sidewalks - only in our parking lot. Thank you all for making our releases smooth so far... we just thought it's time to lay out a few guidelines. Thank you! 

Cheers! 

Cory King

 

 

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Stouts for the Maplewood Coffee Crawl!

This Saturday, April 1st, is the Maplewood Coffee Crawl! To celebrate, BOTH The Side Project Cellar and the brewery tasting room will be open 12pm to 7pm. We will be tapping a delicious Side Project Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout blended with five different coffee beans from four different local St. Louis roasters! Here's the schedule for both locations:

12pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time

This is the Base Imperial Stout for all five beers below. The base beer will be tapped at Open. It is an Imperial Stout brewed with Golden Promise & Oats & aged for 3 years in two Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels that were filled with bourbon in 1974.  15% ABV

12pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time - Sump Sumatra Kerinci

1pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time - La Cosecha Colombia Sierra Nevada

2pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time - Blueprint Honduras La Montaña

3pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time - Kaldi's Colombia Monserrate

4pm: Side Project Beer : Barrel : Time - Sump Colombia Timana

I'm in the process of gathering the altitudes, bean tasting notes, etc... for each coffee bean so you'll be able to compare the beers with information about each bean! 

We'll see you this weekend! You do NOT need Coffee Crawl tickets to visit The Side Project Cellar or brewery tasting room. Please note that both locations are closing at 7pm this Saturday.  Thank you!

Sour Week at The Side Project Cellar starts March 21st!

We have been saving a lot of incredible wild, sour and fruited beers, and it's time to enjoy them! Join us at The Side Project Cellar next week for some mouth-puckering deliciousness! We will definitely have some tasty surprises up our sleeves throughout the week, but here's a beer schedule for you to check out:

Tues, 3/21: GOOSE ISLAND SOUR SISTERS DAY!

Tapping at 3pm  - - - 

  • Madame Rose 2016
  • Gillian 2016
  • Lolita 2016
  • Halia 2016
  • We will offer bottle pours by the glass of Juliet 2016 so you can try a glass of any of the Sour Sisters you wish! 

Wed, 3/22: RASPBERRY DAY!

Tapping at 3pm - - -

  • Dieu du Ciel! Solstice d'Eté 

Tapping at 6pm - - -

  • Jester King Atrial Rubicite

THURS, 3/23: FLANDERS-STYLE DAY!

Tapping at 3pm - - -

  • Bruery Terreux Oude Tart
  • De Proef / Hair of the Dog Flanders Fred
  • Jolly Pumpkin Rojzilla

Tapping at 5pm - - -

  • Side Project Blueberry Flanders (Original Release Date 7/25/14)

FRI, 3/24: CHERRY DAY!

Tapping at 1pm - - -

  • Mikkeller SpontanSourCherry
  • Odell Friek 2016
  • Side Project Balaton (Original Release Date 3/05/16)

And I'm sure we will have several wonderful fruited leftovers on draft Saturday! We hope you can join us! Thank you!