Punchdown Pinot Noir - To-go Release Details for Saturday, August 11th.

mfO2OTqlTLGoHO5tH1ZIng.jpg

As a sour/wild ale brewer, I draw a lot of inspiration from the wine industry in process, techniques and oak aging. Actually, the first fruited wild ale I ever brewed as a professional brewer was with Missouri Chambourcin wine grapes. At Side Project, I have continued to use wine grapes whenever I have the tank and oak space available, and for the 2017 harvest we added some tanks to accommodate the 5 beer/wine hybrid Missouri Wild Ales we produced. 

The first of these to be released will be Punchdown Pinot Noir:

Punchdown is our Missouri Wild Ale that is aged on Missouri Red Wine Grapes. For the first blend, released back in June of 2015, we used Chambourcin grapes from Charleville Vineyards. For the 2017 harvest, not only did we want to use Missouri Red Wine Grapes in one batch - Chambourcin specifically, from Noboleis Vineyards in Augusta - we also wanted to experiment with our favorite red varietal, Pinot Noir, in a separate Punchdown that we are calling Punchdown Pinot Noir! Punchdown Pinot Noir is a beer/wine hybrid, where 51% of the liquid is Missouri Wild Ale and the remaining 49% is Pinot Noir that was co-fermented with our Missouri Wild Ale. We sourced our hot weather Pinot Noir directly from S & L Vineyards of Lodi, California, for its herbaceous tones to provide balance to our bright acidity. The final result of the California Pinot Noir in Punchdown is a more delicate red wine expression than Missouri Chambourcin, with bold notes of fragrant red berries, red flowers, sangria, smoked herbs and bright citrus acid. We are incredibly excited about our expansion of Wine Grapes in our Missouri Wild Ales and hope that you enjoy our marrying of Pinot Noir and our Punchdown. 

I am very excited to continue to share my love of wine through our Missouri Wild Ales at Side Project. As we continue to expand our fruited wild ale production, I hope to continue to experiment with different wine grape varietals from different regions and showcase the importance of the quality of fruit that we select for every batch of beer. 

Punchdown Pinot Noir will be available to-go starting on Saturday, August 11th at both the Side Project Brewery and the Side Project Cellar. Bottles will be $20 each and allocations be based on the turnout when we open. As always, thank you so much for your love for our unique, niche Missouri Wild Ales and hope you enjoyed reading about Punchdown Pinot Noir.

Cheers,
Cory King

Derivation Blend #9

Side-Project-Derivation-B9-TB-180720-036.jpg

It has been 240 days since we released Derivation Blend #8 for on-site enjoyment at The Side Project Cellar and Brewery tasting room. It wasn't that we wanted to wait this long before releasing another Derivation blend, it has just taken this long for the barrels and beer to find their spot and flavors for what I wanted this new blend to be. 

It is no secret that I love cinnamon in stouts, and that ingredient played in to the choice we made when selecting barrels for this blend. Searching for barrels that showcased rich chocolate tones and then also finding some mature stouts in BLiS Bourbon Maple barrels and a cinnamon whiskey barrel, led us to the final blend that would be infused with freshly ground cinnamon and Vermont maple syrup.  

Although our production has grown and our bourbon/whiskey/rum barrel stock of barrel-aged stouts has grown to more than 250, our Derivation blends continue to be hand-selected small batches where each individual component represent a purpose in the final blend. 

For Derivation Blend #9, the blend consists of:
31% "Oats Recipe" - Our Imperial Oatmeal Stout recipe aged for 13 months in Rum Barrels
33% "O.W.K. Recipe" - Our Massive Imperial Stout recipe aged for 16 months in BLiS Maple Bourbon Barrels
36% "Maple Recipe" - Our Imperial Stout recipe with Maple Syrup added during fermentation and then aged for 13 months in a Cinnamon Whiskey Barrel and Willett Bourbon Barrel

These barrels were blended and then further infused with a thoughtful amount of freshly ground cinnamon and Vermont maple syrup at levels that provided a harmonious experience on the palate of cinnamon, maple, barrel roast, vanilla, almond, dark and milk chocolate, coffee, bourbon and caramelized rum. 

This example of our Imperial Stout blending will be available for on-site enjoyment starting Saturday, August 4th at both the Brewery tasting room and The Side Project Cellar. We will be dividing up the batch so it will be available equally at both locations and on Sunday at the Brewery as well. If any is left after the weekend, it will be available starting the following Tuesday at The Cellar. 

Thanks again for reading our blog and for your love of our small, niche brewery. 

Cheers,
Cory and Karen King

Bookends - Our Collaboration with our friends at 4 Hands Brewing Company

IMG_0403.jpg

There is supposedly a "Brewers' Row" in St. Louis that runs the length of Manchester Road. It was explained to me that if you start at our Side Project brewery in Maplewood and travel east on Manchester, you can visit 8 breweries, ending at our friends at 4 Hands near downtown. Meaning that Side Project and 4 Hands provide the "Bookends" to the unofficial St. Louis "Brewers' row."

We sat down with Kevin, Martin and Andy of 4 Hands Brewing Company more than a year ago to start talking about some collaborations. We first wanted to get some Side Project / 4 Hands collaborations in oak to allow them to age and then we would continue to work together on some Shared / 4 Hands IPA collaborations that we will brew in the near future. 

For our first collaboration, we barrel-fermented a Missouri Wild Ale that started life as a Saison malt bill, that was fermented entirely in wine barrels with a Saison yeast that was blended with our house Side Project cultures. We really wanted to go a different direction with the fruit that we chose for this beer and ended up going a route that neither of us had really pushed before by using a thoughtful, but aggressive amount of citrus in the kettle and at packaging. 

We brewed this beer with the juice from Limes and Mandarin Oranges, Sweet and Bitter Orange Peel and then conditioned it with the juice from Clementines. We allowed this beer to ferment and age in the same oak barrels for more than a year before blending, bottling and letting it naturally condition. 

On July 14th, at both The Side Project Cellar and the Side Project Brewing Tasting Room, we will have bottles available to go and we will also be tapping a keg at each location to allow to taste the loads of vibrant orchard fruit acidity from our native Side Project cultures, plus the added citric quality from the citrus fruit that we chose to meld into this beautiful sour beer! 

Allocations will be based on the turnout and some of the 4 Hands crew will be stopping by to hang out and say hi as well. Hope to see you this weekend!

Cheers,
Cory

Raspe - Our First Red Raspberry Missouri Wild Ale

Side-Project-Raspe-TB-180511-003-Edit.jpg

Red Raspberries are one of the most traditional fruits used in wild and sour brewing. They provide one of the best experiences when refermented properly in well-made wild and sour beers. Their flavors, their jammy-ness and their ability to maintain a lively, energetic, youthful presence in sour beer is what makes them a favorite of mine. 

Over the last 5 years at Side Project, I have been unable to locally source the amount of Red Raspberries I needed to make a full production batch of beer with them. I have sourced Black Raspberries locally in the past, which are known for their spicy, spruce-like, forest floor, high tannin flavors, which we've exemplified in Side Project Fencerow. 

It was time to referment a blend of our Missouri Wild Ales on Red Raspberries to illustrate the differences in Red and Black Raspberries. Fortunately, some friends of ours (thank you Jeff and Averie of Jester King), pointed us in the direction of Decker Farms in Oregon to help us source a huge amount of beautiful Red Raspberries for this new beer - Raspe.

Raspe is a blend of blond Missouri Wild Ales that were fermented entirely with our Missouri cultures and aged in French oak until maturity. At maturity, a blend was chosen and then moved on top of more than 4,000 lbs of Decker Farms Oregon Red Raspberries in one of our American Oak Foedres from our friends at Foeder Crafters of America. The result is a lively, jammy, vibrant beer that showcases the quality of the fruit that was selected and the maturation time of the whole process to produce Raspe. For reference, we used as much Red Raspberries in Raspe as we used Black Raspberries in Fencerow! 

Raspe will be released to-go and for on-site enjoyment on Saturday, June 23rd at both The Side Project Cellar and the Brewery tasting room. Raspe will be $20 per 375mL bottle and allocations will be based on the turnout the day of the release.

Important Release Reminders:

  • The Side Project Brewing parking lot will be closed to all vehicles. Please park in any public Maplewood parking, like the large parking lot next to The Side Project Cellar at 7373 Marietta Ave. Do not park in any private lots like CVS or the funeral home.
  • Open containers are only allowed in our parking lot - on our property until 12pm. Open Containers are NOT allowed on any public Maplewood sidewalks. Any and all bottle sharing must cease at 12pm when our tasting room opens. 
  • We will rent additional restrooms to set up in our parking lot.  

Thanks for taking the time to read the release details for our new beer, Raspe, and we hope to see you on Saturday. 

Cheers,
Cory and Karen King

O. W. K.

OWK_center.jpg

I wanted to brew something for our son, something that was new and unique, but still grounded in Side Project and would warrant the sharing of his initials as its name. I wanted to brew a beer that I could one day share with him and explain what it is about this beer that really exemplifies why I love brewing and blending. We believe that the 2018 vintage of O.W.K. is ready and we are excited to share this beer with you beginning Saturday, May 26th. Bottles will be available for on-site enjoyment only (no bottles of O.W.K. available to take home).

From the label: 

O.W.K. is the culmination of our stout production. We intertwined several of our favorite recipes into this massive stout and then aged it for 15 months in 15-year-old Willett Family Estate Bourbon barrels which were hand-selected by our friend Drew Kulsveen of Willett Distillery. Once mature, the 2018 O.W.K. was rested on Ugandan Vanilla Beans, adding layers of milk chocolate, decadent fudge and earthy vanilla to the rich, lucious body of this Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

We now have 8 different recipes in which our Derivations, B:B:T and Shared BA Vibes beers are blended from. For O.W.K., I wrote a new recipe that was destined for hand-selected Willett Family Estate barrels. 

About 18 months ago, we brewed the new O.W.K. recipe and started aging it in these hand-selected barrels. Several of the barrels made their way into the 2017 vintage of Beer : Barrel : Time, and several of the remaining barrels are still aging for the 2018 vintage of Beer : Barrel : Time. However, just three of the barrels filled on that first brew day, three of the 15-year-old Willett Family Estate Bourbon to be exact, were chosen to represent this, the 2018 Vintage of O.W.K.. 

After resting for 15 months in the 15-year-old barrels, I decided I wanted an essence of Derivation Blend #2 to live on in the 2018 Vintage of O.W.K.. So, I decided to more than double the vanilla, lending to not only the luxurious vanilla presence, but also the ability of this beer to age for years to come. 

As always, we used only the best ingredients we could find to address every aspect of brewing, fermenting and aging this Imperial Stout. In a time where adjuncts are often just flavorings and extracts from a bottle, we spent a large amount of time sourcing and processing natural Ugandan Vanilla Beans for this beer to rest on to add that last layer of authenticity. 

Bottles will be available for on-site enjoyment only. There will be a limit of 1 bottle per person per day and bottles will be available at both the Brewery Tasting Room (7458 Manchester Road) and The Side Project Cellar (7373 Marietta Ave.) in Maplewood. This is obviously a special beer for us and we are so excited to be able to share it with you this weekend. Thank you!

Cheers,
Cory and Karen King