Reflections

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Every now and then I get a barrel that just does it's own thing. Sometimes this new direction isn't positive, but other times something special is created that was never intended. These barrels just continue to produce amazing beers, something that is Side Project, but also has its own flair and life and subsequently leaves its Reflection on every beer that passes through them. 

Reflections is the first release from some of these barrels. 

Reflections 04/27/2015 is a blend of just 2 barrels that have a prestigious lineage. The previous beers that these barrels held include the first blend of Bière du Pays that was inoculated with a large dose of our Oude Fermier Blend 1 cultures and also the first Oude du Blé that later became a thread in the first blend of Tête de Cuvée. After their last empty, the direction that they had taken was so unique, yet delicate and inviting, I chose to barrel ferment a new Saison in the unrinsed barrels to allow and hope that their microenvironment would reemerge in this new beer. Dated as 04/27/2015, this beer was fermented in oak on that day more than 2 years ago and was aged in the same barrel until being racked and bottled 2 months ago. 

Reflections might become a series of beers, if these barrels continue to present themselves, as we continue to experiment with one-off Saisons and Missouri Wild Ales and as we continue to be selective in our blends. These barrels are how our cultures have gotten to where they are today, the best are saved and used to replenish our house culture, always trying to force migration to better flavors and more exciting depths. 

Being that this is a very small release, the bottles are going to be available for on site enjoyment at The Side Project Cellar and The Brewery for the time being. I appreciate your time in reading the description of our new beer and hope that you enjoy Reflections as much as I do!

Cheers,
Cory King

Zwanze Day 2017 – Details To Be Released Soon!

The Side Project Cellar & Side Project Brewing are honored and thrilled to be hosting Zwanze Day again this year. Thank you, Cantillon and Shelton Brothers!

I know the Cantillon lovers are getting anxious so I just wanted to get a small update posted. Rachel, Shae, Cory and I are working on nailing down several delicious beers for the event. We are working toward the best beer list we can get for Zwanze Day 2017!

BRIEF OVERVIEW:

DATE: Saturday, Sept. 23rd

TIME: 12pm to 5pm

WORLDWIDE ZWANZE TOAST: 2pm Central

WHERE: 7458 Manchester Ave. in Maplewood

(Parking will not be available in our parking lot that day due to the outdoor event.)

TICKETS: Tickets will be required to attend the event. (Similar to a beer festival, we will sell tickets, and when we are sold out, we will be sold out.)

HOW TICKETS WILL BE SOLD: A portion of tickets will be sold at The Side Project Cellar, a portion of tickets will be sold at the Side Project Brewing tasting room and a portion of tickets will be sold online. This is a worldwide celebration – so locals and nonlocals will have the opportunity to purchase tickets!

I’m leaving for Oregon in a few days so I hope to get some more details about Zwanze posted soon. We appreciate your patience and will do our best to get you all the info you desire as soon as we can!

The full Zwanze location list is available here: http://tenemu.com/news/cantillon-announces-2017-zwanze-day-locations-2017-zwanze-details/07/2017

Thank you so much! More info to come…

Karen King

SpontanFermier, a Mikkeller Collaboration. Release Date - August 13th at The Brewery.

One of the more memorable sour beers that I have ever had was Duchessic from Birra del Borgo. The first time I had it, my sour and wild beer knowledge was still in its infancy, but the experience was so soft and inviting, yet still incredibly complex and almost confusing.

What makes this beer unique is that it is actually an 80% blend of spelt Saison with 20% Cantillon Lambic, then refermented in the bottle to create a beer with the liveliness of Saison, but underlying tones, monthfeel and aromatic funk of a Lambic or Gueuze.

Being a Saison producer, I have wanted to blend our flagship beer, Saison du Fermier, our spelt Saison, with authentic Lambic for years! I thought that this American Saison / Belgian Lambic blend might even be the first of its kind, but have since learned that at least one of our friends did do this blend a while back for a small, special release beer ;). Either way, I have been trying to find Lambic for years for this concept and recently, Mikkel, of Mikkeller, helped me fulfill this conceptualized beer so I could create and blend a beer that we aptly named SpontanFermier.

SpontanFermier is a blend of our Chardonnay barrel fermented and barrel aged Missouri Spelt Saison with Belgian Lambic from Mikkeller that is used in their “Spontan” series beers. Saison du Fermier was our first Saison and Blend #4 was just released several weeks ago. It has been used in many blends of ours, aged from 5 to 24 months in oak, and has seen multiple fruit additions. It is a beautiful, yet very flexible beer for Side Project. The Lambic that we purchased for this blend is traditional Lambic, inoculated via coolship in the Senne River Valley of Belgium and then fermented in old French and Hungarian Oak. All of the Lambic stock for SpontanFermier was aged for 2 years in oak before being racked and shipped to us for blending.

After tasting the Lambic and the 7 month oak aged Saison du Fermier, I settled on a straight blend of 50% Lambic and 50% Saison du Fermier to let both components shine in their own way, at the exact same ratio. I wanted to see which would age more assertively, which would exude more aromatics, and which would present the more impactful experience on the palate during a sip.

The result is obviously a whole new experience for a Side Project beer. Elevated levels of funky, spicy phenols on the nose blend well into the experience of Brettanomyces and aged hops. The bright, citrus like, Side Project house character is the backbone of the acidity and the finish is long and complex, yet light and airy.

The official release date for this beer will be August 13th at The Brewery when we open at noon. Bottles will be $20 each and the allocations will be dependent on the number of people that show up in order to guarantee that everyone who shows up by noon on Sunday will get beer.

Along with SpontanFermier, we will also have bottles of La Ruche, Saison Nouveau, Table Nouveau and cans of Little Larry still available to go so you can enjoy them at home or with friends!

We appreciate your love of our beers from our tiny brewery and think that you are going to really enjoy this fun new blend.

Thank you,
Cory King

 

Side Project Brewing
7458 Manchester Road
St. Louis Missouri 63143

The Return of Saison du Fermier. Blend #4 Releases 7/29 with the debut of Cassis du Fermier...

Saison du Fermier has become our flagship in my eyes. It was our first Missouri Saison, released for the first time at our very first release on September 13th, 2013. It is what put our Saison production on the map. Being such an important part of who we are as a brewery, I might have become a little overprotective of this beer and what I want it to be before I blend and release it to you. Hence, the more than 2 years since its last release! I was just waiting for the right barrels and the right blend to re-release my favorite Saison. 

Every blend starts as a spelt Saison that is fermented-in and aged-in Chardonnay barrels with our Missouri cultures. From American oak to French oak, 225 liter barrels to Puncheons and Foedres, I have experimented with every blend, always trying to figure out what works the best with our production methods and with our cultures. Although I have never settled on what exactly is the best, as every Saison du Fermier brew presents itself differently and is an expression of the time and the barrels, I do have favorites, and there is just no substitute for barrel-fermenting Saison du Fermier in 225 liter Chardonnay barrels.

For the 4th Blend of Saison du Fermier, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the best Chardonnay barrels I have ever used for a portion of the final beer. Through our friends at Vinoteca, we imported White Burgundy barrels from Sylvain Langoreau St. Aubin in Gamay France. When these barrels arrived back in January of 2017, we quickly brewed Saison du Fermier to allow it to ferment-in and age-in these amazing barrels. The wines of Burgundy, both white and red, are some of my favorites. So, getting these barrels to use for my favorite Saison was a nice addition to the lineage of the Saison du Fermier blends. After 5 months of maturing in the French Oak, we racked and blended these barrels with a portion that was aged in American Oak before bottle conditioning the blend for the release. 

Along with the to-go release of Saison du Fermier Blend 4, we are debuting Cassis du Fermier, Saison du Fermier that at maturity, was racked to red wine barrels with Black Currants and allowed to re-ferment and age to maturity before being bottle conditioned prior to its release. Pouring a color that doesn't even look like beer and being absolutely juicy and rich on the palate, Cassis du Fermier is our newest fruited interpretation of our beloved, barrel-fermented, spelt Saison that I hope you will enjoy.

Saison du Fermier allocations will be based on the turnout for the release and the bottles will be $25 to take home. Cassis du Fermier will only be available for on-site enjoyment. Both will be available at both The Brewery and The Side Project Cellar at opening. 

Thanks again for all of your love of our oak aged beers and I am really excited to be able to once again share Saison du Fermier with you!

Cheers,
Cory King

Styrbjørn : Double Barrel Aged Sour Quad with Plums - Collaboration with Evil Twin Release Details

If you are reading this right after we shared it on our social media accounts on Friday, July 14th, then that means we are currently brewing another collaboration with our great friend Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin. We invited him back to brew a huge, English Barleywine destined for Maple Bourbon and Willet Bourbon barrels. Our plan for the Maple Bourbon variant of this English Barleywine is to coax a flavor profile reminiscent of a famous cinnamon roll. We are going to treat it with vanilla and cinnamon and aged it in these special barrels that Jeppe sourced until everything melds. 

The purist inside of us also wanted to age this beer in straight Bourbon barrels that I plan on sourcing on a trip to Bardstown soon. Adjuncts can often hide the lack of integrity in the base beer, so we wanted to provide both experiences, to showcase our execution of what an English Barleywine in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels can be, but to also have a little fun, push the flavors that can be derived through fermentation, aging and complimentary ingredients and try to create a beer that you have never had before. But enough about what we are brewing today, because it won't be ready for at least a year, the reason you are reading this is with regards to Styrbjørn.

What is Styrbjørn? Styrbjørn was named with the help of Jeppe and according to the norse sagas,  "Styrbjørn the Strong was Son of a King". Sounded like the perfect name for this huge, 14%, funky Quad. Styrbjørn is also our Double Barrel Aged Sour Quad that was brewed with Muscavado Sugar, Fermented in Red Wine and Bourbon Barrels with Raisins and aged for a year. Then, after a year, was racked to Port Barrels and finished on Plums with our local microflora.

Taking inspiration from The Scribe, one of my favorite Side Project beers, Jeppe and I concocted this recipe over 2 years ago, with the intention of making something huge, but deceptively so, allowing the body, sweetness, fruit and touch of acidity to create a beautiful beer. 

Styrbjørn will be released to go on July 15th, starting at noon at our Brewery at 7458 Manchester Road in Maplewood. Bottles will also be available for on site enjoyment at both The Brewery and at The Cellar this weekend. Jeppe is joining us this weekend, he will be walking around, sharing beer and enjoying the release, so make sure you stop by and say hi!

Thanks again for all of your support of our eclectic beers and see you this weekend.

Cheers, 
Cory King