Merci Blend #4 - Blend Information and Release Details

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Merci started as a blending project for our friends Paul Hayden and the crew of The Wine & Cheese Place in St. Louis. Before Side Project was what it is today, Paul always believed in us, generously helping us source unique barrels for projects (like Weller barrels for Derivation Blend #2) before we had even sold a drop of beer! To say the least, we have always been grateful for our friends at The Wine & Cheese Place and the idea of Merci - "thank you" - was conceived to give back to them without relying on their barrels.

Merci is a blended Missouri Wild Ale in which every blend has been unique. The foundation for this beer has always been un-fruited, blond Saisons and Wild Ales that focus on vinous characters that exemplify not only our love of wine, but that of the crew of The Wine & Cheese Place as well. The focus is simplistic blends that provide incredible depth and a fun, unique palate experience that showcases Side Project characteristics.

For the first two blends, I blended them alone, from a couple of small barrels, creating some great, but limited releases. For the past two blends, as we have been able to grow into a more comfortable size, we have used this blending session as a charitable donation (we auctioned off the blending session for Blend #3 for charity) and for a reward for The Wine & Cheese Place's best BRC (Beer Rewards Club) members (Blend #4). 

Several months ago, we got together with The Wine & Cheese Place and some of their BRC members, sat down to samples of mature, blending ready beers that I had drawn from oak, and let everyone blend what they thought was best. I had everyone keep their blending notes, as I wanted do the final blend several days later and have them compare their notes to see how close they matched up to my final blend. The Blend information for Blend #4 is as follows:

- 43.6% of our Foedre Blond - 5 years of solera method in a french oak foedre
- 39.8% of #40 - 12 months in french oak puncheons (Blended 2017 recipe and processes)
- 8.7% of Foedre Terry - 8 months in french oak foedre (collaboration recipe with de Garde)
- 7.9% of Oude Fermier - barrel fermented and aged 18 months in french oak

Merci will be available to-go exclusively through The Wine & Cheese Place locations starting on Monday, September 10th. Check out their blog for details! http://blog.wineandcheeseplace.com/2018/07/side-project-merci-batch-4.html

Another benefit of working with them on this release is their ability to ship directly to many places around the country! We are always asked to ship beer to our fans, but legally, a brewery is not allowed to do so in the state of Missouri, but some retailers are! So, this release is a rare opportunity to have Side Project beers sent directly to your home (depending on where you live - please see The Wine & Cheese Place policies to verify). 

We will save a limited number of bottles to have available for on-site enjoyment at both The Side Project Brewery and The Side Project Cellar in the coming weeks. 

Thanks again for your love and support of our small, niche brewery. Hope that you enjoy Merci Blend #4 and many thanks to Paul Hayden and everyone at The Wine & Cheese Place.

Cheers,
Cory King

Boulevard Love Child Night is Wed, Sept. 5th, at 4pm!

Please join us for Boulevard Love Child Night at The Side Project Cellar Wed., Sept. 5th! Ryan McNeive (Boulevard Lead Brewer - Barrel Program) will be joining us for the draft release of the first St. Louis keg of Love Child No. 9! We'll also be tapping for the very first time our Side Project / Boulevard Collaboration Copains ("Buddies" in French) - Both kegs tapped at 4pm! 

Side Project is thrilled to welcome Ryan and the Boulevard crew for the tapping of the newest release in the delicious Love Child series. Thank you and see you Wednesday! 

Cantillon Zwanze Day 2018 at Side Project Brewing!

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Side Project Brewing and The Side Project Cellar are honored and excited to host Zwanze Day 2018! Thank you to Cantillon and Shelton Brothers! 

For information about this year’s Cantillon Zwanze beer, you can visit the facebook page for Brasserie Cantillon: https://www.facebook.com/110627652322553/photos/pcb.1955884334463533/1955880847797215/?type=3&theater

DETAILS: 

DATE: Saturday, September 29, 2018

TIME: 12pm to 5pm

(Check in begins at 11:30am, Beer starts flowing at 12pm.)

WORLDWIDE ZWANZE TOAST: 2pm Central Time

WHERE: The Parking Lot of Side Project Brewing: 7458 Manchester Road in Maplewood. There will be Zwanze fun going on inside & outside!

TICKETS: $110* Each ($75 Zwanze Day Ticket + $35 Side Project Beer) 

*Our Zwanze Tickets have always been $75, but the past two years, we've offered the surprise purchase of a delicious Side Project beer during Zwanze Day! The purchasing of this beer has always been a little hectic toward the end of the event, so we've decided to alleviate that craziness. The surprise beer will already be paid for - you'll only have to pick it up! Hence the $110 price this year - we are asking you to make one purchase all at once, instead of two separate purchases. (The Zwanze Day ticket price is non-negotiable. You cannot purchase a $75 ticket without the $35 beer.)

FOOD: Some wonderful Maplewood food vendors will be celebrating Zwanze Day with us! Food is NOT included in the price of the ticket. Food will be available for purchase (Cash or Credit).

BEER LIST IN PROGRESS: Whoop whoop! We will have beer from the following breweries & more. Thank you to our dear friends in this wonderful business who have agreed to let us purchase their delicious beers for our celebration!

-      Cantillon Zwanze 2018!

-      Additional Cantillon kegs!

-      Side Project

-      Shared

-      Maine Beer Co.

-      Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

-      Monkish

-      Off Color

-      Creature Comforts

-      de Garde

-      Hill Farmstead

-      Suarez Family Brewery

-      Casey Brewing & Blending

-      The Rare Barrel

-      Jackie O’s

-      Jester King

-      3 Floyds

-      The Civil Life

-      Narrow Gauge

… and MORE WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN THE WEEKS AHEAD! 

 

OUR FOKWC MAGNUM RAFFLE RETURNS!

Our raffle benefitting an amazing local organization called Friends of Kids with Cancer is returning! We will be raffling off some MAGNUMS from Side Project & MAGNUMS from some other INCREDIBLE BREWERY FRIENDS!

Raffle Tickets can be purchased for $5 each, and 100% of the money raised from the raffle will benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer. The Raffle is CASH ONLY. You are welcome to purchase as many raffle tickets as you want – it’s for a great cause! Must be present to win. Raffle winners will be announced at 4:30pm.

More info about this great St. Louis organization is available here: https://www.friendsofkids.com

 

Ticket Information:

-      Ticket includes (1) Zwanze 2018/Side Project glass

-      Ticket includes (1) small pour of Cantillon Zwanze 2018

-      Ticket includes unlimited samples of beers being poured at Zwanze Day while they last. (You are not guaranteed a pour of every single beer. Similar to a beer festival, there will be delicious beer all around & you are invited to sample whatever you want!)

-      Ticket includes (1) Bottle of a Surprise To-Go Side Project Beer! This beer is included in the price of the ticket this year. 

-      Tickets will be sold (1) per person. If you purchase more than (1) ticket, we will cancel all your tickets and re-sell them at The Side Project Cellar. 

-      Tickets are Non-Refundable. 

-      Tickets are Non-Transferable. 

-      Ticket Purchasers are required to be 21 years old.

-      A Valid Photo ID is required for entry into Zwanze Day.

 

How to Purchase Tickets:

There are two ways to purchase Zwanze Day 2018 Tickets: (1) Inside The Side Project Cellar and (2) Online via our website: 

1.    A portion of tickets will be sold inside The Side Project Cellar during our Open Hours at a random time on a random day. We will tweet from @SideProjectCell when they are available. 1 ticket per person – no exceptions. You must be present with a valid ID to purchase your ticket. (AKA if you send your Grandma Lou to purchase your ticket at The Side Project Cellar, then your Grandma Lou gets to attend Zwanze Day, not you.)

2.    A portion of tickets will be sold online starting this week in our Side Project online shop:  http://www.sideprojectbrewing.com/shop/ There will be TWO opportunities to purchase online tickets. This is not a lottery - If you purchase a ticket before it sells out on one of the two online-selling occasions, then we will see you at Zwanze Day! We will not tweet any advanced notice, we will only tweet from @SideProjectCell when they are available for sale. 1 ticket per person – no exceptions.

-      In the past, online tickets have sold out very quickly. Please note that you may have the ticket placed in your online “cart” (along with many other people), but you must complete your transaction and receive an email confirmation to have successfully purchased an online ticket to Zwanze Day. Once you receive that confirmation email, then we were emailed your name and you successfully purchased a ticket!

-      If the Tickets say “Sold Out” in the Shop then they are currently not available for purchase. 

-      Reminder that if you purchase more than 1 ticket, we will cancel ALL your tickets.

-      Please keep in mind that we are trying to offer tickets in the fairest way we can think of while also managing the high traffic either online or inside The SP Cellar. Thank you for your understanding.

-      Please note that any tweets about ticket selling or Zwanze updates will be from the @SideProjectCell Twitter account – this is the account that Karen manages. Just easier to do it all from one account! 

 

Questions? Check here for some answers:

1.     PARKING: Parking will not be available in the Side Project Brewing parking lot due to the outdoor set up. Please do NOT park in our neighbors’ private lots and use the public parking provided by the wonderful City of Maplewood. Do not park in the CVS parking lot or any other private parking lots. The large public parking lot right next to The Side Project Cellar is available, and only about 1.5 blocks from Side Project Brewing!

2.     The Side Project Cellar will be CLOSED all day on Saturday, Sept. 29th, for our Zwanze Day celebration taking place at Side Project Brewing. (The SP Cellar will be Open regular hours 1pm to 11pm Friday, Sept. 28th.)

3.     The Side Project Brewing Tasting Room will be Closed to the Public on Saturday, Sept. 29th, and only Zwanze Day 2018 ticket holders will have access to the event from 12 to 5pm. (The Side Project Brewing tasting room will be Open regular hours 12pm to 7pm Sunday, Sept. 30th.) 

4.     We will have new Zwanze 2018 (designed by Tim Bottchen!) shirts available for purchase (Unisex Sizes XS – 3XL)

5.     Additional Zwanze 2018 glassware will be available for purchase.

6.     If you break your Zwanze Day glass, you will be given a plastic cup. You are welcome to purchase a new glass if you choose to. 

7.     The “everyday” Side Project merch (glassware, shirts, bottle openers, etc…) will also be available for purchase just like normal!

8.     This event will take place rain or shine. 

9.     No Refunds. 

10.    Tickets are Non-Transferable. 

11.     You must be 21 years old to purchase a ticket.

12.    Bring a valid photo ID to Zwanze Day for entrance. The purchased ticket name must match the name on your photo ID.

13.    Only folks with a Zwanze Day 2018 Ticket will be permitted in the event. Using a Designated Driver is a wonderful idea, and we invite you to do so! But please have your designated driver enjoy their afternoon elsewhere and come pick you up later. We also encourage ticket purchasers to use Uber, Lyft or any taxi service. Be Smart! 

14.     There will be additional restrooms available. 

15.     There will be plentiful water and Busch for hydration :)

16.     Remember that appropriate “beer festival” etiquette is expected at our Zwanze Day 2018 Celebration. Please be respectful. 

17.     Still have a question? Please direct your inquiry to zwanze@sideprojectbrewing.com.

 

The Side Project Cellar & Side Project Brewing are thrilled to be hosting Cantillon Zwanze Day 2018! And we are so excited for you to join us on Zwanze Day! Thank you!

With Love, Hugs & Fannypack Fashion Shows (coming soon), 

Rachel, Karen and the Side Project Team

Pêche, Quetsche and Framboise du Fermier Blend #2 - Fermier Day is Sunday, August 19th!

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On Sunday, August 19th, in the Side Project Brewing Tasting Room, we are going to introduce Pêche du Fermier Blend #2, Quetsche du Fermier Blend #2 and Framboise du Fermier Blend #2 for on-site enjoyment during our Fermier Day! 

We will also be pulling out several variants of Saison du Fermier as well to kick off the return of some of our favorite du Fermiers. These will be available for on-site enjoyment at the Brewery for Fermier Day:

Framboise du Fermier Blend #2 (bottled 4/3/18)
Quetsche du Fermier Blend #2 (bottled 3/21/18)
Pêche du Fermier Blend #2 (bottled 6/19/18)
Saison du Fermier from a Missouri Oak Foedre Blend #1 (bottled 11/21/16)
Saison du Fermier from a Missouri Oak Foedre Blend #2 (kegged 11/8/17)
Noir du Fermier Blend #1 (kegged 12/21/15)
Saison du Fermier Blend #2 (kegged 5/3/14)
Saison du Fermier Blend #3 (kegged 3/21/15)
Saison du Fermier Blend #4 (kegged 6/7/17)
Saison du Fermier from Pinot Noir Puncheons Blend #2 (bottled 12/4/17)
Abricot du Fermier Blend #3 (bottled 1/18/18)
Cassis du Fermier Blend #1 (bottled 6/14/17)
Bleuet du Fermier Blend #1 (bottled 2/11/16)
Kriek du Fermier Blend #1 (bottled 3/31/17)
Oude Fermier Blend #2 (bottled 9/25/16)

After several years of waiting, we are very excited to be able to once again share Pêche du Fermier and Framboise du Fermier with you. For both of the second blends of these beers, after barrel fermentation and maturity of our Saison du Fermier, we racked the beers to mostly neutral French Oak red wine barrels with their respective fruits (peaches and raspberries!) and then allowed them to re-ferment to maturity for more than a year. The more neutral oak, when compared to the first blends, offers a softer mouthfeel, allowing the fruit to continue to shine. Unlike most of our fruited beers, where we have been increasing our fruiting rates yearly to find that balance that we desire between our acidity and the fruit, for Pêche and Framboise du Fermier, we kept the amount of fruit the same as each Blend #1 to allow that base beer of Saison du Fermier to continue to shine. 

For the second blend of Quetsche du Fermier, we once again used the plums in our Saison du Fermier as an experiment in the amount of aging and the amount of plums we wanted to use, just as we did in Blend #1. Blend #2 consisted of only 2 oak barrels, both aged for longer and fruited at a higher rate than for Blend #1. We are happy and excited to share this new iteration of QDF with you, as we feel as though through these 2 experiments, we have honed in on exactly how we want to make a full batch of Quetsche du Femier taste, so that the future Blend #3 will be large enough to share it with you in a to-go format.  

I couldn't be happier with how Saison du Fermier has progressed and aged over the years and I am excited to dig into our library of aged variants to share this weekend. 

Pêche du Fermier, Quetsche du Fermier, and Framboise du Fermier Blend #2 bottles will be available for on-site enjoyment Sunday at the Brewery and Quetsche du Fermier Blend #2 will continue to be available for on-site enjoyment the following week at The Side Project Cellar. Pêche du Fermier is scheduled to have a to-go release in the near future and we will post when we have an official date to announce. Thanks again for your love and support of our small niche brewery and we hope that you enjoy one of our favorite events of the year - Fermier Day!

Cheers,
Cory and Karen King

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

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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