When we think of inspirational beers, beers that have in some fashion directed Side Project along the path in which it has taken, Boulevard Saison Brett is in that small group of beers. Saison Brett and Orval taught our palates how expressive Brettanomyces can be when used in a particular way - flavors that were unlike any we had experienced before.
Not only do we love the beers from Boulevard, but when we first started Side Project, no other brewery was more helpful with some of our bottle conditioning questions, with showing us around their lab and with other technical questions that only a brewery of their size and reputation could help with. Through our mutual love of sour beer and of blending and experimenting with all of the intricacies of developing these complex beers, we formed some really great friendships with Steven Pauwels and Jeremy Danner of Boulevard Brewing Company.
Several years ago, we were invited by Brewmaster Steven Pauwels to brew with Boulevard, a beer for their summer festival, Boulevardia. Ever since, we have been trying to find a date to have the Boulevard crew come to our side of the state and do a blending collaboration with us, something that was inspired by their Love Child series and our Pulling Nails series.
Last November we sat down with Steven Pauwels, Jeremy Danner and Ryan McNieve, and we tasted through a majority of the mature beers that we had at Side Project. It was fun watching them try to blend beers that they were tasting for the first time as we guided them through which beers we were in love with and blends that we thought would best represent both of us once the Side Project bottle conditioning had transformed the blend in the bottles and kegs.
What resulted was a Love Child / Pulling Nails blend that was named Copains, for our "Buddies" from the other side of the state. This beautiful, very balanced, yet complex blend consists of the following:
Copains Blend #1
30% Missouri Flanders Red from a French Oak Foedre (18 months old)
30% Raspberry Biere du Pays from a Missouri Oak Foedre (6 months old)
28% Missouri Sour Brown from a Missouri Oak Foedre (12 months old)
10% Méthode Traditionnelle Spontaneous from a 500L Puncheon (36 months old)
2% Imperial Stout from a Charred Missouri Oak Foedre (5 months old)
The beer was blended in December of 2017 and then allowed to bottle and keg condition for almost 5 months before we thought it was ready to share. The release of the To-Go 750mL bottles will be May 12th at both the Side Project Brewery tasting room and The Side Project Cellar. The bottles will be $30 per bottle and allocations will be based on the turnout of people to make sure that everyone can get an allocation of beer.
We couldn't be more thankful and honored to have had Steven, Jeremy and Ryan come to St. Louis and work on this delicious Missouri beer with us. We hope to see everyone on Saturday for the release!