Over the years, Fencerow has been one of the smallest releases of any of our 375mL fruited beers. It started with a call from a friend of the family in my old hometown in southeast Missouri of Puxico. She had a Fencerow on her property that was covered with wild Black Raspberries, a fruit that I had always wanted to work with.
For the first release of Fencerow, 3 years ago, I was able to pick 60 lbs of wild Black Raspberries. I added them to a single barrel of a Blond Missouri Wild Ale that was fermented entirely with the microflora that had also come from Puxico Missouri. This netted about 300 375mL bottles, a tiny release! Fresh, Fencerow Blend #1 was rich and vibrant, but with time, the fruit was no match for the acidity of our Side Project cultures. For the second release, I knew that I wanted more fruit!
For the second release, I wanted to make a larger batch with a lot more fruit, but I was only able to only get 180 lbs of the Black Raspberries from Puxico. The joys of local wild berries! So, I decided to make 2 oak barrels worth, both fruited with 90 lbs and refermented in another Blond Missouri Wild Ale. The added fruit balanced the acidity wonderfully, but I still felt like it needed more fruit! The 2 barrels worth even produced more bottles to share with everyone and Fencerow quickly became a favorite amongst a lot of you.
It has been 2 years now since the last release of Fencerow for one main reason, I needed to source more Black Raspberries to get the fruit levels where I had always wanted them and to make enough of this beer to actually have a to-go release. During this time, I have also enjoyed moving our fruited 375mL series to fruiting levels that express the complexities of the fruit, their luminous colors and their fermented flavors, so I decided to reach out to Decker Farms in Oregon to meet my ridiculously high needs for these beautiful berries.
For the third release of Fencerow, we sourced 4000 lbs of Black Raspberries from Oregon and added them to a blend of 90% Missouri Wild Ale that had been aging in oak for more than 2 years and 10% Saison du Fermier. Although both our Missouri Wild Ales and Saison du Fermier are fermented with our local microflora, Saison du Fermier always showcases a bolder, spicier Brettanomyces character and a more refined acidity. With our new brewery, and increased capacity, we now have options like this for honing in our blends and refining all aspects of our process. The more subtle Saison du Fermier should allow for the Brettanomyces to soften our acidity and increase the aging capability of this heavily fruited Missouri Wild Ale.
After refermenting on the Black Raspberries for several months, Fencerow was blended back with a touch of mature, un-fruited beer and then bottled and naturally conditioned in both the bottles and the kegs.
On the weekend of October 14th and 15th, we will be releasing the 375mL bottles of Fencerow Blend #3 to-go. We are going to divide the batch up and release a portion of the bottles on both days, to allow everyone, both locals and out-of-towners, an easier opportunity to enjoy our beer! By spreading out the bottles and the release over 2 days at The Brewery, we also hope to alleviate some of the load on our tasting room and create a better, more enjoyable environment for everyone! Bottles will be available to-go starting at noon on October 14th at The Brewery and 1pm at The Side Project Cellar. On October 15th, the rest of the batch will be available to-go starting at noon at The Brewery again.
Bottles will be $20 per and the allocations per person will be based on the number of people that turnout on both Saturday and Sunday. Bottles will be available for on-site enjoyment at both The Brewery and The Side Project Cellar starting the 14th as well!
Thanks again for reading about one of our beers and your continued love of our niche brewery...