In December of last year, we told you to pucker up for a sour kiss from the mad geniuses behind award-winning Beachwood BBQ and Brewing. On Nov. 1, that kiss finally arrives — Beachwood is releasing the first two brews from its wild-beer offshoot, Beachwood Blendery. (Wild beers are brewed with "wild" yeast or bacteria, for a tart, sour or funky taste.) The beers will be available both on tap and in bottles at 11 a.m. at the brewery's Long Beach tasting room. You can sample them and then take some home (for as long as the limited supply holds out).
These first two releases mark the beginning of the Propagation Series, a group of faster-fermenting beers that will be released before the Blendery’s long-term sours are ready. The Blendery’s head brewer/blender Ryan Fields describes the series as “a chance to experiment with yeast and bacteria, different ingredients, and dial in some of [their] processes now.” Many of those processes, as you might imagine, also will go into those long-term, barrel-aged and blended sour projects.
Like much of what the Blendery will produce, these are more than just beers — they are also experiments. They have been dubbed Propagation Series 001 and 002, respectively, and each one highlights a different aspect of wild beer. 001 is a saison fermented with several strains of Brettanomyces. It was allowed to mature for a bit before being lightly dry-hopped and then bottled with Champagne yeast. Fields describes it as “a nice combination of fruity and funky Brett flavors.”
Propagation Series 002 is a Berliner weiss-style beer with Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces, and it also was packaged with Champagne yeast. “It has a clean, crisp tartness and a little funk,” Fields says.
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This duo is only the beginning of the incredibly ambitious Blendery project. Propagation Series 001 and 002 will function as building blocks for the Blendery, showcasing the character of the Brettanomyces yeast and the Lactobacillus bacteria. In future Propagation releases, the Blendery will feature new ingredients and different styles — and eventually will roll out those barrel-aged and blended sours.
For now, the Nov. 1 release date is the only day the Blendery is scheduled to be open. But there are plans for two more releases in the coming months, hopefully in December and February.
“It is still very early on in the project, and a lot of patience is required,” Fields cautions. “We are learning a lot as we go, and recording as much data as possible along the way.”
Beachwood Blendery, 247 Long Beach Blvd., beachwoodbbq.com