We’re excited to introduce our first release of 2015:
Alchemical REM – A Berliner-style Weiss, refermented with raspberries in oak barrels.
A Berliner Weiss is a German-style ale, light bodied, low in alcohol, and typically soured with lactobacillus (the same bacteria responsible for souring sauerkraut and yogurt). While Alchemical REM was initially inoculated with lactobacillus, the treatment it received after primary fermentation has been quite distinct from a standard Berliner.
Like every sour beer we will make, A-REM has been influenced by microflora native to Coastal Virginia. Once it was racked into oak barrels, the beer was inoculated with a mixed culture that includes Brettanomyces and souring bacteria isolated from the fields adjacent to the brewery. The use of native microflora is extremely important to us; it provides these beers with a sense of place and character that is unique to our coastal home. Certainly the terroir of other places may be similar to Coastal Virginia, but nowhere else can our exact mix of microflora be found.
The second thing we did differently, was to referment the beer with fresh raspberries. Each barrel was given a large addition of pureed fruit, which gives the beer its color and fresh raspberry aroma. It’s important to note that such an addition is not meant to result in a fruit “cooler”. Because we’re adding the fruit to an actively fermenting wild beer, the sugars in the raspberries will fully attenuate (Brettanomyces is primarily responsible for this super-attenuation). This refermentation results in new flavors in a very dry beer and is not unlike the transformation grapes experience when they are made into wine.
Kristin adding pureed raspberries to barrels
Alchemical REM is 5.8% ABV, 6 IBU, and has a Final Gravity of 1.000. It will be available on draft and to go in 750ml bottles at the brewery on Saturday, January 17th.