We’re pleased to present a new beer in our ever-evolving wild beer program: Bass Panzer – a sour black ale fermented in bourbon barrels.
Bass Panzer (pronounced “base”, as in the low sound tone) was 100 percent fermented in bourbon barrels using our mixed culture of farmhouse ale yeast, brettanomyces, and wild yeast and souring bacteria native to Coastal Virginia. As with all sour beer we make, fermentation with local, naturally occurring microflora was done to tie the liquid to our home and make it unique to our region.
Bass Panzer Sour Black Ale
It’s interesting that our philosophy on sour beer is not unique to beer. I read a great article recently (which you can read HERE) that discussed something I hadn’t previously heard of: Biodynamic Farming. This farming philosophy is as interesting as it is intuitive. A biodynamic farmer looks to have the most diverse ecological environment possible in which to raise crops and animals. This farmer believes nature’s hand is essential and that organic farming works best by allowing it to guide the farm. Put simpler, animals and plants work together. Animals eat plants and serve to fertilize more crops. Even weeds have their purpose.
The simple truth is this: nature wants to do things a certain way. It is alive, has habits, and doesn’t like deterring from them any more than people do. When we ask nature to do something it doesn’t like, we have to find ways around its habits. Pure culture fermentation is a great example of this. People have isolated yeast strains that do what we ask them to do in short order. But, nature always wants to reverse our efforts, which is why brewers go through great pains to ensure a sanitary environment. With our sour beer though, we have much in common with the biodynamic farmer. We practice control on the brewing and fermentation environment to achieve our aim, but we do not control the exact mix of microflora. Instead, we allow nature to consume the sugars in our wort exactly as it likes. This is terroir, this is sense of place.
Bass Panzer is another example of this philosophy and practice. The result is something we’re excited about and proud of. It is dry and tart, with a host of dark fruit character. We can thank nature for much of that.
Bass Panzer is 7.2% ABV, 11 IBU, and has a Final Gravity of 1.006. It will be available on draft and to go in 750ml bottles at the brewery on Saturday, May 23rd.