The Beer/Wine Hybrid PrevailsPosted by Adrienne Nichols
When I developed the Prost Secco concept, it represented the opportunity to add a very personal narrative into the Craft Beer story. When we made the beer as a production team, it offered the chance to challenge ourselves creatively and technically to execute a beer that was simultaneously exciting and subtle. When the beer enjoyed a great reception from the public, it was a wonderful compliment that brought about the chance to continue this story with our new Innovation Series. Now its time for the next chapter in Baxter’s journey into the flavor frontier: Pinot Brune.
One of the aspects of Prost Secco that we enjoyed the most was how well it paired with the brief periods of warm weather that we experienced this past spring. As we head into fall, we enter into a new challenge: to brew another wine inspired beer that would have the flavor and feel that could be matched with the cooler weather and the food we enjoy in the late autumn and early winter. As I thought through this, I was drawn to the idea of harmonizing elements of soft and lush red wines with dark and bracingly acidic Flemish sour ales.
The Pinot noir element of this wine was inspired by my time in the incredibly beautiful Central Otago region of New Zealand. In this vintage, I had the opportunity to grow and make wines that were incredibly deep and light at the same time and characterized by cherry and dark berry aromas. The other side of the coin came from my experience in working with Peter Bouckaert at New Belgium and gaining insight into the crafting of Oud Bruin style sour ales like Rodenbach and La Folie. The beguiling synergy of dark malts and intense sour flavors is one of the most distinctive experiences in beer.
For Pinot Brune, I took red grape must, tart cherry and black currant juice and fermented it with a malty brown wort, rich in with chocolate, caramel and toasty flavors. Separately, I brewed a kettle sour base beer, focused solely on producing light and bright acidity and body. Finally, I took these two components and blended them like barrel lots into a mélange wine, in proportions that achieved the balance that I was seeking. We are so very proud to present this story in beer form, presented in our first ever 6 pack box! Cheers!
Andrew, Director of Brewing