Cory and Karen King of Side Project Brewing Co. have announced their newest release, a three-year blend called Blended 2017.
This new release began in 2013 as a spontaneously-fermented beer inoculated overnight in a coolship. The blonde beer was then fermented in and aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels.
One barrel, known as Unblended No. 40, stood out as a cut above the rest, so they began with the intention of using this barrel to ferment a new batch of blonde each year, and eventually turning those into a three-year blend.
Each year there were subtle changes in the recipe:
2014 – A mash bill of 65% Pilsner and 35% Unmalted Wheat that was turbid-mashed and boiled for three hours with hop pellets. Inoculated with Barrel #40 and fermented in and aged in two neutral Hungarian Oak 500L Puncheons.
2015 – A mash bill of 65% Pilsner and 35% Unmalted Wheat that was step-mashed and boiled for two hours with aged, whole-leaf hops. Inoculated with cultures from the 2014 brew and fermented in and aged in two French Oak 500L Puncheons.
2016 – A mash bill of 70% Pilsner, 20% Unmalted Wheat and 10% Malted Wheat was single-infusion mashed and boiled for two hours with hop pellets. Inoculated with cultures from the 2015 brew and fermented in and aged in two French Oak Pinot Noir 500L Puncheons.
Blended 2017 will be released this Sunday, April 23, at the brewery in Maplewood, Mo. at noon. The 375ml bottles will be $20 a piece to go. Limits will be determined based on turnout.
It will also be available for on-site consumption on Saturday, April 23, at both the brewery and The Side Project Cellar.
Side Project intends to release a three-year blend every three years, the next being in 2020. The process for that batch has already begun.