“Today we brewed a beer that will ferment in wine barrels over the course of the next few years. Lambic is a traditional Belgian beer that is brewed in the Senne Valley and spontaneously fermented by the microflora of the region. For those reasons our take on this style can’t be called a lambic, but a culture of wild yeasts and souring bacteria was pitched into each barrel to mimic and pay homage to my favorite style.
I visited this region in 2010 with Josh of Grey Sail Brewing (Mayflower at the time) and his wife Lindsay (who agreed to go to Europe specifically to drink these beers). Ever since that trip, I wanted to try to brew something similar, and couldn’t be happier to be starting a small wild program at Mayflower. With a very positive reaction to our first wild beer “Uncharted” which was only two red wine barrels, I was given the green light to brew a full batch of something new, twelve chardonnay barrels!
Pilsner malt and unmatled wheat give these organisms sugars and starches to consume that your typical brewer’s yeast cannot. This leaves us with a bone dry, acidic, funky ale with loads of rustic character. As the beer progresses, we may take a barrel or two here and there to release as is, age on fruits to create a take on fruited lambics, blend various vintages of one, two and three year old lambic to simulate gueuze. I’m getting ahead of myself; it is day one in a process that will take years while most of our beers take two weeks. So for now, we wait.”