Fancy Pants Sunday: de Garde Violet Kriek Premiere Desay
When Trevor Rogers of Pelican Brewing met Linsey Hamacher of Tillamook Cheese Factory they knew it would be a coolship marriage. Trevor traveled up and down the Oregon Coast searching for the best location for spontaneous fermentation; Tillamook won. Tillamook, Oregon, is a sleepy, remote and often damp coastal town 74 miles west of Portland. It smells of sea air and dairy farms. The couple launched de Garde Brewing in their garage using wild yeasts and coolships to create singular sour flavor with an earthy funk that plays beautifully with fresh fruit that becomes even better after a few months in the barrel. de Garde has since racked up awards and won dedicated fans, who buy up sought-after beers in a matter of hours, so that the brewery now strictly limits which bottles it lets out of the taproom in order to keep them in stock. Sound like a great candidate for our weekly Fancy Pants Sunday column, which focus on complex, premiere craft beers. Welcome to Fancy Pants Sunday: de Garde Violet Kriek Premiere Desay.
First, let’s discuss coolships (termed a koelschip in Flemish). For the uninitiated, it’s an open vessel fit for spontaneous fermentation; its large surface area allows unfermented beer, or wort, to cool more efficiently. Once the steaming wort is added to the coolship, it sits there, mingling with indigenous bacteria and wild yeast in the air that give wild beers distinct characteristics like funk and sense of place. More often than not, then next step is time in wood, which de Garde follows. Barrel aging allows the beer to mature and develop flavors.
After Violet Kriek Premiere Desay farmhouse wild ale (8%) is coolship inoculated, oak barrel fermented and aged, de Garde further ferments and conditions the ale on a large amount of whole black raspberries and tart cherries. The result is a vibrantly colored kriek with a correspondingly intense spicy fruit aroma and flavor, and a characterful yeast expression. It reminds us of a low-tannin red wine, made with different fruits, and a bit funky. We get jammy berry, perfect cherry tartness, and oak with adry, floral finish.
You fancy de Garde Violet Kriek Premiere Desay!