As you know, Alesong is a pretty small operation: with just three founders/employees (indentured servants) and two stainless tanks, we’ve got a constant logistical challenge of aligning what we can do with what we want to do – juggling tank space, barrel care needs, driving the delivery truck etc. ends up being pretty tough sometimes when it starts to get in the way of the awesome project ideas that pop into our heads.
Well, thanks to an expansion by our neighbor down the street, some of those ideas are getting a little easier to pull off! Claim 52 recently grew out of their three original 8 barrel fermenters and were nice enough to give us a call before selling them to the broader market (plus it’s easier to just forklift them down the street than wrap them up for shipping across the country…). We were thrilled to get our hands on these tanks because they will allow us to barrel up blends into stainless and then re-ferment on fruit, something we plan to do a lot of!
And because we have such good access here in Eugene to awesome local fruit, you can bet that the second we got that first tank on site we were looking for something freshly harvested to put into it. Turns out that the last week in August, Detering Orchards in Harrisburg was in the middle of its Elberta peach harvest so we were able to pick up 600lbs of freshly picked (that same day!), deliciously ripe and juicy peaches that we thought would play really well with a wild ale blend we were prepping for the November release. Although it was a full day of pitting peaches by hand to get them ready for the tank, it’s tough to compare the flavors you get from fruit that fresh with anything we’d find that was already processed. We also won’t complain about all the peach “quality control samples” we took throughout the day….
So this is the first of many small fruit blends to come out of these new tanks and we’re thrilled with the way it’s tasting (plus the easier cleanup vs. taking the heads off individual barrels is awesome)! The blend that went into the tank is a couple of different light, golden, wild ales fermented with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus and aged in French oak wine barrels that formerly held Oregon Pinot Noir. The vanilla and cinnamon notes we picked up from the barrels matched with the fresh ripe peaches is reminiscent of peaches and cream or a warm cobbler straight from the oven at Grandma’s house. The beer is brought back into balance with a light acidity and a dry finish. It’s a perfect for all your holiday gatherings!
There’s only 60 cases though, so make sure you’re on our mailing list and put our November 19th release on your calendar if you want to get your hands on some!