Tangled up in Blueberry started with a walk through the farmer’s market section of Eugene’s Saturday market. I was on a mission to find some unprocessed whole fruit from last year’s harvest: specifically blueberries. I ended up chatting with Jack from Organic Redneck, an organic Farm on the McKenzie River about 28miles from the brewery that specializes in blueberries. He told me that he didn’t have much, but could get us enough berries for our one batch of beer. Normally we would MUCH rather use freshly harvested fruit but we were hoping to have this beer available for our first bottle release in August and wanted to make sure the beer had enough time to age on the berries.
For the base beer we brewed a Belgian Golden ale with over 10% un-malted wheat from Malpass Farms in Coburg, about 18miles from our brewery. This beer was fermented in stainless with a Belgian saccharomyces strain and then was inoculated with a blend of brettanomyces and acid producing bacteria before it headed down to barrels that previously held some of King Estate’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For the record, King Estate is located 18 miles south of the brewery. See where I’m going with this?
This is what makes us so proud to be an artisan brewery in this community. We get to talk to our farmers directly to learn as much about their process as possible so we can better ours. Whenever we get the chance, we buy from and support other local small businesses. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it makes the beer taste better too!
We are unfortunately seeing more and more craft breweries get swallowed up by big beer. These breweries will likely get a boost in volume and the consumer will probably see the price on the shelves drop because now the brewery that used to buy local is getting its grain, hops, and other raw ingredients from the same mega farms that supply its parent companies. In order to talk to the farmer that grew an ingredient in their malt bill, that brewery will likely now have to call corporate, who will call a meeting with the farm division, and will probably just forward an email with the grains stats to the brewer. It may be more work and cost a bit more, but we would much rather walk downtown during the farmers market and shake the farmers hand directly.
Tangled Up in Blueberry is a light purple color that has notes of blueberry on the nose. Blueberry flavors, oak tannins and a touch of tartness that finishes dry complement its light mouth feel. Enjoy this beer now or cellar it to see how it evolves over time.