People often ask us where we get the ideas for the beer recipes we create, the blends we come up with and even the barrels we use. The answer to that is somewhat diverse— at Alesong, we take inspiration from many sources, including classic beers, other brewers or beverage makers, and the culinary world. Sometimes, even a cocktail will spark an idea that we want to run with, especially when it comes to our spirits-aged beers.
French 75, one of our new summer releases, is a nod to the classic drink of the same name. If you're not familiar with this cocktail, it is created with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and topped with Champagne. Our take on the French 75 starts as a traditional Saison made with regular Saccharomyces yeast and is then aged in Old Tom Gin barrels from Ransom Spirits.
Ransom Spirits is a fantastic Oregon Distillery that makes a great Old Tom Gin (read more about this Gin variety here), and we are fortunate to be able to snag a few freshly dumped barrels from them every so often. During the barrel aging, we add a dose of Brettanomyces to continue to evolution of the beer. After roughly 6 months in the gin barrels we add a dose of lemon peel for about a week and then bottle and condition it for two months.
The wonderfully aromatic gin botanicals that are left behind in the barrel infuse into the base saison and blend seamlessly with the added lemon accents. Bottle conditioning adds a crisp effervescence reminiscent of a nice bubbly. While our creation isn't meant to be an exact replica of the drink (hey, just go pour yourself some gin and champagne if you crave the OG!), we think the elements of the cocktail are evident in this unique barrel aged beer!
If you think you may have had this one before from us, you are probably right. We released a tiny blend of French 75 in September of 2017. This time around we made a little more, but judging by the gin fans' excitement last time, we are sure this one will go quick again. Give our French 75 a try in August and see if round #2 is as awesome as the original. We sure think it is!