We want the funk! Give us the funk!
We get asked a lot if our (loosely) Flanders’ inspired Cherry Parliament from a couple years ago is ever coming back, and as is usually the answer, we’re not sure. So much of what we do around here depends on available fruit, how our barrels evolve over time and how many other exciting and creative ideas, collaborations, etc. we are trying to prioritize at any given time!
But for those Parliament fans, we’re thrilled to announce that the funk is back as one of the bottles available in our November release in the form of Raspberry Parliament. This beer is different from the original cherry version in a lot of ways, but started with a similar deep red base beer, fermented initially in stainless steel with a blend of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus specifically created to capture the essence of the Lambic region’s complex beers.
After primary fermentation, we barreled down into second use bourbon barrels for about a year of aging. Second use here is an important note because that means we’ve already used them once and essentially washed out any remnant bourbon (so don’t look for bourbon flavor like you find in Rhino Suit). Why then would we go for these barrels vs. the neutral French Oak wine barrels we typically use for our sour beers? Mostly it comes down to char – French Oak wine barrels are lightly toasted on the inside where bourbon barrels are made from American Oak and have a heavy layer of char where the wood was burned extensively. This process changes some compounds in the wood, intensifying flavors of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and spice that you often associate with bourbon (and much less often with wine) and we thought getting a little bit of that character into this maltier, Flanders-inspired ale would add a nice complexity where it might overwhelm many of our lighter mixed culture beers.
Once we had finalized the blend, we added raspberries in tank, allowing for a second fermentation and then barreled back down into neutral French Oak (formerly wine barrels) for another six months to allow the complex flavors in the base beer to really meld with the fruitiness of the raspberries and give the Brettanomyces a little extra time to consume those newly added sugars before packaging.
This beer pours a deep reddish amber color and offers up a complex aroma of toasted specialty malts and dark fruit with a mild vanilla and spice character. Upon your first sip, the multidimensional acidity created by extended aging with a mixed culture (i.e., not lacto-exclusive kettle sour) and medium body combine with the oaky tannins to give a pleasant wine-like impression. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!