Each year during GABF week, we bring something unique for the festival and for Colorado beer drinkers—something a little out of the ordinary, but true to our roots making place-based beers in the middle of the woods in Southern Illinois. The same is true this year with five unique offerings on the floor, and a number of kegs and bottles being distributed around Colorado through Crooked Stave Artisans.
This year at GABF we are presenting five experimental beers brewed with parts of trees and plants that surround the brewery. The beers fall roughly into the category of “farmhouse” ales, brewed with the brewery’s wild house mixed culture of yeast and bacteria, all with moderate to low gravities and wild spice and funkiness from the botanicals harvested on site. All five beers have been on tap at the brewery and will be available in bottles as a special-release series later in the year. All five will be on the floor at GABF this year. Information on each of these beers is listed below:
farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture and brewed with leaves from 34 different plants and trees: oak, hickory, sage, hyssop, bee balm, lemon balm, thyme, filé spice, laurel, mint, thistle, blackberry, raspberry, oregano, sweet cicely, goldenseal, geranium, rose, grape, dandelion, sweet woodruff, lettuce, horseradish, clover, plantain, violet, chickweed, chamomile, ginger, carrot, bergamot, shiso, juniper and rhubarb.
farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture and brewed with southern illinois-grown ginger, turmeric, carrot, clover and burdock roots.
farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture and brewed with hickory, juniper and laurel seeds from our property.
sour beer without hops made with cherry, hickory and oak bark and fermented with our wild house mixed culture.
farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture and brewed with borage, marigold, hyssop, rose and bee balm flowers.
Each of these unique expressions captures the essence of each part of the plant or tree, from the roots all the way to the flowers. They speak of our place in the woods and of the unique flavoring and aromatic potential of parts of plants that are often overlooked. The beers are the closest we have come to creating beer that fully encapsulates our region with yeast and bacteria from our kitchen, malt from our friends at Sugar Creek Malt, and botanical additions from our farm and field. We are very proud to be able to exhibit them all together in one place.
GABF Week Events in Colorado
Scratch will also be pouring in and around Denver throughout GABF week this year and is hosting a special beer dinner with friends in Lyons on Saturday, October 7th. Below are a list of events Scratch will be participating in throughout the week:
Tuesday, October 3rd
Beers Made By Walking, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Wednesday, October 4th
What the Funk?! The studios at Overland Crossing
Farm to Barrel, Goed Zuur
Friday, October 6th
Denver Rare Beer, McNichols Civic Center Building
Saturday, October 7th
Forest & Farm Dinner: Friends at Harvest, Lyons, CO
This is a special farm-to-table event created in collaboration with chefs, farmers, and drink-makers who care about sustainable farming and regional food. Chef Grant Buchanan expertly pairs four courses with four Scratch beers (File’ Saison, Blueberry, Bark, and Chambourcin) utilizing regionally farmed ingredients and some foraged plants from Southern Illinois. Spirit Hound Distillers from Lyons, CO, provides a welcome cocktail and a nightcap of whisky from one select barrel. Proceeds go to benefit the Berry Center, a non-profit that puts Wendell Berry's writings to work for farmers, conservationists, and regional economies.
6pm Cocktail Hour: Welcome Cocktail by Spirit Hound Distillers, small bites by GB Culinary and live music
7:15pm Dinner: Four farm-to-table Front Range courses by GB Culinary paired with four of Scratch's distinct seasonal brews.
9pm Night Cap: A curated sip of one of Spirit Hound's choice whisky barrel #s
Event Ages 21+
The following beers will be in Colorado starting at the beginning of October
Bark: see description above
Basil IPA: made with malt from our friends at sugar creek in indiana and three different types of basil from our garden: sweet, lemon and tulsi
Filé Saison: farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture and brewed with sassafras leaves
Sour Hyssop: sour beer made without hops, brewed with anise hyssop from our garden and fermented with our wild house mixed culture
Strawberry Rhubarb: sour beer brewed with southern illinois-grown strawberries and rhubarb over a wood fire and fermented with our wild house mixed culture
Chanterelle Turmeric: sour beer made without hops, brewed with foraged chanterelle mushrooms and turmeric from our farm and fermented with our wild house mixed culture
Blackberry Lavender: sour beer brewed with southern illinois-grown blackberries and lavender from our garden over a wood fire then fermented with our wild house mixed culture
Basil IPA: see above
Strawberry Rhubarb: see above
Blueberry Sour: sour beer brewed with southern illinois-grown blueberries over a wood fire then fermented with our wild house mixed culture
Chambourcin: farmhouse ale fermented with our wild house mixed culture then re-fermented on southern illinois-grown chambourcin grapes and aged in a puncheon that previously held red wine