On Saturday, July 21st we will release a series of three beers made entirely with tree sap harvested from the woods surrounding our brewery in place of brewing liquor.
We have previously released small batches of these types of beers, including maple and birch, but this is the first time that we have collected enough tree sap to be able to package these beers in bottles and release them all together.
During the winter, we tap these trees (each at different times) and collect the dripping sap, which is different from syrup in that it is like water, but lightly sweet and filled with minerals. The sap is not nearly as sweet as syrup and sap requires a very long boiling process in order to create syrup. By replacing our brewing water with this sap, the essence of the tree pervades into the final beer, with a crisp, mineral finish. Due to this mineral quality, we generally aim to create beers with a darker malt profile, as the grains work in tandem with the sap and beers lighter in color do not withstand the minerals nearly as well.
These beers are some of our most experimental, as the "water" possesses characteristics unique to each tree species. These beers also represent the most labor intensive projects that we have endeavored to create, gathering and carrying hundreds of gallons of sap where we only have a very short window of time to ensure that we collect enough liquid for each beer. As such, these beers are beholden to the sheer amount of time and effort it takes to gather as much sap as we possibly can in addition to the environmental conditions of the forest in a particular year. During years in which trees do not produce a large amount of sap, it is not possible to create these types of beers in any sort of realistic quantity.
We allowed this series to condition for six months before its release. Each beer is packaged in 355ml bottles and will be available for $15 each.
To go along with this release, Aaron will be pouring four additional specialty beers up in the Serpent Room, available to talk about the harvesting and brewing process throughout the day. Those beers include our Chanterelle Biere de Garde, this year's Strawberry Rhubarb, Spring Tonic, and Kvass. We will be open our regular hours that day and serving our full menu in the main tasting room.
Below are the volumes of finished beer from the sap. Each beer takes roughly twice the amount of sap to produce these quantities.
Maple: Roughly 52 gallons; 550 bottles
Walnut: Roughly 31.5 gallons; 330 bottles
Birch: Roughly 17.5 gallons; 180 bottles