Sunday March 4, 2012 @ 21:28 PM
The "Low Hanging Fruit" is a non-traditional Belgian-inspired blond ale fermented with a Trappist yeast strain and finished with apple juice added to the fermenter. The "Low Hanging Fruit" was a collaborative brew between two general managers of two Charlottesville restaurants and us here at DBBC. Casey Hall general manager of Brixx Wood Fired Pizza and Josh French GM of Rapture joined us to brew this beer. We wanted something that woulden't be overly heavy on the pallet yet complex. The trick of this beer was to create enough body to balance out the juice addition which would dry the beer out. We mashed in low to maximize the production of the clove component to fermentation then immediately raised the mash temperature to a level that would unsure some dextrin production adding body to the beer. We lightly hopped the beer with the experimental hop HBC 342 and Sorachi Ace. To add to the complexity we lightly spiced the beer with Jasmine Green tea during the whirlpool. While this all might sound a little "busy", I can assure you everything was done with subtlety in mind. After primary fermentation was complete we added 15 gallons of apple juice concentrate (an equivalent of 90 gallons of juice!!!) letting the beer itself re-constitute the juice concentrate and create a secondary fermentation that naturally carbonated the beer. The beer is being cooled to lagering temperature and tastes great. The malt body holds up to the natural acidity and complete fermentedness (I just made that up) of the apple juice and the fruity notes from the yeast create a wonderful synergy. Look for this beer to be on tap and Brixx, Rapture, and Devils Backbone in April.
Also in the tank is a beer we're calling "1949 Heartland Lager" and a beer I've wanted to brew for years. The idea came from an excerpt in a rare 1949 beer book and I'll write more about it soon.
Attached are a couple of links to some youtube videos of us (myself, Nate, & Hayes) describing some of the beer coming from our Lexington "Outpost" production brewery with Marc Smith from Virginia Eagle Distriution.
Jason Oliver - Brewmaster