February 12th, 2016 – The quest for funk is a long and arduous journey. We acknowledged that patience was going to be paramount when we started this project. Our first official brew day for Lambic-inspired beers took place in January of 2015, and we knew that it would be a while before the beer let us know that it was ready to be blended and bottled. Furthermore, we understood that the bottle conditioning process would add even more time to the waiting period. So in the meantime, instead of just sitting around, twiddling our thumbs and playing lots of Cards Against Humanity, we decided to create a series of beers that would fit into our realm of creativity and passion, but that are much quicker to produce … and thus our Propagation Series was born.
As soon as we decided to create the Propagation Series, we realized it offered a variety of opportunities and benefits for our overall goal. Most importantly, it gave us a chance to experiment on beers that only take a couple months to make, as opposed to the length of time our Lambic-inspired beers will take. So far the Propagation Series has given us the chance to:
- Test our house cultures, see how they perform, and dial them in.
- Experiment with different ingredients, whether that be a new malt in the mash tun, or a new fruit in the barrel.
- Test our bottling line to find the optimal conditioning yeast and carbonation levels.
- Improve our working knowledge of blending practices.
- Have some funky fresh beers to drink and enjoy while we wait!
Ultimately, we decided that, in order to gain the most knowledge about our little bacterial and yeasty critters, we would never make the same beer twice in this series. By doing so, we challenge ourselves to experiment and concoct as many new outcomes as we can in this early phase. With Propagation Series 256 and 512 releasing at the end of this month, we are roughly halfway through this experimental journey.
If you have been following the Prop Series closely, you’ll have noticed that our number-naming system has been doubling with each release. The inspiration for this nomenclature is based on our precious house culture, which by performing mitosis undergoes cellular division at a doubling rate and evolves along the way. We began with two basic beers, Prop 001, a Brettanomyces-based Saison, and Prop 002, a Berliner Weisse style beer. Since then, we have purposefully progressed, creating more and more complex iterations of these two base styles. We started our first alterations by changing some of the wheat in the Prop 002 Berliner Weisse with different grains. We then took the Prop 001 Brett Saison and chose to dry-hop it with a variety of hops. Then came the time for barrel-aging: we rolled out an oak barrel-aged version of our Brett Saison, along with a small batch of a fruited variant as well. For those of you who missed that delicious plum version, don’t fret! More fruited versions are to come.
Lastly, we would like to thank everyone who has come out and supported us in these early days at Beachwood Blendery. These beers, and your involvement in the consumption of these beers, are helping to shape our future. We are having a blast during this phase, which is setting us on a path toward discovery and success. We are counting down the days to when we can finally introduce you all to our fully matured and delicious Artful Bières.
-The Blendery Team