DETAILS ON ENJOYING OUR BEERs
We like to code every beer that hits your lips! Each beer is a unique bottling from a single barrel between 55 and 120 gallons. Our lot number is to the right of the stated alcohol beginning with the year, month and date of bottling followed by the batch number or in our case barrel number (#17 on the photo above with a packing date of 1/13/15) . When you have a question or want more information about your beer you can always email us with this lot number and we can give you more nitty-gritty than perhaps you want to know.
Please Note: We are NOT trying to brew to style so please use the style stated on the label as reference rather than a definition of what we have brewed.
All of our beers are naturally carbonated in the bottle or the keg and they will evolve due to this secondary or some cases tertiary fermentation. It is best to chill our beers well (35-40 F) after settling the natural yeast in the bottle prior to serving and slowly decant off this yeast into your glassware. We suggest you serve our beers in wine glasses or bowled glass ware. This will dissipate the carbonation some and allow the beer to breath as the flavors will continue to evolve in the glass and as it warms. Our beers tend to have chill haze which makes the beer appear cloudy and turbid when really cold as they have not be fined or filtered, thus is a reflection of how raw and pure these beers are. As they warm up you will see clarity return to the beers.
Our beers will show best from 3 to 8 months of cool/cellar aging after the bottling date (see above). They will continue to age well beyond a year if stored properly and often timing is a matter of preference rather than a requirement.
the crow and the water-Dry stout
The Irish Dry Stout has an amazing history of evolution and some of my favorite beer styles have evolved from it over the last century. The idea was always with me to craft a distinct approach to this style and a when a fellow beer enthusiast, Jim Daley, pushed me over the edge...well it wasn't hard! The grain bill is all Full Pint grown in Madras OR and malted on the Estate there, blended with a pinch of Colorado's wheat malt along with roasted barley as well as some black malt to broaden the roast tonalities. After a quick fermentation from 10 plato our goal is to age this beer in freshly emptied Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for a short period (3-4 weeks). This adds a subtle vinous note as well as dropping the pH or increasing the acidity some as some. This beer is a pleasure to consume and like the more commercial representations of the style quite drinkable. Lot Code 161122139 at 5% Alc. v/v is our first go at it and might be found as Tenure II if you know someone in the know...
Local Origin Series-Farmers Ale
The idea behind Local Origins was to create a platform on which to brew and craft beers whose 'Origins' can be shifted when needed as many of these ingredients will be very limited and change batch to batch. As our malt house begins to take shape and we will be able to malt our barleys, as well as other local farmers, this label will allow us to express their uniqueness of character/flavor. These bottlings will be more rare and seldom at first although we hope to have more of them with time and of course with our maltings. You will need to refer to the lot code on the bottle and the web site to crib the 'Origins' as well as specific local additions.
Our first bottling , 161005125 or lot 125, is called Plum Project due to the infusion of local Muir Beauty plums sourced from Rancho Chimiles here in Napa. The base malt was Thoroughbred 6 Row from Carrol County, MD with a 40% addition of white wheat from Alamosa CO. and the hops grown locally in Napa at Wise Acre Vineyards on Howell Mountain (Cascade-Fresh Hop) with water from St Helena. After primary in Stainless Steel we racked to a 2nd use Chardonnay barrel for two months of sur lie aging. It continued to ferment off of our resident brewery yeast to a very dry 1.002 SPG and an Alc. by Vol. at 7.4%. Our second release is called Beer Terroir is Coded 161115138and is one of the first beers we have brewed without the use of any barrel time. The idea behind it is to showcase the expression of our house yeast which has now been genetically finger printed for tracking. This beer is between a Belgian Pale Ale and a Blonde in style with estery yeast, low malt and hop aroma as well as low bitterness (20 IBUs) and Alc. by vol. at 5.7%. Our newest bottling is 170321151 and is made from Pinnacle 2 row barley Bio-dynamically grown in Mendocino County at Live Power Farms and floor malted at our own malt house. This Local Origins is a Pale Ale using local Clear Lake Cascade Hops, St Helena Water and a simple ale yeast. We aged it in neutral Hungarian oak barrels for 2 months before racking and bottle conditioning. This beer is being released as a membership beer (Q2-17) and there will be a few kegs available to taste at some of our accounts.
the Bear and the bees-Honey Ale
Our Honey Ale is a collaboration with Rob Keller of Napa Valley Bee Company and who lives and breaths with the Buzz of the Bees. He had foraged some honey from multiple wild hives from around the Napa Valley and offered us the opportunity to create a beer with it. We chose a clean and light base barley sourced and malted in Madras Oregon with very low color yet a with a distinct malt tonality from the variety Full Pint Barley. We used our relatively soft water from St Helena and Hallertau Hops from Yakima, WA as well as our French Saison yeast to create a beer that was dry and crisp on the finish. The honey was married with the beer at the end of boil with specific timing and technique to retain and boost the impact of its aromatics. After the primary fermentation and settling in stainless we racked to a new French Oak barrel (600 L puncheon M toast -Saury) and aged briefly for settling and light oak aromatics. This first release Lot 107 (160414107) is allocated for memberships Q2-16 although can be tasted at the brewery for a short time. Its flavor profile is somewhere between a chardonnay, dry mead-Hydromel style and a Belgian Strong Ale its soft spiced with round honey tones and oak notes. A focused and clean palate (TFG 1.000) with very subtle hop bitterness. Our second release lot 124 is crafted using Vince Tofinelli's Honey from Calistoga where he grows organic wine grapes that are dry farmed as well. He is veteran of this valley as a 4th generation farmer and we are excited to show case this beautiful honey with our beer.
the boy who cried wolf-Biere de Garde Ale
This ale is our first of our beers to be brewed using the malts from Valley Malt in Hadley, Massachusetts where Andrea and her husband Christian grow and source their barley in New York State. We were really excited to begin brewing with their malt. We brewed this beer with the variety Wintmalt and as we got a little more color from it we gave it a new label. The first rendition Batch 91 was brewed with Glacier hops on the bitter side, fermented using a French saison yeast then aged in a Chardonnay Puncheon (450 L) for 2.5 months. It settled beautifully and was then racked for bottling where we introduced a small amount of Brettanomyces for some subtle funk tones for the bottle bouquet as well as the natural carbonation. Aromatically its has a light caramel nose that is layered with earthy-malt tones, spice from both the saison yeast as well as the Brett followed by hints of chardonnay notes from the wine barrel. A lively palate is focused on a mid-palate carmel/malt sweetness, chardonnay oak notes and hints of bitterness on the dry almost slightly tart finish (not soured). A wine like terminal gravity at 1.000-2 and clocks in at an ABV of 7.0% by volume. Our second addition was allocated to our memberships, Lot 117, and spent 2 months in barrels building a strong secondary fermentation of Brett Brux prior to going to bottle.
The Birds and the beasts-Barley wine Ale
Our version of the wine of beers and fable, The Birds and the Beast, is a great analogy to what it actually is beer or wine! Its clearly beer as its made from 100% Full Pint barley Estate Grown and Malted in Madras Oregon by Mecca Malt and Seth Klann's' Team. Our goal from the out set is to achieve about 21.5 to 22.5 Plato or percent sugar without boiling for an extended time thus we use double the malt needed for most our other beers by doing a double mash and sparging very little. The malt is paired with our local Centennial Hop from Clear Lake to balance the high gravity. We use a low impact yeast for maximum malt/hop expression without a lot of yeast driven character and ferment really dry which we prefer over the sweeter examples out there with higher final gravities... leaving the style guidelines to rest we took a more wine focused approach. We aged all of our Barley Wines in Hungarian Oak with lots 83, 86 and 88 in New Barrels. As far as age worthiness this beer (or wine) clocks in at 9.5 to 11% Alcohol by Volume and should show well in to its years. Our most recent release went to our memberships and was aged for 8 months in the 2nd use Hungarian barrels used for the latter lots listed above. We blended Goethe and Nietzsche barrels at bottling (Lot Code: 161101101). If you are lucky enough to try this one its really where we want to be! The Freud barrel is still aging so we will release that when its mentally stable....
the Peacock and Jupiter-white Ale
This White Ale or a Belgian Wit-bier was created from an earlier rendition that we had worked on with our even smaller pilot system. We called it Whit's Wit after my wife, Whitney, for obvious reasons! We brew the base with Scarlet variety barley from Alamosa CO and 33% White Wheat, then with a light bittering hand of hops and aroma infuse Cardamom, Coriander, Lemon Grass and Mandarin rinds at the end of the kettle. We used an new selection of yeast for primary in stainless then racked to neutral white wine barrels for one month of aging. We usually see another pick up in fermentation from a house yeast, then rack to bottling and natural fermentation in the bottle/keg for carbonation. This beer is a foamy delight in the summer or winter its 5.6 to 6.5% Alc. by Vol is hidden by explosive spice characters that almost seem like a citrus soda in the palate, clean and crisp.
THe goose that laid the golden eggs- Saison Ale
Our Saison style ale is our first true 'Brett beer' short for Brettanomyces which is yeast genus know to produce wild earthy like aromatics. We added Brettanomyces cultures to our Golden Ale base after the primary fermentation with a Belgian yeast strain while in a Puncheon Barrel (500 L). After about 3 to 8 months of aging the beer develops a new personality. We then package a small amount of this aged beer and then top up the barrel using another Puncheon of the base beer, un-Bretted, this Puncheon is then retopped with another fresh batch of the Golden Ale, thus creating a SOLERA style of aging and a Goose that will lay Golden Beer! Our base Golden Ale is made with a variety of base malts primarily Copeland from Fallon NV and then Thoroughbred 6 Row from Chester County PA among others so we have designated it 'Mixed Craft Malts'. One finds that this beers aromatics are driven by the Brett rather than the source malts nuance thus a variety designation doesn't apply. This beer is complex, vinous and mysteriously delicious although I have to say many of our wine focused friends are timid to its nature. Our first release was a Members only release, Batch 28 (100%copeland). We have another, Batch 50 , thats average age is 6 months in our Solera Puncheons(Copeland and Throughbred varieties). Batch 51 is our last bottling and is roughly 9.1% Alc. by Vol and is 100% or so of Thoroughbred 6 Row. The over all aging was nearly 11 months in the Solera so its got a lot of Soul-Era.
THE dog and the Clog- Extra Special Bitter Ale
Our ESB is another beer crafted with Full Pint that is Estate grown and malted in Madras Oregon. This barley tends to have a lot of malt intensity that works well with this style of beer: a malt forward, mild bitterness and very smooth. This beer has been brewed multiple times with small tweaks in the water sources and elevage or aging side. The use of used chardonnay barrels seems to bring out more spice aromas while we have another that was aged in brand new french oak barrel (tight grain Allier M+ toast) that offers a layering of malt and barrel toast that seems to marry the flavors together nicely. The Golding hops seem to take a back seat on this beer aromatically although there is a nice bitter snap to the finish to what maybe thought of as a Strong Ale over an ESB in regards to style.
THE peacock and the crane-kolsch Style Ale
Our Kolsch style Ale is not exactly what one might think of as a Kolsch. Its clearly far from home and a far cry from its defined character attributes yet we opted to play house and add some winemakers spin to it. The base malt is Scarlet from Alamosa CO and offers a clean malt spectrum that allows our yeast to push the style, while the St Helena well water and Hallertau hops add subtlety to favor profile and then aged in a Riesling barrel or Chardonnay barrel for three to four weeks (freshly emptied Chardonnay and Riesling barrels-we wanted some light wine character in the finished beer). Its clearly our own mad minds that have created this beautiful and delicately balanced beer as its more of a Kellerbier Ale, than a Kolsch.
THE Lion and the Mouse-Abbey Ale
The Lion and the Mouse is inspired by the Belgian Abbey Dubbel brewed using a less traditional approach, like all of our beers it is driven by the raw materials and where they come from. This beer combines two core ingredients that come from two families: one in the Napa Valley, California Lewelling Vineyards-Spring Water andthe other Madras, Oregon Mecca Malt-Full Pint Estate grown malt. These two farming families have relations dating back to the Oregon Trail. We paired these up with a very light dose of Gargoyle Hops from Clear lake and after fermentation aged in a neutral French Oak wine barrel. This beer is warm and inviting with a bold nose of spicy nose with hints of dried fruit, caramel-toffee tones followed by rich textured yet dry finish.
THE FOX AND THE STORK- WEIZENBOCK ALE
Our weizenbock was brewed using an heirloom variety of wheat called Sonora grown here in St Helena by the CIA farm to table program. We chose to use it un-malted at 25% of the grain bill and blended in our Copeland Variety 2 row malted barley, then used a local well water with high mineral content. We fermented using a classic Bavarian yeast strain to illuminated the style, then aged in a 2nd use chardonnay barrel for about two weeks. The result is bright with fruit, spice and wheat on the nose offering a crisp and dry finish (1.004).
The Fox and the Leopard - Doppelbock - Lager
This richly styled lager is perhaps far from a traditional Doppel Bock due to the use of wine barrels during aging, Calistoga Well Water as well as our use of Glacier hops. A 5 week 55 F fermentation yielded a crisp and malty driven beer with mild hop notes. It was then racked to a freshly emptied first use Petite Verdot French oak barrel from 2012 where it aged for another 6 weeks. The aromas are very bold and bright showcasing the impacts of the barrel while the power of this 9.1% Alc. v/v lager pushes back both with flavor and palate texture. It will be interesting to see this beer evolve and just how much the barrel may integrate in over time....Not sure it will last long enough to wait it out. A Membership only release...perhaps available to taste at the brewery...or until we can make more!
The Fox and the Grapes - Ale brewed with Petite Sirah Grape Must
It was the middle of the 2014 harvest and we were steadily harvesting through our vineyard blocks when the old thought of a fusion beer Wine + Beer = Wier, or so I thought! Petite Sirah, a juicy dark red wine grape with low acid, lots of color and a solid tannin profile seemed to be the right fit. We made two batches one with some variations and aged both in a combination of French Chestnut wood and a older Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrel. After 7 monthsof aging we had a very dry beer (mostly due to the wild cultures of yeast and natural wine bacteria). We did some light blending and the result is...well.. 'Wier'... The bright fruit aromas and flavors from the grapes are almost Rose' wine like yet the core of it is a beer rich smooth beer with light bitterness then dry crisp and carbonated with subtle chestnut and oak spice. This beer continues to evolve and each year we push the amount of Petite Sirah we can get into the beer. The 2015 bottling Lot 16010665 was more of a Rose' Wier and has aged beautifully. When the 2016 vintage rolled around we knew that we wanted it to be bigger and also play with some of the white grapes as well. We did three bottlingsfrom the 2016 vintage: Lot-170112135 which is 100% Napa Valley Petite Sirah from Dollar Ranch in Pope Valley and Scarlet Variety Barley from Alamosa CO, Lot 170228131 a White Wier using Riesling Grapes from Oak Knoll District here in Napa Valley as well as Thoroughbred 6 Row grown in Carrol county, MD. It has grassy-hay like malt tones as well as subtle stone fruit tones. (Note these beers are not soured with LAB-Lactic Acid Bacteria so all acidity comes from the fruit). Our last bottling, Lot 170404137 was made with Petit Verdot from both Atlas Peak and Pritchard Hill and the base malt was Full pint from Madras OR. It is the most intense of the three and perhaps the most acidic as well.
THE FOOL AND THE CART - INDIA PALE ALE
IPA has become one of our favorite styles and we all love hops. As we worked on our recipes over the years we have made some good ones although we knew we wanted something different. A beer with a hop profile that could be single hopped, pairs well with the single variety Copeland Malt and handle the impacts of barrel aging. We tossed our old recipes out the window after working with an Heirloom variety of hop called Gargoyle that was resurrected by our local hop grower in Lake County. The grain bill has some crystal malt although is mainly single malt Copeland variety. We bumped the bitterness up and hit the wort hard (w/ hops) at cooling/knockout. After primary the beer was aged in 3rd use Cabernet Barrels for 1 to 2 months. This style of IPA is more old world with spice tones dominating rather than the fruitier styles more commonly found.
THE LARKS IN THE CORN - BLUE CORN PALE ALE
The idea behind this beer is to single hop with our locally grown Cascade and have a grain bill with approximately 30% micro malted blue corn (milled at our local Bale Grist Mill-est.1846). To craft a refreshing style while showcasing some of the color and flavor you get from the blue corn. The barrel age program is limited with another hop addition prior to racking for bottling. The result is a crowd pleaser that parallels many milder IPAs yet offers aromatic beauty of one of the greatest hops currently cultivated.
THE WIND AND SUN - GOLDEN ALE
Our rendition of a Belgian Strong Ale with Saison styling offers the spicy notes derived from the yeast without late hop additions. We use a straight 2 row Rebel Micro Malted Copeland variety for the grain bill. This beer is fermented in stainless steel and is aged in 3rd use French oak Chardonnay barrels for about 1 to 2 months which gives the beer a subtle vinous character and oak tones. Our Golden will age beautifully for months and potentially years to come due to its low terminal gravity that also makes it crisp, lean and deceivingly potent.
THE VIPER AND FILE - Belgian STYLE BROWN ALE
Our Belgian Brown Ale with a unique twist. This base comes from a more classic American brown ale using Copeland 2 Row from Fallon, NV (will shift to Thoroughbred 6 row from Carrol County, MD in 2016) some crystal and roasted malts then utilizing a Belgian Yeast and a New French Chestnut barrel for aging. The approach was to balance the toast/roast of the barrel with the roasted malts in the grain bill while protecting the aromatics of the yeast, no easy task. After utilizing some wine making techniques and careful handling, the result is a beautiful beer that combines in harmony both New and Old World styles. We finally have a good source of more French Chestnut so you will be seeing this beer more frequently if you come to visit or are a Member.
the old man and Death - Imperial Rye Stout
Appropriately, The Old Man and Death fable, is a darkly brewed beer. This Imperial Stout recipe pulls from our experience with past stouts with an added twist of rye that makes up about 14% of the grain bill was grown in Fallon, Nevada and micro malted at Rebel. The base malt is a 2 row barley called ‘Full Pint’ that was bred at Oregon State University by Pat Hayes, grown in Brownsville, Oregon by Scott Sayer and then micro-malted in Colorado…a long strange trip. It has slightly more nutty/biscuit flavor and works well with the spicy notes from the rye and the roasted malts. We racked this beer into a French oak wine barrel for aging. This beer has it all from layered aroma profile to a fully textured palate even with a low terminal gravity of 2 Plato (1.008 SPG) and 8.1 to 8.4% v/v Alcohol
The old deer and fawn - Winter Spice Ale
For our first spiced beer in the brew house we joined forces with the Laffort team to create a winter strong ale using one of their select beer yeasts. We styled it with darker crystal malts and some espresso malt from the Colorado Malting Co while our base malt is Full Pint from Oregon. The hop profile is all back palate or bittering with the use of Ivanhoe then pushing the spice rack to the aroma which included Juniper Berries on the final 5 minutes followed by other additions you will have to guess at. We fermented cooler at 58 to 62 F for about 4 weeks and racked it to French Oak used for Cabernet Sauvignon although we limited the barrel time mainly for expression of spice and to assist in settling. Our final numbers hit about 35 IBUS with 7.6% Alc v/v and a pH of 4.5. This beer has a big rich palate with lots of spice on the nose and hints at a more robust brown ale in style. There will be limited amounts of this available as it is a single wine barrel batch so reach out to us directly to get a bottle.
the kite, frog and mouse - Rye Ale
This strong ale of sorts was the first to be crafted using a local well in Calistoga. An area known for minerality and beneficial health properties we thought it wouldn’t hurt us to make a little beer with it. This ale’s core malt is the Full Pint barley grown in Brownsville, OR while the Rye Malt was grown in Fallon, NV at 26% of the total grain bill. The generous spice and lift that Rye malt brings an aroma that is completely seductive as well as the synergy with the Ivanhoe heirloom hop this beer seems to get better and better with age. It clocks in with about 65 IBUs, 8.1 -8.6% Alc v/v and a pH of 4.7. Its terminal gravity of 1.004 adds to a crisp savory finish. Our lot code 15053041 was aged in Bourbon barrels for about two weeks and is unmistakeably intense. We partnered up with The Bounty Hunter andtheir great source of Bourbon to make this happenThis batch will be available for a very short time although its possible a few bottles may leave the brewery and could end up in your glass.
THE DONKEY AND THISTLE-PALE LAGER
One of our favorite styles of beer is the Pilsener Style. The subtle sulfides and nuanced malt characters framed by a balance hop profile seems to awaken the senses. We crafted our pale lager after a more Bohemian Style while pushing the Original Gravity to fall more in a Mai Bock style without filtration it would be a Keller bier or Cellar Beer! ..Somehow many of our beers never seem to quite fit a mold in the style guidelines thus their personality shows as well as the barrel aging in French Oak-Chardonnay for 1 to 2 months. We produced several batches of this beer utilizing several different lager yeast strains fermented at 55 F, aged at 58 F and thus final alcohols very from 6.6% to 7.6% v/v depending on the lot. The barley is 100% micro Malted Scarlet from Alamosa Colorado at 7500 feet elevation, while the hops are Organic Glacier and grown locally in Clear Lake, California.
THE RINGDOVE AND THE HUNTER-PORTER
The Ring Dove and the Hunter is a beer I have been brewing for decades, once called 'Peoples Porter' , it has always been a Robust Style Porter and it has inevitably changed throughout the years (20+). This rendition is framed by the malty-rich and biscuity Full Pint malted barley, Black Patent malt, a pinch of Coffee malt and hints of Caramel 100-120. We hopped with US grown Goldings hops from Yakima Valley in WA, which were hit hard during set and yields were very low so we were lucky to get our hands on some. We aged the beer in a red and white wine barrel for three weeks prior to bottling. A spicy herbal nose balanced with subtle roasted malts and a mild bitterness brings this beer alive and should age gracefully in your cellar at 6.8. to 7.3% Alc v/v.
THE EAGLES NEST-DOUBLE INDIA PALE ALE
The Eagle's Nest fable is just bad ass and the artwork by Barlow does it justice thus we needed to craft a beer that could be held to same level of morality! West coast IPA is the style framed with Colorado's Scarlet Malted Barley and a pinch of Belgian Special B to color it, a long bittering hop time 110 minutes with Amarillo and Citra (Version A) then more and more and more on the finish. We introduced Version B (Chinook, Glacier and Magnum) in the fall of 2015 to offer a different expression of hops. We opted not to dry hop as we feel there is adequate punch from the whirlpool/knock-out steep. After a warm fermentation we racked to a 3rd use Chardonnay barrel for aging for two to three weeks only. This highly aromatic beer is bright with hops as well as subtle barrel tones and a rich yet dry texture terminating at 1.006 to 1.008 and alcohol at 8.4 to 8.8 % v/v and 85 IBUs.