At Donzoko, we focus on making clean, sessionable beers. Such as Northern Helles. Which is a beer i’m delighted to be constantly tweaking and improving.
However I’ve always been excited about mixed fermentation, and the complex taste of beers that use a wider array of yeasts and bacteria.
For this purpose, I’ve just installed two new Stainless FVs (with oak staves suspended inside) for mix ferm production, and working on more barrels.
Our first release down this path is Genever Red, a Flanders Red style beer fermented and aged in a BOLS Genever barrel.
My pal Tim Ward, a brilliant local mixologist, reached out with the idea for a Genever beer, and introduced me to this delicious juniper flavoured malt spirit. A few emails and weeks later, a French Limousin Oak cask turned up from BOLS in the Netherlands, previously containing their delicious barrel aged Genever.
The base beer is made with all German malt and hops. A local ale yeast fermented the beer in the barrel at high temperatures, and then our house acid culture and brettanomyces was introduced. Over 12 months of subsequent ageing, the fermentation esters have rounded into deep red fruit flavours, with hints of juniper and resin from the barrel, and a pleasant acidity,
The lush artwork was done by my pal Liz at Start Today Illustration, its being released in keg at Hop City, and then after in 375ml bottle.
With this beer I’ve worked with new techniques, a mixologist, friends and the worlds oldest spirits brand. Not bad for a lager brewery in a car park!
Check out @starttodayillustration, BOLS.com and the beer at Hop City 2019.