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2019 Spontaneous : Strawberry

This wild project has been a long time in the works for us here at the brewery. It started with a trip to Madison by one of our brewers to meet up with someone as intrigued with wild fermentation as we were. From there birthed an idea that led to a plan that led to a brew that led to a lot of waiting, blending, and more waiting. In fact, that was the hardest part of this whole thing, the down time. Finally however, we have a beer. One that gets the point across and that speaks speaks more to the native flavors of spontaneous and native fermentation than any other beer that we’ve made so far. To explain a little more about the details of this project, let’s first discuss the fact that yeast and bacteria are all around us. The air you breathe and the surfaces you touch contain little single cell organisms that if given the right conditions can make a magic that we like to call fermentation. The method of harnessing these little critters is nothing new, in fact it has been going on for centuries. Utilizing the naturally occurring yeast in the air allows a

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A Different Kind Of Sour

Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami — these are the main flavor components that the human palate can detect and are the basic levels of how we enjoy what goes into our mouth. Whether it’s a well-crafted dish by a local chef, or your go-to beer, oftentimes our favorites incorporate several of these all at once. In beer, we have been well versed on the bitterness of IPAs and the sweetness of our imperial stouts, but the acid component of wild and sour beers is often misunderstood. There are some pretty distinct differences between the main processes of adding acid components to a beer: hot side souring and barrel aging. On the surface, hot side souring is quicker but less complex, while barrel souring can take up to a few years and bring about a balanced and intricate flavor profile. The hot side of beer acidification is usually done in either the mash or the boiling vessel and will be one of the style categories at our Celebration of Funk festival on Saturday, September 30th. At Penrose and many American craft breweries these days, we create a bright, clean acid by adding the bacteria Lactobacillus into the brew kettle for

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Celebrating the funk

When designing our first festival here at Penrose Brewing, we wanted to bring together some of our closest brewing friends who make some of our favorite beer styles. Our focus for this turned to the wild and funkier styles of the world in an effort to help educate people on the similarities and differences between them all. WHAT IS FUNK AND WHY DO WE CELEBRATE IT? We use the term funk here in a loose definition of the way we use the term wild. To us, wild and funk beer means the beer uses non-traditional brewing yeasts or bacteria. By traditional definitions, most beer is either made with Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Saccharomyces pastorianus yeasts. On the ground level, this breaks out to ales vs lagers. However, over the years many additional organisms like Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus have made their way into styles from Berlin to Brussels to London. So funk in this case is used to describe non-traditional beer yeast. Breaking this down, you can still use these in addition to traditional beer years or own their own, giving each use and organism the ability to bring out unique and interesting flavor profiles. For the inaugural year of our

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