What you’re looking at above is a view from the top of Cellar 2, home to the new batch of foeders that were shipped all the way from France last year. Since then, the fine folks in the cellar have been hard at work reassembling, rehydrating and—the end goal—reimagining these former wine vessels as a home for delicious sour beer. As we roll up to the end of 2014, a bit of awesome news for all you sour beer geeks: 21 of the 32 new foeders are now officially filled with beer (huzzah!)
In case you haven’t been following along, our cellar—aka the foeder forest, for obvious reasons—now totals a whopping 64 vessels. While 11 foeders from the new batch are still under repair, we fully expect to have every single one filled with beer no later than March 2015 (hurray!).
So how exactly does that process work? Once a new foeder’s deemed ready to house beer, we begin by filling it 20-percent of the way with sour beer from another foeder, which contains all the bacteria needed to inoculate the wood for continued souring use. The remaining 80-percent is then filled with fresh beer, and away we go. Generally, it takes about two years before the beer’s conditioned enough to blend into our various sour releases, like La Folie. In fact, the process is so reliable, we haven’t had to grow new bacteria in a lab since the late ’90s—that’s right, even our sour beer program is sustainable (woot!).
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