Whether we’re brewing a Belgian saison or a West Coast IPA, we will use a style appropriate yeast in order to accurately produce a beer in the desired style. This ensures that the clove flavor is there when it should be, and isn’t there when it shouldn’t be. We have our favorites, and we like to use them when we make traditional style beers.
We have a large selection of non-traditional yeast cultures that we maintain in house. It’s not easy work, but it does ensure some really fun and interesting beers. These yeasts often produce unusual fruit flavors, that pair great with modern hops in NEIPA. They also make unusual interpretations of more classic styles. We really like to use an expressive landrace yeast in pale ale, since it produces a delicious, crushable beer. Sour beer is a very yeast forward style of beer. We have house mixed cultures that we have captured from fruit and flowers, as well as other unique microbes that we blend with our house strains to produce interesting sour beers. Some of our sours are barrel aged and others are not. We do not make “kettle sours,” as we have developed mixed cultures that sour quickly and still produce a complex beer.
Spontaneous fermentation is probably the most mysterious of all the techniques used to make beer. This is the traditional method used by Lambic brewers in Belgium. When the wort is ready to be fermented, it is moved in to a large, open container called a “coolship” (koelschip in Dutch.) The wort cools in the overnight air and yeast and bacteria that are naturally in the air drop in to the wort and begin populating and fermenting. In the future, we have plans to build a coolship and place it under our window so that we can produce a distinct San Jose sour beer.