We asked Brewer Mike McManus to tell us a bit about Upside Brown, the newest beer in our Brewmaster’s Obsession Series. Upside Brown is making it’s way from the brewery to store shelves now.
Upside Brown is an exploration of bottle-conditioned Brett character in a malty beer, specifically Brett character that enhances and complements the specialty malts. It’s best described a Biere de Garde (beer for keeping), a farmhouse-style brown ale traditionally brewed in Northern France and sometimes thought of as the lesser known cousin of the popular saison style. More so than most styles (if styles are your thing), Biere de Garde has a wide array of examples, from golden to copper to brown. Upside Brown is on the malty end of the spectrum, for sure.
The base beer is brewed with wheat, Munich, a dash of drum-roasted malt, and lightly hopped with French Strisselspalt. Primary fermentation with our unique house yeast strain brings dark, ripe fruits to the party with a slight spicy, phenolic edge. Following primary fermentation, the beer is dosed with a blend of Brettanomyces and Saccharomyces.
We trialed a wide array of yeast blends and varying concentrations in order to get the character we wanted in this beer, a process that involved a lot of waiting and a lot of sampling. This distinctive yeast blend imparts a tart fruitiness, cherry pie character, and a fair amount of funky goodness. However, this is not intended to be a sour beer, there are a lot of misconceptions about Brett beers and sourness.
The beauty of this beer in my mind, is the marriage of the base beer and the elements brought by cellaring with Brett – the beer becomes more complex and more drinkable at the same time. We have cellared the beer for four months in climate-controlled conditions to ensure that you will not be disappointed drinking straight off of the shelf (wait until you get home). Aging will produce a drier beer with even more funky Brett character.
Available for a limited time in 750ml bottles starting October 1st in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, WA, WI. Craft Shack also has some for sale online which they can ship directly to you.