Today I’m working on the first beer in the Master Series, our line of limited bottled beers. The Master Series is a showcase for our extra special beers. They will come in 16 ounce bottles and be available at a few local vendors.
The first in the series is Realize Truth. Realize Truth is a collaboration between Crooked Run and Village Winery in Waterford. It is a Belgian quadrupel made with locally-grown and produced elderberry wine. Quadrupels are the strongest of the Belgian beers, surpassing dubbels and tripels in both alcoholic strength and malt flavor. In contrast to Heartsong, our dubbel, Realize Truth is made with extra dark candi syrup from our friends at Candi Syrup Inc. This jet black candi syrup has an amazingly complex array of flavors; coffee, burnt raisin, dark plum.
Kent Marrs at Village Winery has been making elderberry wines for years. To make Realize Truth, we blended the base beer with his elderberry syrup to add a subtle fruit note. The result is something truly spectacular and totally unique. You can read more about Village Winery here.
This is one of the more difficult beers to make. This beer is over 9% ABV, which presents some problems that need to be overcome to ensure the beer is smooth and drinkable. Even our mighty Trappist high gravity yeast does not want to work when the alcohol levels reach such a high level. If the beer doesn’t ferment fully and any residual sugars remain, the beer will be cloyingly sweet and unpalatable. The way we ensure total attenuation is to gradually increase the temperature of the fermentation, completing the final push at over 80 degrees. These hot fermentation temperatures create an incredibly complex ester profile in the beer, which blends beautifully with the dark candi syrup flavors. After a period of aging, the beer is released.
Here’s a list of some of the other exciting beers in the Master Series:
Force of Nature: Imperial fresh-hop IPA
Under Shadows of Mountains: Belgian imperial stout
Warden’s Lament: Sour barrel-aged tripel
Endless Summer: Basil saison
Warden’s Promise: Sour raspberry brown ale
Seek Truth: Brandy barrel-aged tripel
One Thousand Leaves: Maple strong ale
1800 IPA: Historical IPA
True Vision: Organic tripel
Naturally Perfect: Organic strong cream ale