My Warden’s Promise got third place in its category at HOPS BOPS 2012 in Philadelphia! Warden’s Promise is the most complex and involved beer I have ever made, and personally, my favorite beer to drink.
Warden’s Promise is a sour brown ale with a very unique and interesting taste. It is refreshingly tart and malty-sweet at the same time, with complex esters and phenols from brettanomyces yeast. The resulting beer has a nice, thirst-quenching lightness but also caramel sweetness and bready flavor. It is like nothing you’ve ever tasted, but totally pleasant and drinkable.
The unique process of making this beer starts with the wort, or unfermented beer, being split in half. One half is given lactobacillus, the lactic acid-producing bacteria found naturally occurring in grain. The other half is given brettanomyces, the wild cousin of brewer’s yeast found on the skin of fruit and tree bark. Both halves undergo fermentation and then are blended together to make a base beer that is tart but malty at the same time.
Warden’s Promise then undergoes refermentation with a small amount of fruit, which adds another layer of flavor. On this last batch, I used mulberries which grow in my yard. The result is a subtle vinous character.
Pictured below is the Waterford Brewing Garden. Alongside the hops, I also planted elderberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, and currants. These fruits can all be used to add to the beer, lending their subtle tannins and acids to make a deep, wonderful ale.