The Brooklyn Brewery is busy as ever. First, the Williamsburg brewmasters just announced the Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment, a new series of limited-edition bottles dedicated to the brewery’s one-off experiments, which heretofore they’ve mostly kept to themselves. According to a blog post, these are bottle-conditioned specialty brews, requiring a “little more incubation and a whole lot of tender love and care.” You’re unlikely to see them too often on shelves.
The first tasting is this weekend (tickets sold out almost immediately), and the beer on offer is Wild Streak. According to head brewmaster Garrett Oliver, Wild Streak begins as a Belgian-inspired golden ale, before softening over several months of aging in bourbon barrels. The beer is then bottle and re-fermented with priming sugar, Champagne yeast, and a wild yeast strain called Brettanomyces, which gives the beer a fruity, funky character.
“Wild Streak’s aroma blends citrus fruit and notes of vanilla and coconut with an earthy wild yeast character,” Oliver told Bedford + Bowery. “The beer is very dry and almost spirituous in the finish.”
The creation of Wild Yeast was, like so many great inventions, an accident. “The original version of this beer was a problematic batch of our Brooklyn Local 1,” Oliver says. “The wayward batch tasted fine, but it wasn’t exactly Local 1, so we put it in bourbon barrels for nine months and then added Brettanomyces at bottling. Within months the beer was transformed into something fascinating.”
In other Brooklyn Brewery news, the Culinary Institute of America announced that they’re teaming up with the brewery to develop a small craft brewery on CIA’s campus in Hyde Park, New York. The brewery, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015, will be integrated into the institute’s curriculum. Juniors and seniors pursuing a concentration in Advanced Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality (I regret not majoring in this) will staff the brewery and learn how to ferment and brew craft beers, as well as how to run a small food and beverage operation. Oliver will assist CIA faculty in developing curriculum and recipes.
“This partnership is forward thinking both in terms of culinary education and college dining,” says Waldy Malouf, senior director of special projects for the CIA, in a press release. “In addition to being a craft brewery for campus visitors and students 21 and older, it will serve as a research and development classroom to create and test new beer flavors.” Sounds tasty.