Always pushing the limits of Belgian inspired American beers, Portland, Maine’s Allagash brewery have developed their very own Koelschip for creating spontaneously fermented beers similar to the lambic style. While sour beers utilizing wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces have been popping up all over, all of the American versions of these are brewed using cultivated yeast strains. That is, until now.
The new Koelschip – aka a very large open air room with a steel tank and wooden ceiling (see photo above) – will change all that. For a few months out of the year, the weather by the Allagash brewery will be just right for cultivating “good” wild bacteria which accumulate on the ceiling and then fall into the beer tank. The beer is then pumped back indoors for fermenting and later aged in barrels.
Check out the awesome video below and keep an eye out for the first batch (no release date announced). In the interim, grab a glass of Allagash’s amazing Interlude which is a sour Belgian that was “accidentally” infected with local yeast and started this whole adventure. More photo’s here.
UPDATE: Beernews.org reports that this beer will make its wordwide debut tomorrow, December 16th in Philadelphia:
So when does the beer make its U.S. debut? Tomorrow night according to Felicia D’Ambrosio of the Philadelphia City Paper: “Rob Tod, owner of Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine, will visit Philadelphia to make the U.S. debut of the first-ever American spontaneously fermented lambic in a Tria Fermentation School class on Thursday, Dec. 17. Hyped lambic-heads have already sold the class out, a testament to Philadelphia’s devotion to the rarest and weirdest of all artisanal beer styles.”