This past Friday at Bellwoods we were lucky enough to host a collaboration brew with the awesome guys from Trou Du Diable. Though they had a very busy weekend full of beer-y events, we are so appreciative and humbled that they were able to make time for us. After a bit of brainstorming in previous weeks we decided that the brew should be something light and sessionable for summer, with the addition of tart fruit. With our mutual love for Belgian styles in mind, we pieced together a great recipe. The brew went smoothly, Isaac’s shopping spree was successful, and we now have a raspberry Saison happily bubbling away in the fermentor.
And though the brew was definitely the focus of the day, we also got a chance to steal Andre and Luc away to sample some beers aging in barrels. We tried a young tripel, an IPA, and one of our oldest beers (at over a year in barrels). Though we’ve amassed quite a number of barrels throughout the last year, we’re still quite new at the game, so it’s especially nice to talk with breweries that have barreling programs as refined as TDD. Andre and Luc gave us their thoughts about blending and maintaining the microflora but we didn’t let them relax for long. A double brew day is long (13+ hours!) and it was soon back to slave labour at the ol’ tank farm.
Andre mashed in with us on our auger-less system and got a feel for what it’s like to lift several 25kg grain bags (over your head and up a flight of stairs). Aside from that we tried to keep new brewer hazing to a minimum, and by that I mean we didn’t make them peel potatoes in the kitchen — because let’s be honest, our affinity for french fries certainly isn’t going anywhere.
On a more serious note, it was a great experience to brew and talk shop with Andre, but it would really be unfair not to mention that Luc pressed at least one button, and threw in some pre-measured hops. which is to say, his help was absolutely indispensable.
We eagerly await the day when the fruits of our labour will be all ready to drink, and until then, steal sips from the fermentor
often when we see fit. Perhaps we’ll even be able to do a collaborative barrel-aged beer in the future, and in the meantime we’ll do our best to get our act together and learn some God damn French already.
Nous sommes désolés!