It's Our Birthday -- Part 2

The Part About Motley Cru 2016

This is the second half of our post about the two special releases coming out on May 14th, (the day we'll be celebrating our anniversary). If you want to read up on Grandma's Boy details, you can get the full scoop HERE.

This year's Motley Cru anniversary release is the result of an experiment with locally harvested microflora that dates back to October 2013. Lacking a koelschip, we prepared a saison-like wort, but instead of pitching a commercially purchased yeast culture, we inoculated the wort exclusively with Gewürztraminer grape must from Niagara. We knew those grape skins were likely ripe with all sorts of wild yeast strains and bacteria, and the next day our hopes were confirmed when we had a vigorously fermenting wild ale in our tank.

Once the initial round of fermentation was complete, the beer was transferred to French oak barrels formerly used by Tawse Winery, and monitored closely for the next two years. Along a similar timeline, we were also barrel aging a sour beer in French oak barrels (old use), this one aided by a separate blend of brett (brettanomyces) and bacteria. Late in 2015 (when we usually blend the following year's Motley Cru) the verdict was in, both sets of barrels were tasting great but deserved to be blended for a superior flavour balance.

Motley Cru 2016 is a Niagara Wild Ale Blend w/ Gewürztraminer, an 80/20 split of barrel aged Niagara wild ale (inoculated with grape must) and barrel aged sour. We assume the presence of wild sacch (saccharomyces), various strains of brett, and a small army of lactic acid producing bacteria. The aromatics are distinctly bright and vinous, characterized by floral notes of geranium and lilac, alongside black pepper. The flavour has a nice acidity, and showcases complex layers of brett funk, citrus, white grape, apple, and lychee, within a dry, drinkable body. Perhaps what's most exciting about this beer is that it establishes a strong, geographic tie to Ontario, highlighting unique, local ingredients. Ultimately, MC 2016 was born from the free floating micro-organisms of Niagara, closely controlled and blended by us worker bees at Bellwoods, and made possible by some generous grapes.

As the ancient proverb goes, team work makes the dream work.

MC 2016 is available in 500ml bottle format only, and will be released on May 14th at 11am in our retail store (124 Ossington Ave). We managed to create a relatively sizeable run of bottles (approximately 5200), and with this amount we feel confident that we won't sell out of it for a couple of weeks. As much as a line up that winds around the block can be flattering and hype-fuelling, we aren't trying to subject anyone to that. Tell your friends, tell your neighbours, there should be enough for all! With that in mind, max of 1 case per person (for the first week), 8% ABV, $13/BTL.