On the horizon of West of Africa to be more specific.
Right now I'm firming up an opportunity to put together a concept collaboration with a small Artisan Brewery and Winery on the Canary Islands. It won't be a huge project - but it will be a fun one if it works out. The first concept I'm proposing is a peppery and clean session-ish Saison, gently touched with spices grown on the Canary Islands and in West Africa.
Once I get confirmation from the brewer - and more information regarding available spices, malts, hops, yeast and such - I'll share more about the brewery and the beer. Assuming the first concept works out well - there's a very interesting possibility of using one of their kiloliter open fermenters for a wild ale some time in the future.
Beancurdturtle Brewing Saison 1833 is a session Saison at 3.5% ABV, brewed with heirloom grains, lactobacillus delbrueckii, brettanomyces bruxellensis, and a Belgian yeast strain. The acidity from the lactobacillus, and the funk from the brettanomyces are a perfect compliment for pan con tomate, Spanish boquerón stuffed olives, and queso de cabra con romero.
Lunch is served at Beancurdturtle Brewing. Wish you were here.
Appearance 3/5: Light gold with a touch of warmth. Big fluffy white head.
Aroma 4.5/5: Earth and spices. Tart apples crushed right from the tree. King trumpet mushroom umami. Sweetly floral. Damp old timbers.
Flavor 4.5/5: Malts provide a clean and slightly sweet canvas for the circus of flavors. Tartness and herbs. Throughout an earthy funk. Touched by spices. Slightly tannic like green apple skins.
Mouthfeel 3.5/5: Light and astringent to start. Crisply effervescent. Finishes dry with a lingering herbal and slightly savory quality.
Overall Impression 4.5/5: Wow! Fantastic. Clean and crisp malt canvas splashed with spice, tartness, funk, sweetness, and blossoming herbs. An extraordinary beer. The restrained tartness and earthy complexity remind me of a natural and wild Asturian Sidra from Spain.
In my dreams I would wish to collaborate on a concept and recipe, and brew a beer with Dany Prignon of Brasserie Fantôme.
Amongst a field of over 45 different breweries, from all continents on the planet. Judged by 15 well respected judges, Valencia Saison was awarded a Bronze Medal at the Dublin Craft Beer Cup. Some of the other craft breweries that submitted beers for judging that craft fans in the USA may recognize include Abita Brewing Company, Anchor Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co., Moa Brewing Company, and Oskar Blues Brewing.
Of course a Gold Medal would have been nice. But considering Valencia Saison is the first commercial beer brewed with a concept and recipe conceived by Beancurdturtle Brewing LLC, and the competition and judges are quite respectable - I'll take the Bronze with pleasure.
If you want to check the Medal Winners, the beer brewed with my recipe is listed in the Bronze Medal Winners section as: Company: Premium Beers From Spain SL Country: Spain Name of Beer: Valencia Saison
Valencia Saison will be available at quality bottle shops in 33cl bottles, and on draft at discerning craft beer tap rooms/restaurants around April of 2014.
Still looking at 6 to 8 weeks before it's on your bottle shop's shelf. However...
...below is a proof for the label for the first release of Valencia Saison. Some of the details will be tweaked before printing - like ABV, SRM, IBU, and OG - but it's pretty much complete.
This rather jazzy die cut label will be wrapped lovingly around 33cl (11.2 oz) bottles, in 12 bottle cases. The bottles will be parked in the import section of your favorite bottle shop - assuming you encourage the shop to get a case or more.
If you are actually thirsty enough to pick up a keg, the proof for the keg label is also below for your viewing pleasure.
For those who don't know, we have a three tiered system in the USA for beers to get on a retailer's shelf. You have the brewer/importer, who must sell to a distributor, who must sell to a retailer. I just got word that the importer for the beers I brewed in Spain is finalizing with a statewide distributor in California. When it's final, I'll name names.
For now though, anticipate that you will be able to buy at least one of the beers I brewed in Spain at a bottle shop in Southern California in about six to eight weeks. You may have to ask your bottle shop specifically for the beer because they don't know it - but I'll give you casual lines to practice before you go beer shopping when the time comes.