eight-degrees-brewing-the-fearless-farmhouse-ale-cropped-labelThe Golden Age of Burgundy was from 1364 to 1477, when the Dulchy was recognised as one of the major powers of medieval Europe. John the Fearless was known for defending the emerging Burgundian state but all his scheming couldn’t save him from an axe in his back. Under Philip the Good, there was pomp and ceremony aplenty – along with mistresses and illegitimate children – as he manipulated his strategic alliances into independence for the Dulchy. A lover of luxury, Charles the Bold drained the coffers and when he was killed at the siege of Nancy in 1477 it was the beginning of the end for what had been the wealthiest state in Europe.

We have brewed three beers to celebrate these colourful medieval dukes, aged in oak barrels from their French homeland.

The Fearless – Farmhouse Ale, aged in Burgundy chardonnay oak barrels. (for release in late Nov)
The Bold – Imperial Stout, aged in Burgundy pinot noir oak barrels. (for release in late Nov)
The Good – Barleywine, aged in Burgundy pinot noir oak barrels. (for release late Jan 2017)

First up…

The Fearless Farmhouse Ale
Saisons and white wine are a match made in heaven; in fact, the saison yeast strain – with its hint of spice and pepper – has evolved from wine yeast. We brewed a straightforward, bone-dry farmhouse beer and let it age in chardonnay Burgundy wine barrels. This allows the subtle vanilla, light citrus and a touch of pineapple from the French oak and the chardonnay lees to impart their flavour. Unlike Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy, there’s no backstabbing here.

Short description: farmhouse ale – bone dry – food-friendly

Style: farmhouse ale
Hops: Nugget.
Malt: Pilsner malt and wheat malt.
ABV: 6.4%
IBUs: 32 IBUs

Tasting notes
Colour/appearance: hazy yellow.
Aroma: an up-front rich oaky vanilla nose, with spicy pepper-and-clove-like aroma.
Flavour: this has a deliciously full, rounded mouthfeel. The Fearless started off as a bone-dry farmhouse-style ale with lots of funky tart flavours. After some quality time sitting around in our chardonnay barrels, it also picked up some of those lovely, buttery, oaked chardonnay characteristics. Complex and fruity, it’s an ideal food-friendly beer.
Aftertaste: tart gooseberry flavours in the finish.
Food pairings: The Fearless is your perfect table beer. In fact, this is your Christmas table beer. It won’t shout too loudly over the turkey, will happily hang out with ham and doesn’t balk in the face of any cranberry relish-type shenanigans. It’s as happy to settle down with some decent Irish blue cheese at the end of the meal as it is to play with smoked salmon at the start.

Launch Date: November 2016
Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius
Availability: 750ml bottles only

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