Wild Ballyhoura: The Oak King Belgian Pale Ale

Wild Ballyhoura series: We’ve got a new pet at the brewery and his name is Brett. This wild yeast is a curious and mischievous little creature and we recently introduced him to our oak barrel-aged beers. There’s a whole shipping container of French oak barrels, formerly used for pinot noir and chardonnay, tucked away in a corner where we can age our very specially brewed ales. While they’re sitting there, we bring Brett to the party. His full name is Brettanomyces Clausenii, or Brett C, the earliest strain of brett to be classified by a chap investigating funky flavours in British breweries (Brettanomyces = British fungus). We can assume that all pre-modern beer would have picked up brett in storage over time; by playing with Brett C, we’re getting a good indication of how beer brewed and aged in the Ballyhouras, over one hundred years, ago would have tasted. Wild yeast = wild flavours. Naturally adventurous. It’s the Eight Degrees way. The Legend of the Oak King & the Holly King The Oak King Belgian Pale Ale Aged in French oak with Brettanomyces C In Celtic mythology, the Oak King and the Holly King were warrior twins, engaged in a never-ending fight for supremacy. At Midsummer the Oak King – representing light – is at the height of his strength, while the Holly King, which represents darkness, is at his weakest. At the Winter Solstice we celebrate the birth of the new sun, the renewal of light, and the return of the Oak King’s strength. To celebrate this re-birth, we have brewed a golden Belgian-style pale ale, using local pale and lager malts, and aged it in our oak barrels along with our new friend, wild yeast Brett C. This Golden Vale Pale Ale is light, complex and tart, followed up

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