Way back in May 2019, we hosted the legendary Niko Tonks (Head Brewer, Fair State Co-op) all the way from Minneapolis for what would be one of our coolest brewdays ever. In no time at all, we decided on brewing a smoked lager, inspired by a FS Co-op beer from long ago, to which nobody remembered the name. To make it even more special, we pulled together granite rocks, a pizza oven, and a bunch of chopped up barrel-staves so that we could heat the rocks up to over 1,000*F - why you say? Well, once we placed the screaming rocks into a tertiary kettle and added freshly boiled wort, all hell broke loose! Flash boiling the wort at over 212*F for a matter of minutes allowed an incredible development of rich caramel character and unique mouthfeel. It was cool.
After fermentation began with our house lager yeast, we then diverted some of the beer into freshly emptied wine barrels that had previously housed our mixed-culture Dark Sour Ale. The beer was allowed to complete fermentation and age in the wine barrels for over 1.5 years. A moderate carbonation brings to life wonderful oak aromas and brettanomyces funk, all while the bubbles act to clear the palate and leave you craving more in a “WTF is this” kind of way. It’s rad.
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