Here we go. We’re starting another huge chapter in the Great Raft Brewing master plan to make great beer in the great state of Louisiana. The launch of our Belgian Program is finally within our sights. This program is something we have talked about for many years – even before we started planning the brewery. It’s true. While we love the black and white world of lager we have an equal affection for the art of Belgian beer that is anything but black and white. It’s bold and subjective with a love-it-or-leave-it attitude. One might use that same definition for the great state of Louisiana. Few would argue.
Our main goal was to build out a program that would give us the ultimate flexibility in terms of mixed fermentation, experimentation, bottle conditioning and general flavor exploration. We hope to achieve that with a variety of barrels, stainless tanks and most importantly oak foeders. We took delivery of a 30bbl foeder earlier a couple months ago. This is the first foeder in the state of Louisiana and will be the heart and soul of our program. A significant hurdle in undertaking a project like this is finding the talent to manage it all. Juggling multiple yeast strains, barrel tracking, production planning, and taking on bottle conditioning is no easy task. There are so many ways to screw up this type of operation (none of which we are interested in, by the way.) Lucky for us, we already have the talent in house. Our resident barrel herder and yeast wrangler Malari Coburn will manage all aspects of this program. Her background in science and lab management lends itself to the tedious work and attention required.
Our team has been hard at work and is excited to announce the first beer from this program that was an all stainless steel fermentation. Oceans Between Us is a 100% Brettanomyces IPA and an ever-changing exploration of funk and hops. Each release will feature a new dry hop, with the first featuring Citra.
What is Brettanomyces? Think about Brettanomyces, commonly referred to as “Brett,” as slow-moving yeast producing a wide variety of earthy, topical, funky, and mildly tart flavors. It’s a true departure from anything we have done thus far and represents a style of brewing we are truly passionate about. We are excited to roll this beer out in 500ml bottles and limited kegs in early April.
Stay tuned for release day announcements and more details about additional beers from this program