Drink This Beer: Jekyll Brewing Tart Vise
We spoke to Jekyll Brewing‘s head brewer Josh Rachel about the development of their newest beer.
“Tart Vise” Berliner Weiss is somewhat of a departure for the Alpharetta-based brewery. So how did it get developed?
Tell us a bit about the development of Tart Vise.
Since we are a clean brewery, my focus has always been on American hop forward beers and German style beers. However, the Berliner Weiss seemed to not only be a very popular style in the market it also fit in my wheelhouse in relation to the other German style beers we produce. I think one of the best thing about brewing beer is the never-ending learning that takes place. So, developing a recipe for a Berliner was something new to me which created drive and excitement in building a method to capture Jekyll’s spin on a Raspberry Berliner Weiss.
This is the first (?) sour beer from Jekyll. Why did you want to get into this space?
Since we are a production facility, it only behooves us to respond to the public’s requests in the craft beer industry. The craft beer consumers – especially this time of year – are searching for their beer of choice for the hot months. By adding new styles to our portfolio here at Jekyll and including this newest Tart Vise, I don’t feel that we are necessary embarking into a completely new arena of craft beer drinkers but appeasing the market needs. Everyday our consumers palates are changing and wanting something new and fresh. When it comes to brewing beer I view it as an open canvas that can be painted while making changes and additions with an endless timeline.
What were some of the issues of developing a Berliner, rather than the “clean” beers that you’re used to brewing?
Obviously the first concern is always sanitation. Since we are a clean facility, the timing of introducing a sour beer to our line-up needed to be implemented at the right time. This meant new equipment and processes in place to accomplish this task. Since we now have a new brew house, this opened the doors to explore options we didn’t have before.
Why use raspberries?
During pilot batches, I used several other fruits and never found one that paired as well as raspberries. The raspberries complement the Berliner’s sourness and add an additional layer of tartness which allows the base beer to shine through nicely. By no means am I the only person out here putting raspberries in a Berliner but everyone has their own flair and style of brewing which always adds a unique character to the final product.
When can we expect to see this on shelves?
Tart Vise will be available in May as a part of our Light Mix Six seasonal program in bottles. Then later launched in six pack cans. The Light Mix Six will also have Big Creek Pear and Kinship Belgian Golden Ale.
You’ve recently made a huge upgrade in brewing capacity. How has this changed your operations?
Other than working around the clock, this expansion project will allow me to focus on a much higher level at the process of brewing. My main objective in getting this new 50 barrel system wasn’t just based on efficiency and output. It was knowing that I could take an already awesome product without stripping ingredients down and utilize those ingredients to push the product even further in flavor and aroma department.
How will this expansion affect your releases? Can we expect some new and different brews?
Right now, the immediate goal is to transition all our current brands into the new 50 barrel system. I will say that it is going very well in respect to the quality and consistency. With the new system it will allow us to add additional steps in the brewing process which will only refine the products further. With the craft beer industry growing so fast it is always priority to expand our portfolio.
You recently wrapped up a fundraiser for colorectal cancer. How did that go?
The “What’s Up Your Butt” campaign was amazing. We had dozens of retailers engaged, helping spread awareness to all beer drinkers about the importance of simply getting to the doctor annually. Taco Mac further expanded on the effort, selling shirts at Secret Stash Bash. This is a super important month to the Jekyll family and our retailers jumped right in to help us get the message out.
What’s coming up next for Jekyll?
Southern Juice is selling way faster than we can make it and Tart Vise is coming in May. After that you will start to see our craft cider in our tap room and then off to retailers. Crushing apples and making hard cider is an annual tradition at my Dad’s house in the Georgia mountains, so I am excited to be able to bring some hyper-local craft cider to our market as Jekyll Brewing!
Honestly, this is a nice, crisp Berliner. The raspberries are paired well with the tartness of the Berliner. We got to sample this earlier this year, when it was a little colder than it is now. But this is a fantastic beer for enjoying the outdoors, and a worthy addition to the Jekyll lineup.
If you’ve got a brew that you’d like profiled on Drink This Beer, send us an email! Aaron (at) beerguysradio.com