This week we’ve answered the age old question of Grape or Grain? Beer or Wine? Shiraz or Stout? Well, the answer is clearly both, at once.
While co-fermentation is an ancient process, beer and wine hybrids are gaining traction. We’re having some fun this week by working with City Winery to produce a Shiraz XPA.
We’ve taken a gentle XPA base beer, loaded with oats and wheat, but very pale, and fermented with Nottingham yeast, to give delicate, fruity esters. On the second day of fermentation we added 20% Shiraz juice, freshly hand pressed the day before. The juice was partially fermenting, meaning we’ve got some nice indigenous wine yeast in there too. I loved the idea of letting the Nottingham get hold in the XPA first, so that it will be dominate in the final product.
The experiment is to get a load of funky natural wine flavours to meld with the brewers Saccharomyces fermentation profile. Indigenous yeasts come from the vineyard and are dependent on region, climate and agronomic practice. Before the 1960s and the advent of cultured yeasts, all wine would have been naturally fermented with these indigenous yeasts.
Combing the blueberries, bramble and tannins from the Shiraz, with the melon, citrus, coconut and strawberry hops (Amarillo, Wai-iti and Sabro) will make this Shiraz XPA a complex, jammy, fruity experience that will challenge your perceptions of beer, wine and the line between the two.
Why not both?