Over the past 3 years, after tasting Blended 2017, its lovely characteristics and its concise aging capabilities, we have been brewing toward what we wanted the pieces of Blended 2020 to be and are very, very happy with the outcome. The intention with this blend was to further push the flavor, the cheesy aged hops, the Brettanomyces influence, the richness closer to traditional Lambic/Gueuze, but by using our processes and most importantly, only our native microflora.
Blended 2020 is a blend consisting of 1, 2, and 3 year aged, blond Missouri Wild Ales which were completely fermented in French oak. The components have individual recipes and tweaks, whether with the malt bill, the hopping rate and sometimes even with the water profile, but the goal was exclusively to develop components for this blend.
We ended up choosing 2 predominant recipes (named "#40" and "Funk") for this blend, 91% of which was fermented and aged in 500L French Oak Puncheons and the remaining 9% was from a 225L French Oak Wine Barrel. Both recipes include a very traditional inspiration of Pilsner and Unmalted Wheat and most used aged, whole leaf hops in the boil. We also increased our hopping rate in these brews over the last 3 years, something that we felt would lean further away from Side Project and more closely resemble the beautiful beers of Belgium.
We are always pushing, evolving, experimenting and trying to create new and unique flavors and we are so happy with the following that the beer has developed. We love this beer, but hate how it only comes around every three years - ha! It's one of the most classically inspired beer we produce and we have been incredibly happy with how our intentions have found their way to the glass in both of these blends. Cheers to the new release of Blended 2020 and hope you enjoy it!