Amethyst Throne and Golden Empire of York Bottle Release
Our next bottle release starts right now: Amethyst Throne, a 9.3% ABV sour red aged in Port barrels for almost a year then refermented on 300 lbs of blackberries! The result is a melding of beer (the same base as There Are No Edges), barrel, and fruit all creating a deep jamminess. It is dry and towards the more-acidic end of our range, but as always our goal is to balance flavors to increase drinkability. Pre-orders are ongoing: 500 mL bottles are $18/each with a limit of 2-per-person! You can pick-up tomorrow (Saturday August 1st) we’ll have a keg of it to tap and the Cheese Up will be here starting at noon.
Our barrel-aged sours have been cooperating recently! By their very nature, these mixed-fermentation beers take longer and are less predictable than any other category. If you could taste some of them going into barrels, or even after a few months you’d be surprised by how terrible they can be. Luckily our house culture makes a mess and then cleans-up after itself, changing off-flavors (e.g., smokey, buttery, sulfury) into beautiful fruity, earthy, and acidic flavors.
Pre-orders are also ongoing for our first batch of cider: Golden Empire of York! 500 mL bottles are $10/each with no limits. We picked the name Sapwood “Cellars” for a reason instead of calling ourselves Brewery or Beer Co. It took some time to get our winery license, find a good local source for fresh-pressed cider, and make test batches, but here we finally are! This inaugural cider started with Virginia-grown Golden Delicious, Empire, and York apples then fermented with our house saison blend (including Lacto and Brettanomyces). The result is a dry cider with moderate acidity and lots of fresh apple aromatics. We used a special version of the culture grown on sorghum by our friends at Bootleg Biology, so this cider is 100% gluten-free!
We’re hoping to have at least one more bottle release later in August: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. It’s a blend of funky white-wine-barrel-aged saisons with 50 lbs of local wildflower honey from Maryland Honey Co. We’ll donate $1 from each bottle to the Howard County Beekeepers Association, to help protect and promote these essential pollinators.
Snip Snap’s Back Tell Your Friends!
Pre-orders for our next round of cans start Friday August 7th: Cheater Hops #13, Raspberry Lime Plush Pop, and a double-batch of Snip Snap! After the enthusiasm for our last can release (more than 150 of you trying to refresh our store page simultaneously) we tripled our server’s capacity to handle the traffic! The release will be similar to the last few, we ask that you stick to the pick-up window you select.
After two years of brewing, this is the first batch of Snip Snap (our fabulously-fruity 8.2% ABV Galaxy-Citra DIPA) that we both brewed and canned on-site! We’ve brewed three batches, and we contract-canned a fourth batch at another brewery. Both the Citra and Galaxy crops for 2019 were great (unlike 2018) and we think this batch is the best yet!
Cheater Hops #13 is a 7.4% ABV Hazy IPA that combines two of our favorite American hops: Simcoe and Mosaic. We split the two dry hop additions evenly between Simcoe, Simcoe Cryo, Mosaic, and Mosaic Cryo. The Cryo hops provide more punch pound-for-pound as half of the green leafy hop material is removed during pelletization, concentrating the oils. It’s an IPA that walks the line between fruit (mango and berry) and danker piney aromatics.
Raspberry-Lime Plush Pop is a different sort of sour beer than you typically expect from us. It’s only our second kettle sour (meaning that all of the lactic acid is produced in only 24 hours). Not too different from the way yogurt is made. The result is more control and stability, but a less-nuanced flavor. However, with how much raspberry, lime zest, and Tahitian vanilla we added we aren’t trying to be subtle! Plush Pop has a decent amount of residual malt sweetness, but we don’t use lactose and the raspberry’s simple sugar is fermented out (so there is no risk if the cans warm up – although the colder they are stored the longer they’ll taste fresh).
Our second attempt to buy new tanks seems to be going better than the first. They are scheduled to arrive late-August. That means beginning this fall we’ll have more cans, more frequent releases, and more unique and experimental beers on tap as the tasting room slowly returns to normal!
Mike & Scott