A couple of weeks ago we headed out to sunny Cotswold to brew a collaboration with Heretic Brewing Company. Yep, that Heretic Brewing.. From California.. Jamil Zainasheff’s Heretic.
For anyone who doesn’t know; Jamil is a bit of a legend in the US brewing scene. He started homebrewing about 20 years ago and almost immediately started picking up every award on offer for homebrewing. He authored or co-authored ‘Brewing Classic Styles’ and ‘Yeast; The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation’ both books read by any homebrewer or brewer worth their salt, writes columns for Zymurgy and Brew Your Own magazines and is host of The Jamil Show and Brew Strong on The Brewing Network. In 2010 Jamil went pro and launched Heretic Brewing Company in Fairfield, California.
We met Jamil back in 2014 when we hosted a Heretic Brewing Tap Takeover at Small Bar Bristol and have kept in touch ever since. As a big fan of traditional UK beer, Jamil makes it over this side of the pond every now and then and we always try to catch up for a few beers. The latest trip got us talking about a collaboration beer and got some ideas bouncing back and forth.
After a bit of conversation about a big IPA we decided that there has been no shortage of great collaboration IPA’s that have been released recently so we scrapped that. Both Rich and Jamil love Belgian beer so our Pomegranate Saison was born.
The base is mainly Pilsner malt with a bit of wheat and a touch of Caragold and Dextrose. We lightly hopped it with EKG and Hallertau Mittelfrüh and fermented with White Labs WLP585 Belgian Saison III yeast. We then dumped 75kgs Pomegranate puree in the fermenter.
The resulting beer is a 7.2% super dry Saison, with the pomegranate and yeast character dominating the aroma and initial taste, then fruit esters and spice taking over before the pomegranate tartness round out the beer nicely.
We’re launching the beer at our Tap Room for the East Bristol Brewery Trail this weekend with bottles and a few kegs making their way out to trade in the next 3 weeks. It’s a pretty small batch so get on it fast! Half of the batch is destined for red and white wine barrels with some Brettanomyces and more pomegranates so keep your eyes peeled for that in the coming months!