Hello, Helio! It’s time to welcome back Wooden Soul: Heliotropic, a Brett Saison Aged in Oak Barrels. The original release from our wild, sour, and barrel-aged Wooden Soul series, Heliotropic returns this summer in handy 375 ml bottles for your on-the-go, beachcombing, park roaming season.
Wooden Soul: Heliotropic is a Brett Saison that’s aged in oak vessels for five to six months. But before you pop that cork, there’s a lot more to uncover. The journey begins in our Northeast brewery where Heliotropic is brewed with a Belgian saison yeast strain, several kinds of malt, and Hallertau and Willamette hops. After fermentation, the beer is moved to our off-site warehouse and barrel room. There, several wild yeast strains are added to the beer and it ages at room temperature in oak barrels and foeders (essentially giant wooden barrels) for around half a year.
While Heliotropic ages, it develops flavors of tropical fruit, over-ripe fruit, and funk and is tasted multiple times for quality control (and for fun). After five to six months, we believe this beer starts to peak, and is almost ready to drink. The beer from both the barrels and foeders is blended, then brought back over to the brewery for packaging. At this time, we begin the lengthy process of hand bottling (we can only fill about two bottles per minute vs. our canning line which can run at 40 cans per minute!). Heliotropic is then bottle conditioned, meaning extra yeast and sugar are added before the bottles are corked, creating a more lively carbonation. The bottles are left to sit and let the yeast do its thing (convert sugar into CO2, #science) for another few weeks. Then the bottles are hand labeled and boxed up to ship out to stores.
So, are we ready to taste now? At first pour, big vinous aromas will greet you, with notes of passionfruit and plum, plus a hint of bubble gum and fruit flavor. Straw colored with a copper glow and haze, Heliotropic is dry, waxy, tart and well-balanced with fruity flavors from the Brett yeast strains. Its moderate to high carbonation (thanks bottle conditioning!) make it a fizzy and refreshing treat on a sunny, summer day. We think Helio is ready for your mouth right now, but you can age it for up to one year to produce even more vinous, wine-like flavors.
Wooden Soul: Heliotropic hits shelves in 375 ml bottles next week. You can also find it on tap in select locations in the Twin Cities and beyond, or try it on the patio of our Northeast taproom. They say life is all about the journey, but in Heliotropic’s case, that first sip sure is a fine final product.
Make way for Rum King! This year our imperial stout is coming to you fresh in 12oz cans fit for every swashbuckler’s life-on-the-go. They’re shipping out in 4-packs, perfect to share with your mates around a fire or save for a stormy night at sea. Featuring original artwork by Chuck U, the new cans are silver, teal, dark blue and ripe for the plundering. Below deck the goods are just the same – a pitch-black stout that’s been aged in rum barrels for just shy of one year. You’ll find the same complex notes of toffee and vanilla, with a roasty-toasty, malt-forward body burly enough to un-shiver those timbers.
To get into the nitty-gritty of everything about our imperial stout and answer your burning questions about Rum King’s break with the bottle, we sat down with our quality manager, Daniel.
Why package Rum King in cans, instead of bottles?
Both cans and bottles have their pros and cons. Cans tend to do a better job at protecting the beer from its enemies – sunlight and oxygen. The opaque nature of the can and very tight seal of the lid make it an ideal package for keeping beer fresher for a longer time. Cans are also lighter and easier to transport.
Will Rum King taste different this year, has anything changed with the recipe?
The flavor profile of Rum King changes a bit each year. While we use the same recipe, the variation in the rum barrels and aging conditions of the barrels ultimately give the beer much of its character, and these factors change year to year. The canning process won’t affect the taste of the beer.
How do you get Rum King out of barrels and into cans?
First, every barrel is tasted for off-flavors. For Rum King that usually means a sour or acetone flavor. Those barrels that don’t make the cut get dumped. The barrels that do make the cut have the beer removed and are brought to a stainless steel brite tank. Here, the beer is chilled and carbonated. Once cold and fizzy, Rum King is put into cans just like any of our other beers.
How should I serve Rum King? Can I drink it from the can?
We recommend drinking all Indeed beer out of a glass. For cans of Rum King, we suggest pouring the beer into a tulip glass before consuming so you can smell the aroma and check out the color of the beer. A serving temperature of about 45°F is what many people prefer for drinking stouts.
Can I age cans of Rum King?
Sure. While we think the beer tastes great and is ready to drink when you buy it, you can still age it in cans. There is no guarantee that aging the beer is going to improve it, but it might – only time will tell. Aging beer is really a process of oxidization – cans will slow that down, but still do the trick.
How should I store my cans of Rum King?
If you intend to age Rum King, “cellar” temperatures are best at 45-50°F. If you’re planning on drinking it soon, the refrigerator is always a good bet.
So that’s the skinny. But hey, buccaneers, we encourage you to road test it yourself. Find Rum King in limited quantities (so don’t delay) in liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities area and beyond during the second week in October. Plus, heave ho and meet us at 331 Club for the ultimate Rum King release party on October 4th – the absolute first place you’ll find this year’s Rum King on tap, along with vintages from 2015 and 2014, plus Whiskey Queen – quite a lineup. We heard Davy Jones himself might even make an appearance. So batten down the hatches and get those sealegs ready – Rum King is coming soon!
Bottles up! Indeed Brewing is thrilled to announce our first-ever bottle release from Wooden Soul, our series of funky, wild, and sour barrel-aged beers. We’ve filled, corked and hand labeled with love, all so you can take Wooden Soul: Heliotropic near, far, and wherever you may roam.
The original gangster of the Wooden Soul series, Heliotropic is a Belgian-style Brett Saison ale aged in white wine barrels, weighing in at 7.3% ABV and 20 IBU. It first began as a Saison in our Derailed Series, before making its way to Wooden Soul. Heliotropic is brewed with Dupont yeast, then finished with Brux III and Brettanomyces Claussinii. The brew is moved into white wine barrels, where it ages for five to six months, allowing the brett to take up a healthy residency – building those funky flavors. In each bottle, you’ll find straw colored beer with a copper glow. Expect to be greeted with aromas of tropical fruit, grape, and earthy funk. This carefully crafted beer is dry, tart, and well balanced, with moderate to high carbonation. Sip away.
Want to get your paws on a bottle, thirsty creatures? Your first chance will be at the official Heliotropic Bottle Release in Indeed’s main taproom on July 25th. This special, ticketed event will include: a full pour of Heliotropic; a flight of Heliotropic with peaches, Heliotropic with pluots, and dry-hopped Heliotropic; and a paired flight of hand-selected meats and cheeses provided by the amazing team at Chowgirls Killer Catering, plus – we’ve lassoed Wooden Soul Head Brewer Adam Theis to talk about the beer and the barrel-aging program. Most importantly, you will get exclusive access to the first-ever bottle run of Heliotropic, with your bottle signed by Brewer Adam (limit one). Don’t miss this event, because we won’t pour one out for you.
Tickets to the Heliotropic Bottle Release are $50, inclusive of tax and gratuity, and can be purchased in person during taproom business hours, or online here. Please note tickets are limited and non-refundable. Remaining bottles of Wooden Soul: Heliotropic will be available for sale on a limited basis from the brewery beginning Thursday July 28th. Follow us on social media and stay in the know on everything Indeed.