In a momentous event, Yazoo Brewery will be releasing their first full size batch of bottles of sour beer, the Deux Rouges! The Deux Rouges is a blend of two reds, hence the name, and is a Flanders red. From the bottle label, “a marriage of two reds-we present our Flanders red, a dark ruby ale fermented with wild yeasts and souring bacteria, evolving for over a year in freshly emptied merlot barrels.”
Over a year indeed. In fact, it was brewed as a ten barrel batch at the Corsair distillery. As few know, Corsair uses the old system that Yazoo used, while they were located at Marathon Village, to make their base malt. It was also the first time that Linus was back brewing on his old system in his old location. Fun facts, eh?
The release day is lining up to be pretty epic. The last time Yazoo had a special bottle release, a limited run of hand bottled Fortuitous, the place was overrun with every type of beer fan, and beer for that matter. Hundreds showed up for a shot at 150 tickets that allowed them to buy the beer retail. Most everyone also brought some of the most rare and unique beer available for sharing and sampling.
This Sunday, Jan. 26, the taproom will open at 2:00 p.m. Everyone that comes in, that is of legal age, of course, will get a number that will be entered into a raffle. The drawing will commence somewhere around 3:00 and the first 150 drawn will have the opportunity to buy up to four bottles at $25 per bottle. There are, do the math, only 600 bottles available. The bottles are 750 ml bombers, so the price is great. No need to get there too early, but there might be a couple new sours on draft for your pleasure and sampling joy.
So, this whole sour thing, the Embrace the Funk series goes back a long way. The ETF series was officially announced Nov. 14, 2012, a month after the Deux Rouges was brewed. But that isn't quite far enough back.
It goes back to October 2009. An east Tennessee brewer, Mark Moynihan, was tragically injured in a welding accident, and eventually passed as a result. Linus Hall at Yazoo wanted to help the family and went to a local homebrew club and challenged them to come up with a beer to be brewed on his commercial system. The proceeds would go to benefit the family. The winner? The now well know Brandon Jones. Sorry, Brandon. His Hop Blaster was a great success. I remember it well.
Jump forward to 2011. A batch of Yazoo's high gravity smoked porter named Sue was infected by wild yeast somehow and went sour. Rather than pitch the batch and rescrub the brewhouse, Linus called his buddy Brandon, who had been experimenting with sour and wild beer, to see if it could be saved. They determined that it was in fact a highly desirable beer. So they blended it, tended to it, and came up with the highly successful Fortuitous. It was introduced at the 12 South Winter Warmer in 2011. Then the epic aforementioned bottle release party in February.
Linus and Brandon continued talking about a potential continuing collaboration which led to the release of Wild Child at the 12 South Winter Warmer of 2012. The Wild Child is the Sue aged in white wine barrels with sour cherries and Brett Lambicus. Then the whole breaking Brett series. Amazing.
So basically, this is the culmination of events over four years in the making. From the label, “we hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we did brewing it.” Don't miss it.
Time for a pint. Cheers!