Side Project Brewing is a brewery located in St. Louis, Mo., that will have its first beer release Sept. 28, 2013. Side Project focuses on producing small-batch ales in which 100 percent of the beer produced will spend some time in wine and/or spirits barrels. Open fermentation, barrel fermentation and spontaneous fermentation in the coolship will be the inspirations behind the old-world Saisons, Flanders-style Ales and American Wild Ales that will be the majority of the production.
Barleywines, Imperial Stouts, Adambiers and other strong ales that benefit from extended aging and the nuances of spirits barrels will contribute to the unique lineup of barrel-aged ales. All of the ales will be unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-conditioned. Production is currently underway as a gypsy brewery, in which the company is leasing time and space from Perennial Artisan Ales, also in St. Louis, with future plans for its own barrel-aging and fermentation facility. Production is carried out entirely by Side Project Owner and Brewer Cory King.
King, who is currently head brewer of Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis, has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in business. After winning some homebrew awards and working as craft beer manager for a local beer distributor and managing a high-volume craft account, King got his professional brewing start when Phil Wymore was hiring for Perennial in the summer of 2011. King has developed a passion for the barrel-aging program and mixed/wild fermentation processes while brewing at Perennial. He has also formulated several highly rated Perennial beers such as Blueberry Flanders, Savant Beersel, Woodside, Barrel-Aged Sump, Abraxas and Barrel-Aged Abraxas, which earned a silver medal at the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers in Chicago in 2012. Side Project Brewing will focus on King’s passion for barrel aging and will feature an extensive repertoire of always-changing ales.
Side Project’s first releases will be:
The Origin (available in 750-mL bottle format)
14.3 percent ABV
The Origin is a blend of Imperial Stout, Black Oatwine and Baltic Porter that was aged for 20 months in a Rittenhouse Rye barrel with Madagascar Vanilla Beans. It is Side Project’s first batch and barrel and will be the company’s first release — never to be brewed again!
Saison du Fermier (available in 750-mL bottle format)
7 percent ABV
Saison du Fermier is a Chardonnay barrel-fermented Saison. It is robust and has the paler color of modern Saisons, yet it is balanced with the brightness, depth and rustic character of Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus found in traditional Saisons. This farmhouse ale was fermented in and aged in wine barrels for several months.
Brett Project #1 (available in 750-mL bottle format)
6 percent ABV
The Brett Project series is the exploration of how single strains of Brettanomyces ferment and condition a Saison malt bill. Each Brett Project will be fermented in and aged in wine barrels with a different Brettanomyces strain to showcase its unique characteristics. Brett Project #1 showcases a Brettanomyces strain isolated by our friend at BKYeast from Cantillon.
Upcoming releases from Side Project will be:
Saison du Blé — Chardonnay barrel-aged Wheat Saison
Brett Project #1 with Lactobacillus
Brett Project #2 — Drie Fonteinen Brettanomyces
Brett Project #2 with Lactobacillus
Fuzzy — Blonde American Wild Ale fermented in Chardonnay barrels and aged with Missouri White Peaches
Blueberry Flanders — Flanders-style Red Ale fermented in Chambourcin barrels and aged with Michigan Blueberries