Savage Oak is the brand for our Wild and Sour beer program. These beers are all aged in oak foeders and/or barrels with our custom blends of wild yeast and bacteria.These beers are aged in our Savage Oak Room, separate from our “clean” brewery and barrel aging space at our Willow Springs location. All of these beers are aged in oak foeders and/or barrels and use Brettanomyces (wild yeast), souring bacteria, or a combination of both. None of these beers are kettle soured. We use our own custom blends of Brettanomyces and Bacteria that we developed over several years using commercial and bottle cultures in separate barrels and then selecting our favorites and blending them for each beer. These cultures produce beers with a wide range of flavors from fruity and sour to funky.
We also do several fruit variants of these beers where fruit is added directly to a barrel or to a fermenter after foeder/barrel aging to allow the simple sugars to ferment. This allows the Brettanomyces and Bacteria to continue developing and prevents the beer from becoming overly sweet. None of our Savage Oak beers contain unfermented fruit or lactose. Check our tap lists for currently available Savage Oak beers on tap and our beer to-go lists for 500 mL bottles at both locations.
These beers are aged in our 20bbl Oak Foeders. All utilize a “Solera” method where about 1/3 of the beer is left in the Foeder when it is pulled. This keeps the culture in each Foeder consistent and active, creating a complex beer that evolves over time.
–Blanc– Brett Berliner Weisse- Our take on a traditional Berliner Weisse is not kettle soured, it is fermented with a mix of Lactobacillus bacteria and our custom blend of Brettanomyces. No Saccharomyces (regular beer yeast) is used to make this beer. The beer is then aged in an Oak Foeder for 6-8 months to allow the flavors to develop and mellow. The result is a more complex version of the style with a smooth sourness and notes of citrus, berries, orchard fruits, tropical fruits, and oak.
–Straw– Brett Saison- Mix fermented with Belgian Saison yeast and our custom blend of fruit-forward Brettanomyces. The resulting beer is bone dry with the classic Saison spice but a year or more of Foeder aging with Brett adds complexity and notes of pineapple, stone fruits, pie cherries, citrus, an earthy funk, and slightly tart finish.
–Gold– Lambic Inspired Sour Golden Ale- Inspired by the Lambics of Belgium this beer is brewed with a healthy portion of wheat malt, flaked wheat, and flaked oats, for a bit of body. The beer is aged for at least a year in a Foeder with our custom blend of Brettanomyces, and bacteria. The result is a complex beer with a prominent but smooth sourness and notes of stone fruits, tropical fruits, oak, and a pleasant earthy funk. *FoBAB 2020 Silver Medal Winner*
–Ruby– Flanders Style Red Ale- Our take on the sour red ales of Flanders. Brewed with Munich and Caramunich malts for a toasty, slightly sweet malt character. The beer is aged for at least a year in a Foeder with our custom blend of Brettanomyces, and bacteria. The result is a complex beer with a moderate sourness and notes of pie cherries, stone fruits, toasted bread and toffee.
Black Label Series
These are the Savage Oak versions of some of our strong beers aged in fresh wine barrels with Brettanomyces and/or bacteria, and fruit. We are no longer producing these beers but some are still out in the world.
–Giant– This is our Savage Oak version of Quiet Giant, our Anniversary Stout. It was aged for over 2 years in oak barrels with sherry flor. The sherry culture dried the beer out and brought it up to 18% ABV. Despite the high ABV the beer is smooth and complex, drinking much dryer than a traditional Imperial Stout (more like wine or liquor) with notes of oak, dark chocolate, dark fruits, nougat, and nuts. All of this beer was bottled and is still available at both tap rooms but supplies are low.
–Brother– Imperial Honey Saison with Brettanomyces and Pear- Our Brother’s Keeper, Imperial Honey Saison, aged for a year in fresh white wine barrels with our blend of Brettanomyces and Pear juice. No longer for sale
–Abbey– Belgian Stout with Brettanomyces and Raspberry- Our Dark Abbey, Imperial Belgian Stout, aged for a year in fresh red wine barrels with our blend of Brettanomyces and Raspberry juice. No longer for sale
–Sinister– Sour Belgian Quad with Tart Cherries- Our Sinister Minister, Belgian Quadrupel, aged for 2 years in fresh red wine barrels with our blend of Bacteria, Brettanomyces and tart cherry juice. No longer for sale