Salem, OR – Infrequently this website despite it’s self-designation of the Northwest Beer Guide waffles between Washington and Oregon, with Idaho coming a distant third. However, lately it seems the comforts of home base (Seattle) have distracted us from what’s happening down south.
Brewed in Corvallis, you will find more than just Beaver’s and Duck rivalry, in this brewery that has been around for a couple of years. Recently they sent out a notice to their loyal followers, a newsletter featuring their current releases. One of them was an ale that was 15 years in the making.
Announced on the 26th of August, Ferme de la Ville Provsion is Block 15’s “City Farm”, a Farmhouse Style Ale brewed out of homage to the Belgian Farmhouse ales of old. But instead of waxing poetic regarding this beer why not let the guys speak for themselves.
You would be hard pressed to get me to read a fictional book, but throw down some good old beer history pages and I become mesmerized. I love to crack open an inspirational brew and pull out the old brewing books, talk with beer enthusiasts or spend time deep searching the internet.
Farmhouse ales were brewed on the farms of the French speaking Wallonia region of Belgium. It is said that the farm hands were allotted up to five liters of beer per day! The beer was brewed with malted barley and other various grains lying around the farm. Hops from the region were used as was the local yeast. It was common for farms to share yeast and brewing equipment. Traditionally the beer was lower in alcohol, hoppy, spicy from the yeast, and refreshing. As the farms were frugal, left over beer from the previous season was blended with the young beer of the current season. During this storage time undoubtedly wild yeast and bacteria from the area found their way into the barrels. Over time notes of the wild yeast and bacteria transformed the ale, sometimes to the point of being referenced to a gueze.
Our nod to this style began in the spring of 2009 when we stored a barrel of our farmhouse ale and introduced wild yeast isolated from Belgium. Over the next twelve months the yeast slowly transformed the hoppy farmhouse ale to a wonderful tropical, funky, dry, and tart beer.
This past spring we brewed a young batch and blended with the old barrel. The young farmhouse ale was brewed with malted barley and other grains left around our brewery; malted rye, wheat, golden naked oats and local honey. Farmhouse yeast fermented the beer and the addition of noble hops provided a nice crisp refreshing finish. The blend at first was nice crisp ale, hoppy, with just a hint of wild yeast character. Now, three months later, the ale has transformed to a whole new experience. I can detect notes of tropical fruit, honey, and light barnyard in the nose. Lightly tart, the ale is very refreshing and dry yet complex and vinous with subtle hop presence.
There was a consideration for bottling a small batch of this beer but unfortunately the label approval came too late for the release. Instead look for this beer in bottles (hopefully) around July of next year.
Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery is the Mid Valley’s premier Brewpub. We specialize in locally sourced casual food and premium, from the source, craft brews. Take some time to browse our website where you will find what top quality goods and techniques form the brain of our establishment.
Block 15 is situated in downtown Corvallis, Oregon. We are in the heart of a bustling area amid shopping, commerce, historic buildings, and the waterfront park. We are also only a few blocks from the Oregon State University campus. Located at the corner of Third and Jefferson, our building was originally built in 1926 for the Gazette-Times newspaper. Through a fusion of old and new, traditional and unique, Block 15 was born. [more] –source, Block 15 Brewing