As part of their expansion (with the opening of Les Caves) the brewers at Block 15 brewed (and released) two new beers, Cave India Pale Ale & Caves Saison.
Brewery Description - Caves IPA
Our Caves IPA is brewed with all Oregon grown hops. The aim for this IPA is to put the emphasis on hop flavor and aroma with restrained bitterness. This is achieved by moving the majority of our kettle hop additions the end of the boil. The malt make up is simple, 2-row and a touch of biscuit & Munich, and meant to only support the hops. We are bringing the gravity down to make it more quaffable, weighing in currently at 6% heading towards 5.75%. The Oregon grown Nugget and Cascade hops really shine with nice citrus and floral notes. The recipe will be tweaked ever so slightly until we reach what we consider is a perfect pint highlighting our unique Oregon bounty.
Brewery Description - Caves Saison
Our Belgian inspired farmhouse ale will evolve with the seasons: light and refreshing in the summer and stronger in the fall and winter. As the Saison style is open to vast interpretations I decided to employ a couple of unique techniques.
Our first unique technique is the treatment of our yeast. For our first batch we purchased a farmhouse yeast strain from Wyeast. This will be the only time we purchase commercial yeast.* Our Caves Saison is open fermented in our wild cellar and the yeast is top cropped. The yeast is reused for each consecutive batch. In theory, over time the yeast will morph into our own house strain, picking up resident character from the cellar.
As a side note the brewery is also working on another beer as part of their Solera project.
“… The quick rundown on solera is that for each batch of Caves saison a portion will be removed from the barrel for blending and then a portion added back to the barrel. Over time the character of the barreled mother beer will become more complex. Also, each batch of Caves Saison will have portions of every previous batch.
Our first batch of Saison was pretty straight forward. The aroma was slightly spicy and hoppy and the body crisp with a refreshing hop finish.
For batch two we increased the gravity a touch and layered in a few more specialty malts. We then blended in the barrel from batch one, mixed, and then refilled the barrel.
When we first tapped batch #2 the character was similar to batch one, seemingly unaffected by the barreled portion. However, as the beer matured in kegs over the last two months, the character changed dramatically. There is a noticeable brettanomyces influence in the nose. The character reminds me of brettanomyces bruxellensis with earthy and subtle “horsey” notes. I am really excited where this project is going and can foresee some small bottle offerings in the future.
About Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery
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 Restaurant & Brewery