Beamsville’s Bench Brewing goes into a ‘deep funk’ with Coolship beer – StCatharinesStandard.ca
Mother Nature knows how to brew a tasty beer — or at least she does when she has the help of a talented brewer like Thomas Bancic and his team at Bench Brewing. The Beamsville brewery recently released its Coolship 2021 beer, a brew that was three years in the making.
“To me, this is kind of going back to the roots of brewing how things have always been brewed, before the invention of refrigeration,” said Bancic. “Just kind of leave it out of our hands and see what see what our air can produce.”
In modern times, when beer is brewed, it is immediately chilled through heat exchangers. The coolship style pumps the warm liquid into a pan on the second floor at Bench, where it is allowed to cool overnight. Naturally occurring yeast in the air ferments the beer, which is then thrown in barrels and aged for three years.
Beer-making is a mix of art and science. In this style, the science of beer-making remains, at least for the initial stages.
“But once it’s in the barrel, there’s a lot more of that art form taking place,” Bancic said.
While in the barrel, the liquid’s flavour profile can change drastically and unpredictably from month to month. Bancic regularly tests it to see how the flavours are developing.
“And we even anticipate a little bit of change in the bottle as it stays there for a couple of years as well,” he said.
The tastes change from barrel to barrel. It’s up to Bancic to find the right mix of barrels to create a brew that’s enjoyable.
“The blending process is kind of the most integral part to it where we have dozens of these barrels that are ready,” he said.
The result for the Coolship 2021 blend pleased the brewer. Bench is known for some of its sours, a style that has been gaining in popularity. However, this Coolship 2021 is not strikingly sour, he said.
“It’s a great introduction to spontaneously fermented beers to people who haven’t drank them before,” he said, adding drinkers may pick up some subtle notes of stone fruit, peaches or chardonnay grapes. …….