BREWERYAMONG THE VINEYARDS
Unique friendship was born - a vintner brew beer. It´s the vintner´s techniques we use most of all in Wild Creatures brewery. And wild yeast, from the local wine area (carried by the wind) plus cultures that grow within the brewery itself.
Brewery among the vineyards
Wild Creatures means beer, our passion. But we have always been big wine lovers too. Not only because of our home region (known for wine production). It was the wine what taught us to see the beer production from different point of view. Both of us have our own experience with wine production. One worked in micro family winery in her free time, the second made a career in big, modern, well equipped winery. Traditional (but old fashioned) ways of spontaneous fermentation without any scientific method VS fermentation driven by pc and data analyzed by laboratory. We put together all these information before we started with first wild beer trials. Yes, it was big advantage. But still, it took five years to finish proper representative product.
Our beer is authentic. It reflects the beauty of our wine region. We work with wildly living microflora. With local microorganisms which are at our place at the time of brewing. No lab-derived yeast. We usually help with word “terroir” from winemaking world when discussing our beers. It describes the core of our effort perfectly.
Spontaneous fermentation is nothing new. Quite the reverse, it is very old way of fermentation, it just had been forgotten. It was eliminated by pure lab-derived yeasts.
Till today we are very loyal to the wine production. It is just a hobby now but nothing is so relaxing like manual work in the vineyard. Vintner’s practices remain as inspiring as Belgian Lambic.
What was on the beginning (in 2011)?
Good fruit beer, that target was set on the very beginning. If you know the taste of Belgian cherry, raspberry or other fruit beer you surely understand how disappointed can man be here in Czech Republic. We started our experiment with handpicked fruit and added it into every beer we had (lager, wheat beer and other ales). We were not impressed by the result. Sometimes it wasn’t so bad but still missed something. Combination of fruit and ordinary beer was rejected after few other tests. The whole project was postponed.
We already had Mamut brewery and were focused on Czech classic beer – bohemian lagers. But the unsolved fruit beer was still somewhere in my head. Sometimes it is a question of coincidence. Business trip to Belgium brought the key moment. We can inspire there!
Spontaneously fermented lambic! My brain was already bathed in kriek. No chance for resistance. My modesty has vaporized and I was blind with crazy beer adventure. Brettanomyces (so typical for Belgian wild beers) can be found all over the world. I knew what I want that moment and under influence of beer anarchism everything seems to be peace of cake. Everybody can buy yeast – but not me. I choose pure nature way. My husband (expert in biochemistry) thought I lost my mind. It took me years to understand what he knew already that time!
I was so funny, so naive…! To be fair, this naïve passion was the key factor. Finally, we started to study spontaneous fermentation together and until know we still found new secrets and insidiousness.