If you have ever had the privilege of visiting our brewery, you have most certainly seen our Foeder standing proud. This was one of Ryan’s most treasured additions to our brewhouse capabilities.
A foeder (pronounced “food-er”) is a large wooden vat that, while traditionally used as a tool for winemaking, is experiencing a boom in the craft beer world. These oversized barrels are perfectly suited for brewing with wild yeast and allowing smaller breweries to play with wild ales, but can be used for a wide variety of styles. What is special about a foeder is how it controls the oxygen intake and allows you to periodically taste the beer using a tasting valve. This helps you fine tune the brew over time.
Our 45 barrel foeder was made by Foeder Crafters of America (FCA) right here in St. Louis and was installed in 2017. Not only was it made here, but the wood is Missouri White Oak which has the perfect texture and density to let the beer breath.
The first project we used the foeder for was an Imperial Stout, to help us draw out the oak flavors of the vat. That stout has since been moved to other barrels for exciting future releases. Once the wood of the foeder was conditioned we were ready to get started on our own foeder beer! We used a saison base, pitched with a variety of yeasts and bacteria to create a sour delight. No hops were added since they can fight the bacterium needed to create these sour-style ales. Now that our recipe has spent a full year in the foeder, it is ready to be enjoyed and we can move forward with the “solera method.” This involves periodically pulling 15 barrels out to enhance with fruit or other add-ins, then building the base beer back up again in the foeder. Using this method, we can maintain our source beer while still getting creative in smaller batches.
We are so excited to share this base beer with you TOMORROW, October 9th. We have an extremely limited amount that we have pulled out and carbonated so that our friends get to experience this unique brew. Going forward we will offer 2-4 extremely limited, taproom-only releases of foeder beer variations. Different fruits, ingredients, and techniques will take our base foeder sour to new territory. We hope you’ll join us to taste this great introductory sour beer. The flavor is tart, dry, soft, and light bodied with notes of tropical fruit and citrus. We will also have Frankly Sausages food truck from 5-8 PM and Free Trivia from 7-9. Three wonderful reasons to spend your Wednesday with Six Mile Bridge.