Floodland Brewing

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FoudreGuy

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Cats out of the bag, bottle club sold out, time to talk about this more now.

Adam Paysse was one of the founders of, and brewers at, Holy Mountain Brewing. Last year he decided to branch out on his own and start Floodland Brewing in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. His plan is to continue focusing on his passion for fermenting and blending dry, hoppy, wild beers.

http://www.washingtonbeerblog.com/s...ocus-on-barrel-fermented-mixed-culture-beers/

http://www.floodlandbrewing.com
 

evanw1

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Super close to my place: Check. Run by a former Holy Mountaineer: Check. Mixed-fermentation goodness: Check.

Signing up seemed like a no-brainer to me.
 

beerscenes

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Some of the early peeks at what he's working on have been tantalizing, and after spending a decent amount of time with Adam, I'm pretty sure my tastes align pretty closely with what's to come.

Sounds like the majority of the membership was filled by locals, which is pretty neat. Especially with his intent to have time slots for visiting the barrel room. I'm sure I'll see some familiar faces there.
 
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FoudreGuy

FoudreGuy

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Glad that this wasn't published before the membership was opened up. (Though I guess I'm not sure what kind of readership Draft has, really.)

I'm glad as well.

They do a bunch of "best XXX" double blind lists all the time that always drove people insane, so I'm guessing they have a sizable reader base.
 

wethorseblanket

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Pallbearer t-shirt! Approved.

WEB_20170708_DraftMag_SeattleBreweries_FloodlandBrewing_Jeremy-BeBeau_01_small.jpg
 

JimmyWimms

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Not a local (sorry :oops:), but have followed from a (literal) distance once a friend in Seattle notified me several months ago that this project was happening. Joining the club was an easier sell to the wife once neither of us got into Keepers, though this is hardly a "consolation prize". Looking forward to tasting what Adam has been cooking up!
 

beerscenes

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The first bottles are set for release to club members. paysse was kind enough to provide tasting notes I can include in my Untappd check-ins.

Protection Spells

Protection Spells is a blend of saison and acid beer fermented and aged in oak and refermented on pluots.

The 2017 harvest blend was created from a spelt beer fermented and aged in an oak puncheon with a mixed culture. This acid beer was blended with young wheat saison fermented in an open top oak tank and aged in white wine barrels. This blend was refermented on ‘Hawaiian Punch’ pluots grown in Selah, Washington by Collins Family Orchard. Collins Family is a fourth generation farm which has been in operation for over 100 years in the Yakima valley. After refermentation it was again refermented in the bottle, and will continue to develop over time.

Bottled 10/17/17.

Plums are possibly my favorite fruit to make beer with. These plums from Collins Family Orchard were beautiful, and amazing to eat. They are technically pluots, as Collins does a lot of hybridization, but without knowing that you would think to eat and see them that they are plums. One of the reasons I enjoy making beer with plums so much is that they rarely taste literally like themselves. While raspberries and peaches when fermented taste like raspberries and peaches, plums evolve into all sorts of other interesting flavors. In this case the Hawaiian Punch plums tasted very tropical and looked like a blood red beet, but after refermentation we ended up with a beer whose aroma and flavor hit with rose water and grapefruit, backed with some mulling spices. This is a beer that represents my interest in making and drinking beers which balance fruit character rather than hitting you over the head with it. It has a lot of fruit character, but the fruit is balanced with hops, yeast, and some of the base malt, as well as a supporting minerality. Protection Spells is spritzy and refreshing, with a light and crisp acidity. It's probably more akin to a long poured vermouth soda or an Aperol spritz than beer. I've been enjoying drinking it quite a bit, and I've stashed a few bottles away for the summer so I can drink them in the back yard when it's hot out. The carbonation is moderate so it works to open it at fridge or cellar temp. Bottled 10/17/17. 400 bottles available. The beer is tasting great now and the conditioning should continue to develop. Because it's a lower abv, lighter beer I'd expect that it peaks this spring/summer and I wouldn't recommend cellaring it for more than a year.​

Drive out the Spirits
Drive Out the Spirits is a blend of saison and wild ale fermented and aged in oak and refermented on blueberries.

The 2017 harvest blend was created from a spelt beer brewed with aged hops and fermented and aged in an oak puncheon with our wild culture. This wild acid beer was blended with young wheat saison fermented in an open top oak tank and aged in white wine barrels. This blend was refermented on ‘Early Blue’ blueberries grown in Mossyrock, Washington by Glenn Aldrich, whose family has been growing blueberries in the same spot since 1944. After refermentation it was again refermented in the bottle, and will continue to develop over time.

Bottled 09/21/17.

An old school blend, using young (3+ month old) saison to blend down the acidity of an older wild beer. The wild puncheon in this was beginning to develop some nice lambic-esque funk, particularly some toasted sesame character. The saison that I cut the acidity with was very creamy from the heavy use of raw wheat, and had a bit of lemon Brett character. The resulting beer is dry, with a driving lactic acidity balanced with prominent minerality and a raw wheat creaminess. There is blueberry skin tannin, black pepper, tobacco, and a dry but creamy blueberry character that really develops in the finish. Bottled 09/21/17. 450 bottles available. The culture in this beer progresses slowly, and at 4 months in the bottle the condition is just beginning to come into its own. Of the three January beer this is the one that will most benefit from a bit of additional time, and I think it is likely to taste even better in March/April and beyond than it does now.
The club member bottle has also been announced:

Field Blend - Cherry, is the first in a series of Field Blend beers. The 2017 harvest cherry iteration of this beer includes Balaton (organic), Montmorency, and foraged Cornelian cherries, all from Washington. Two bottles of this Field Blend are included as part of your Oakworks membership. No additional bottles will be available, the Oakworks allocation is the entirety of the production and there is no draught.

Cinnamon in beers isn't usually my thing, but NW pie cherries in particular tend to have an amazing and prominent cinnamon flavor, and that comes through big in this beer. A few folks who have had this have said that it reminds them of pie. There's a bit of crust from the spelt and wheat in the base beers, the cornelian cherries add a floral, strawberry/cranberry character that makes this really different from a lot of other cherry beers, and the inclusion of the cherry pits gives a nice coconut and vanilla custard background note. The acidity on this one is just to my liking, very moderate. The goal with most of these beers is drinkability, and this hits that nail on the head for me. Bottled 09/14/17. I think this is drinking great now and will likely be at its peak over the next 6 months.
Excited to give these a try in just over a week! (If I can bring myself to open the bottles immediately.)
 
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paysse1

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Still curious about the name of my unlabeled red raspberry saison bottle... my beer OCD is a terrible thing.
To know its true name gives you power over it.

That beer will probably come out in March, it is red and gold raspberries. While the beer is nice, I didn't want it to come out in January because I am not sure I will make it again, so it isn't the most representative of Floodland.
 

beerscenes

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WTF is acid beer? assuming it is some sort of sour base?
This was Adam's response on BA:
It's a term I've used for a long time, and my vague memory is that I picked it up back in the day from Belgian brewers, but I could be wrong about that. It certainly has been colloquial amongst myself and brewer friends for many years.

Acidity is, like bitterness, just a spectrum... all beers fall on the acidic end of the pH spectrum to varying degrees. I say "acid beer" as shorthand to mean a beer fermented with a mixed culture including bacteria which shows more acidity than a standard ale/lager.

Saison, imo, are not intentionally acidic beers. They may acidify with age, but I no longer intentionally put bacteria into my saison cultures. At Floodland they have bacteria from the open fermentation, and mostly I hop them to retard acid formation. My "acid beers" are made with cultures which are wild or which are meant to mimic wild cultures (have bacteria in them intentionally) so that they do acidify as blending components.
Edit: "Homie" isn't exactly what he said...
 
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andrewdrinks

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I’d like to try the beers but am not in the club (for obvious reasons) - what are my options aside from trading? Is there anywhere that will have them on-site?
 
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FoudreGuy

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I’d like to try the beers but am not in the club (for obvious reasons) - what are my options aside from trading? Is there anywhere that will have them on-site?

All the bottles for this first release went to Oakworks members. Haven’t heard about them being available for on-site. Not yet at least.
 

paysse1

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I’d like to try the beers but am not in the club (for obvious reasons) - what are my options aside from trading? Is there anywhere that will have them on-site?
There will be a public bottle release in the spring, and probably another in the summer. Nothing at any retail spots before that.

There will also be a draught event at The Masonry in Fremont at some point in the spring as well, but that is a ways away. I don't have much draught planned, but I've pulled kegs of a few things here and there. Once I have enough beers ready we'll do a draught party. That should be well announced on instagram and my mailing list and I'm aiming to have like 8 or so beers.
 

iong516

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This is an exciting new project, looking forward to trying your stuff whenever I should be so lucky.
 

bdalik

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If you don't mind me asking Adam (by all means, tell me to **** off), but what plato are you aiming for in these light-ish beers? using primarily spelt and wheat to add the "soft" character to the saisons?
 

paysse1

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If you don't mind me asking Adam (by all means, tell me to **** off), but what plato are you aiming for in these light-ish beers? using primarily spelt and wheat to add the "soft" character to the saisons?
Most of the beers right now are starting between 9 and 11 plato. The ABVs on the first crop of beers are based on back of the napkin math I did with the brix of the fruit, I haven't had anything lab tested yet, but my aim is to start getting legit lab ABVs as soon as I'm caught up. Most of the beers were 4.5-5% before fruiting. The 11 plato beers are mostly not released yet, or are blended with 9 plato beers.

For anyone who isn't a brewer, basically these are low gravity beers, they have ABVs similar to a pale or bitter, but they are completely dry, so they are much smaller than a 5% beer that has residual sugar which helps make them "digestible" as the Belgians would say. Most of the beers finish between 0 and 1 plato finishing gravity. Mostly 0, but some of the more complex mash processes yield a bit of unfermentables.

As far as wheat and spelt, yes, I think the standard cliches kind of apply. Spelt and wheat add a lightness, I think they help with drinkability, and at these low ABVs if you hit the right spots on the hot side, right minerality, right finishing acidity, and the right carbonation you can get a spritzy character that is really refreshing. Most of the softness tends to be multi-dimensional, in that it's not about a single thing, and so you get some folks, and I'll avoid naming names, but they do these really beautiful big (8% or what have you) bracingly acidic beers that have the pillowy/creamy profile which is so great. That's about protein levels and acidity and minerality and a totally dry beer with some perceived sweetness from the ABV. It's harder to hit that profile at lower ABVs, hence why Hill Farmstead are kind of the kings of that whole jam with dry/small beers, and my guess is that they are honest about their ABVs (never trust what you read on a label).

I'd argue that nothing is harder than making small, pale, dry beers that have nice mouthfeel, and which are also hoppy but not astringent or bitter, and simultaneously have light acidity. It's jumping from tightrope to tightrope to tightrope.
 

bdalik

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Most of the beers right now are starting between 9 and 11 plato. The ABVs on the first crop of beers are based on back of the napkin math I did with the brix of the fruit, I haven't had anything lab tested yet, but my aim is to start getting legit lab ABVs as soon as I'm caught up. Most of the beers were 4.5-5% before fruiting. The 11 plato beers are mostly not released yet, or are blended with 9 plato beers.

For anyone who isn't a brewer, basically these are low gravity beers, they have ABVs similar to a pale or bitter, but they are completely dry, so they are much smaller than a 5% beer that has residual sugar which helps make them "digestible" as the Belgians would say. Most of the beers finish between 0 and 1 plato finishing gravity. Mostly 0, but some of the more complex mash processes yield a bit of unfermentables.

As far as wheat and spelt, yes, I think the standard cliches kind of apply. Spelt and wheat add a lightness, I think they help with drinkability, and at these low ABVs if you hit the right spots on the hot side, right minerality, right finishing acidity, and the right carbonation you can get a spritzy character that is really refreshing. Most of the softness tends to be multi-dimensional, in that it's not about a single thing, and so you get some folks, and I'll avoid naming names, but they do these really beautiful big (8% or what have you) bracingly acidic beers that have the pillowy/creamy profile which is so great. That's about protein levels and acidity and minerality and a totally dry beer with some perceived sweetness from the ABV. It's harder to hit that profile at lower ABVs, hence why Hill Farmstead are kind of the kings of that whole jam with dry/small beers, and my guess is that they are honest about their ABVs (never trust what you read on a label).

I'd argue that nothing is harder than making small, pale, dry beers that have nice mouthfeel, and which are also hoppy but not astringent or bitter, and simultaneously have light acidity. It's jumping from tightrope to tightrope to tightrope.

wow couldn't really agree with you more. our philosophies on brewing are quite on par. i'd love to geek out with you a little more on these styles of beers. mind if I send you a message?
 

paysse1

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wow couldn't really agree with you more. our philosophies on brewing are quite on par. i'd love to geek out with you a little more on these styles of beers. mind if I send you a message?
You're better off emailing me. info at floodlandbrewing
 

beerscenes

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Next batch of beers is about to come out, and for various reasons I haven't even gotten around to popping a bottle from the first batch. If I can just kick this cold...

Time/Eternity

This was a beer I'd wanted to make for a long time. I'd loved Shiro plums for years, but never made a beer with them. In talking to the farm, I had expected a lot of fruit, and so I had chosen a blend with the memory of the fruit in my mind. My plan was to blend a puncheon of acid beer and some saison, to highlight the sort of tropical notes you often get from Shiro. When the fruit came in I had the barrels ready, and unfortunately the quantity of fruit was lighter than I was expecting. We processed the fruit and put the beer on it for refermentation, but I wasn't sure what to do beyond that, there was only enough fruit to handle the acid beer. So I held off on the saison and talked to the farmer, and finally learned that JC only has a single Shiro tree, and so the crop from year to year was entirely variable. Fortunately, it turned out that he also had a single tree of Howard's Miracle, which is a similar plum which I'd had before when visiting family in California, so I jumped at it and took the entirety of that tree's fruit as well.

In the end, I didn't blend the saison in, so this year the beer is quite a bit more acidic than it will likely be in the future. The beer came out of oak and into a brite tank on Shiros, and then it went back into a puncheon with the Howard's Miracles, where it sat for another several months before being bottled. Because the blend changed once the fruit came in, it ended up in a very different place than I had expected. The acidity is high for a Floodland beer (although maybe more in line with what you'd expect from many other mixed culture breweries). The aromatics and fruit really come out as the beer warms up, and it retains that Floodland signature subtlety and balance, dryness, and minerality. There are just a hair over 400 bottles so the entirety of the run is the 2 per person allocation, no draught. This release is included in your Oakworks membership, you won't see additional bottles for sale on the site.

Here's what I'll say about when to drink this: drink it soon. The fruit in this beer is subtle and it will fade. Drink it before summer. Honestly, drink it in the next few months. I also highly suggest when you drink it that you treat it like you would a bottle of champagne: put it in the fridge for 24+ hours, open it cold, pour a little, put the cap back on, and let it warm up. Smoke a joint, read a book, put a record on, throw water ballons at the noisy neighbor kids... then come back to it and have a glass in like 15 minutes, then repeat. It will open up really nicely, at first showcasing strawberries and white flowers, a bit of creamy and crackery spelt. Then later it morphs into straight up watermelon Jolly Ranchers and sour patch kid packet dust, then a kind of final lemon/lime explosion of citric acidity.​

Bottled 12/19/2017. I'm intentionally releasing this young in the bottle so you can drink it when the fruit is at the point it is now, which I really enjoy.​

Blackberry Field Blend

The second in this series for 2017 harvest fruit, this beer was a fun ride. Around 2010 I started playing with making fruit shrubs. All of the modern shrub recipes I found at the time were based around macerating fruit and adding vinegar, but I had read a bit somewhere about older shrubs being fermented, and of course that was of a lot more interest to me than adding vinegar. So I took a kombucha culture I had and began using it to ferment fruit.

The relative abundance of blackberries here in the summer made them a pretty easy candidate for low risk experimentation, I could pick some berries and if it didn't turn out I'd just toss it. After a bit the shrub was coming out really cool, and I ended up getting into a habit of coming home after work and blending the sour blackberry shrub with soda water and bourbon. It was this really cool combination of vanilla from the bourbon, blackberry, with a good spritz. It was crazily refreshing and it has kind of haunted me since I stopped making it.

This beer was initially inspired by that drink, and then it sort of morphed as other fruit came in. Two barrels of mixed culture acid beer fermented in still wet Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, aged for about 6 months, blended with a barrel of saison. The (organic) blackberries were huge and sweet and really floral, better by far than the common Himalaya Giant varietal that grows wild here (read this article for the story, which is pretty great https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/29/491797791/the-strange-twisted-story-behind-seattles-blackberries). When I was getting the blackberries I also got a call back from another farmer who had a bunch of extra blackberries and blueberries, and so she sent those over. Unfortunately her blackberries were in rough shape and I had to toss them, but the blueberries were cool, and the convergence of both fruits at the same time spoke to me.

The idea of the blueberry supporting the florality and lightening up the blackberry was suddenly really appealing, and so I threw in some of the organic Reka blueberries, which was maybe 10% of the total fruit. The fruiting rate on this beer is fairly high compared to my other beers, and the fruit definitely eclipses the bourbon character. You get a fair bit of vanilla and toffee/caramel as it warms, though, and I think it's got a pretty strong melon nose, as odd as that may sound. Definitely a cool one, and again, at a much higher level of acidity than most of the beers I did this year. If you like "sour" beers, grab this. This and Time/Eternity are the two most acidic beers in bottles at this point and with more varied blending components I don't expect anything quite this intense next year.​

Bottled 10/17/2017.​

Grails and Waysigns

This is my personal favorite so far this year, and the first saison to be released in an unfruited state. Grails is a wheat heavy saison, hopped with a blend of aged and fresh European varietals. I've been told people think it tastes like a grisette or a table beer, but at just under 10 plato, ie: just under 5%, I don't think it's small enough to be called a table beer or a grisette. Grails was fermented in our open top tank, absolutely no lid or cover on it for the first week+ of fermentation.

My goal going into this round of saison brewing was to reevaluate a lot of my assumptions after having brewed saison pretty obsessively for about 10 years. One of the core thoughts I had was to put together a new mixed culture that began its life incorporating only yeast, taking inspiration from what I thought might be the intent of old school rustic brewers. The open fermentation would allow ambient yeast and bacteria into the beer, brewing only in winter/early spring, and a secondary aging in oak would allow the beer to mellow in a temperature stable cellar until the beer was dry and digestible.

Grails has a strong lemon note, and originally I'd thought I would add some actual citrus to a variant of it, but in the end the beer found its way to that profile through fermentation and hopping.

Bottled 10/24/2017.​
 
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FoudreGuy

FoudreGuy

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This part of the email might be more important to everyone.

PUBLIC RELEASE
There will be a very limited public release of bottles shortly. This will include 3 of the 6 beers released to you guys in Jan/Mar. There's a tiny amount of these bottles, and so I wanted to ask ahead of time: please if you are an Oakworks member, or a partner or spouse of an Oakworks member, don't buy the public release. I am doing my best to share the beers with as many people as possible, and the 2pp allocation Oakworks folks get is a pretty big leg up on the rest of the public. I appreciate your help letting a few of these bottles get out to the rest of the folks who didn't get in on the Oakworks membership in time.
 
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FoudreGuy

FoudreGuy

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Adam hasn't shared any details about how the public sale is gonna go down. His threat of revoking Oakworks memberships from anyone caught profiting off his beers makes me think he'll be implementing some sort of anti-shitlord behavior mechanism. I'm guessing it will be online sales with in person pick up.
 

wethorseblanket

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This part of the email might be more important to everyone.

LOL. Love the sentiment here, and a new brewery that primarily makes saisons asking this of people in a small club will probably go over well and will be respected. But can you imagine if a Florida pastry factory asked this? PLEASE STAY AWAY, YOU ALREADY HAVE BOTTLES! I CAN'T STOP YOU BUT PLEASE DO NOT BUT BUY FROM THE PUBLIC SALE! The entitlement and "**** the brewer" attitudes so many people have today just would not allow this to happen.
 
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FoudreGuy

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LOL. Love the sentiment here, and a new brewery that primarily makes saisons asking this of people in a small club will probably go over well and will be respected. But can you imagine if a Florida pastry factory asked this? PLEASE STAY AWAY, YOU ALREADY HAVE BOTTLES! I CAN'T STOP YOU BUT PLEASE DO NOT BUT BUY FROM THE PUBLIC SALE! The entitlement and "**** the brewer" attitudes so many people have today just would not allow this to happen.

I’m also sure Adam would have no qualms blacklisting all of those people, too. Nice people also have money and like to spend it on beer.
 
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