YEAST AND BACTERIA
There are four standard ingredients in beer: malt, hops, water, and yeast. Even though yeast can provide up to 50% of the flavor and aroma in beer, most breweries only use one or two yeast strains. Brettanomyces (considered a “wild” yeast) can be much more flavorful and interesting to boot! Brettanomyces, often referred to as Brett, is notorious for being hard to kill and infecting other beers. Most breweries and wineries take extreme measures to avoid it. Though Brett has been a component of Belgian beer for hundreds of years, and was in almost every beer created before Pasteur and the invention of better sanitation methods and stainless steel fermenters, the use of Brettanomyces as the only yeast in a beer is a very new concept dating back less than a decade. The flavors associated with the various strains of Brett include tropical fruit, earthiness, spiciness, cherry pie, pineapple, and bread, as well as some odd sounding flavors and aromas such as hay, funk, horse blanket, barnyard, and smoke.
At Cellador Ales, we are very passionate about the amazing flavor possibilities associated with the use of Brettanomyces. We embrace Brett fully, and incorporate it in most of our beers. We use many strains and blends of Brett to create a multitude of possible flavors which we often combine ingeniously with an array of specialty roasted malt, every possible experimental hop variety, and whatever local and organic fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices we can get our hands on.
Though it may sound odd, bacteria is also widely (and intentionally) used in breweries to create lactic acid which contributes a tartness or sour quality. These flavors can be found in traditional styles such as the German berliner weisse and the Belgian lambic, but have also been recently embraced by the American craft beer scene to create a complex and new spectrum of beers. The two strains, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, are also used in other food manufacturing industries such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread. These bacteria also play a big role in many of the beers produced at Cellador.
On top of locally grown organic fruit, herbs, vegetables, and spices, oftentimes, we’ll also add foraged ingredients native to Southern California. We plan to use unique ingredients such as white fir, sycamore bark, elderberries, willow and cottonwood leaves, mugwort, rabbit tobacco, black walnuts, wild honey, prickly pear, yarrow, sagebrush, chokecherries, black sage, fennel, pine sap, yucca flowers, various mountain berries including juniper, manzanita, coffee, toyon berries, and the list goes on! Many of these will be great candidates for harvesting and growing wild yeast that is truly representative of the Southern California landscape.
The inspiration and emotions that beautiful artwork can provoke parallel to us the impact a balanced and flavorful food or drink experience can too provide. Because of this, we oftentimes will collaborate with local artists to create and compliment our beer and brand.