D’Vine Visions is our second collaboration with Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. During the month of September 2019, just prior to the Terroir Project, both Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave and our own “Sour Jim” Crooks embarked on a blending project at Barrelworks that would showcase beers utilizing various fruits like grapes and apples, and co-fermenting those sugar sources with malted barley.
D’Vine Visions creates vibrant citusy floral aromatics, fresh and zesty mandarin orange flavors along with crisp Arkansas Black apple tannin.
We had a chance to sit down and talk to Jim and Chad about this exclusive project.
Jim: “I became aware of Chad by way of Matt Brynildson, pointing out there was a microbiologist studying the ins and outs of Brettanomyces. I think it was at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2011 or 2012. I sat in on a seminar where Chad was speaking, and it was impressive! I was in awe of the knowledge this this young man had on the subject. I thought of myself as a microbiologist, and then here’s this person that studied this whole other side of it. A part that’s basically un-talked about, you couldn’t find any information on at the time. A secretive piece of brewing that Belgians held so close to their chests. And Chad just cracked that whole thing open to the public. And I immediately thought, I need to become friends with this guy.”
Chad: “Jim is referencing my work on the Brettanomyces Project, and it being a really small part of the brewing industry. I published the paper, and all of a sudden these legends of brewing that I really looked up to started reaching out.”
“I came to the Firestone brewery for the From the Barrel event in 2010. I was excited to try the new Firestone Walker Barrelworks beers. I had only read about them and they weren’t available in Colorado. Matt Brynildson introduced me to Jim, and it was pretty exciting.”
AN EARLY COLLABORATION
Jim: “I think the first collaboration we did was in 2013. I sent Chad a plum beer barrel using fruit from Brynildson’s back yard, and he blended it with a plum beer of his.”
Chad: “That’s right. I blended it with an experimental barrel I had, the only one. It had these dark purple, Elephant Heart plums, it was our first plum sour. We served it up at GABF. It was early days and I’ll never forget that.”
BLENDING AT BARRELWORKS
Jim: “We have tons of different colors and spices and fruited things at Barrelworks. I saw the opportunity, when Chad was coming out for the Terroir Project, to set him free in Barrelworks. I pulled down all these different barrels just to see what happens. There’s a lot of synergy that happens- our taste buds sometimes are very similar, but obviously, there’s a lot to learn from our differences as well.”
Chad: “This wasn’t a collaboration where we wrote a recipe, decided what hops and malt to use, and brewed – which can be fast. There’s an entire life to these wild beers, they’ve been fermented, transferred, fruit added to different barrels, all sorts of factors. You have to approach with a very open mind. Jim pulled down 18 or 20 barrels. We lined up samples of all of them, took tasting notes and our wheels just started churning, no preconceived notion, no concept. And things just start jumping out. And you start to build layer upon layer.”
After tinkering and layering with multiple beers, Chad and Jim came up with a final blend. It has layers of three different beer-wine hybrids, a unique transformed hop element, and wild barrel fermented apple juice. A full breakdown of the blend in D’Vine Visions:
• 38.5% – 2017 Whale Rock Pale Ale-A dry-hopped white wine hybrid pale ale, aged in French Oak with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
• 21.5% – 2018 Scar of the Sea Arkansas Black apple juice, fermented and aged in French Oak with spontaneous cultures.
• 21% – 2018 Grenache grape wine/beer hybrid, fermented and aged in French Oak with spontaneous cultures.
• 19% – 2017 Sauvingon Blanc grape wine/beer hybrid, fermented and aged in French Oak with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus.
Jim: “It’s nuts. How it just jumps, it crosses so many different boundaries of flavor and aromatics. Aromatics on steroids, grapefruit, mandarin and melon jumping out of the glass.”
Chad : “It has this blush, orange salmon color to it. It has aromas coming from of different layers of fruit. It has wine, it has cider, it has tannins, it blurs the lines in a unique way, and it smells awesome. There’s some deep earthiness, reminiscent of a lambic type beer. There’s a gentle, tart mouthfeel; apples provide a different acidity than these wild beers normally have.”
BEHIND THE NAME: A D’VINE VISION
Chad: “There’s a lot of meaning behind the name of this beer. I hope that with D’Vine Visions, in reading the description and tasting it, it gets the juices flowing. Think about what beer and what beverage even can be. This pushes the boundary between wine, cider, and beer.”
Jim: “I’m obsessed with the idea of creating an experience in the drinker that takes them away from what they’re doing right at that moment. To help recall a memory: of tasting something specific, or a reflection on an experience. And for a brief second, they forget that they’re drinking beer. That experience is truly transformative. With the name D’Vine Visions, it’s kind of metaphysical – a transformation of where you are to a place you love.”
We are thrilled to release this beer online for a limited time.
Only 35 cases were produced, and at 7.9% it’s a stunning vision. This beer will be available at our Buellton location only starting Thursday, October 1, with a two-bottle per person limit. Pre-order today on our webstore, available for California residents.