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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Southern Prohibition launches a sour beer program

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 10:55 AM

click to enlarge Southern Prohibition Brewing ages some beer in bourbon barrels. - NORA MCGUNNIGLE
  • Nora McGunnigle
  • Southern Prohibition Brewing ages some beer in bourbon barrels.

Southern Prohibition Brewing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, announced the creation of a sour beer program. Head brewer Benjamin Green says that although the brewery is well known for barrel-aging beer in bourbon barrels, he has acquired white and red wine barrels and set up a separate area to work with wild yeasts.

“Sour beer is one of those things that’s really taken off, but we held off because we wanted to do it right," Green says. "We wanted to have a solid vision of where the program would go so we could put our best foot forward from the start.”

He adds that he’s hoping to do 100 percent Brettanomyces fermented beer as well as mixed fermentation in the sour program.

“I’ve been working with our lab, isolating different strains [of fermenting bacteria] so we can set up everything for the barrels to succeed,” Green says, adding that the new “bugs” require a significant amount of care and attention to handle. “It’s like having a couple new employees in the brewery,” he says with a laugh.

Currently, he’s working on fermenting the brewery’s saison, Soul Glo, in barrels inoculated with various combinations of four Brettanomyces strains, which will be blended at a later stage. Green doesn’t know when the beer will be ready, since he’s waiting to see what happens, and it’s difficult to predict the timelines of this method of fermentation.

He estimates the first wild-fermented saison will be available in three to six months.

“Right now, we’re seeing what works for us,” Green says. “We’ll need to mix and match, to turn these bugs into our own flavor.”

Southern Prohibition will showcase what it’s capable of in the Gulf South market, Green says.

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