You make sour beer. As we mentioned in the description for Scratch 34, Tim’s Belgian Brown, we tried in vain to bottle-condition the beer to a high degree of carbonation. Since we couldn’t sell it in that state and we are loathe to pour perfectly good beer down the drain, we’ve spent a lot of time since then emptying the bottles by hand into our oak barrels. Today we finished emptying the last of our 150-or-so cases into barrels, which was a good feeling, to say the least. You ever open and dump a few hundred bottles of beer at a time? It helps if you can find your mental happy place.
In the end, though, it’ll be worth it. We’ve been tasting some of the barrels, and it’s very early, but the dark fruitiness and spice of the base beer should play well with the oak and the funkiness from the blend of yeast and bacteria that we took from some other barrels, including 2 types of Brettanomyces, Lambicus, and who knows what else. It needs some time, but like I keep trying to tell everyone, you can’t rush genius.