Our November Brewhouse Rarities release, Vineyard Blonde, debuts on draft at the brewery tonight from 5 to 7 pm.
Our third agricultural collaboration of the year, Vineyard Blonde was brewed with 500 gallons of Vidal Blanc young wine from Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Virginia. What do we mean by young wine? As soon as grapes are harvested and pressed, they begin a natural fermentation that was halted once the juice was added to the beer during fermentation.
Vineyard Blonde is a light Belgian Golden Ale with a fruity and floral nose that continues in the flavor profile, melding with hints of white grape, honey, and biscuit malt sweetness. The combination of a Belgian yeast strain for primary fermentation and a champagne yeast strain for secondary fermentation makes the beer finish light, dry, and spritzy.
Here are some specifics:
Specialty malts: Torrified wheat, Aromatic malt
Hops: Nelson Sauvin
On a crisp late September morning, we participated in the Vidal Blanc harvest at Breaux’s 404-acre estate, which has over 100 acres of 18 different grape varieties planted.
Breaux is Virginia’s largest producer of Vidal Blanc grapes and maintains a year-round vineyard crew that nurtures the vines and fruit every step of the way.
Our brewers (including brewmaster Matt Brophy) worked closely with Breaux’s winemaker David Pagán Castaño throughout the planning, harvesting, and brewing process.
The Vidal Blanc grapes were pressed and delivered to our brewery within 24 hours of being harvested.