3rd Anniversary Ale: Biere de Miel

We are excited to announce that for Council Brewing’s Third Anniversary we brewed a hybrid beer blending two unique styles: Biere de Miel (Honey Beer) and Biere de Champagne. This high ABV beer has surprisingly delicate flavors consisting of cracker-like malt, orange blossom honey and tropical fruits that are quickly cleansed from your palate thanks to the high effervescence.

This beer has been in the making for over two years and was initially inspired after the success of our First Anniversary beers: House Red (red wine hybrid) and House White (white wine hybrid). We wanted to create another beer that would push the boundaries of style descriptions.

We started with a simple golden base in order to allow the more subtle honey flavors to be showcased in the final product. The beer aged in both fresh white wine and neutral American oak barrels. We used a blend of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. The Brettanomyces was added to serve a dual purpose. First, to contribute some damp wine cellar notes as well as tropical fruit flavors. Second, to ensure the beer fermented as dry as possible to help with the Champagne-like finish. The Lactobacillus was key as it lowered the pH to also increase the perception of a crisp Champagne-like finish.

Once the initial fermentation settled down, we added Orange Blossom honey to each barrel. We did this after the primary fermentation to ensure that the delicate aromas would not be driven off. We also added the honey in multiple additions to continue to feed the microorganisms as they aged in the barrels. Honey consists of simple sugar that is easily fermented, therefore it was chosen as an addition to help the beer dry out and increase the Champagne-like quality. To enhance the Champagne impression further, Chardonnay must was also added to the barrels.

The final component of this beer was to achieve the distinctive Champagne-like high carbonation. This is a fairly difficult process considering the high alcohol content and low pH. We did extensive research and even performed some trial testing. We used what we learned to bottle the entire batch. This style must be served from a bottle to get the full experience of the extra high carbonation. To further serve this point, we bottled the entire batch - no draft will be available.

Transferring Biere de Miel into white wine barrels on April 2015 brew day.

Transferring Biere de Miel into white wine barrels on April 2015 brew day.

Our brew-dog Nelson enjoying honey leaking from the barrels!

Our brew-dog Nelson enjoying honey leaking from the barrels!

BOTTLE RELEASE DETAILS - 3rd Anniversary Biere De Miel
Release Date: Saturday, June 10, 2017 at our 3rd Anniversary Party
Pre-Sale Date: Bottles will be available for purchase starting June 6, 2017 at 12PM on store.councilbrew.com.
VIP Anniversary Ticket Purchases will receive first access to purchase bottles online beginning May 30, 2017 through the general public release. You will receive an email with purchase details. Buy Tickets Today
Beer Description: 3rd Anniversary Biere De Miel (11.2% ABV) is a Farmhouse Ale fermented and aged with honey in oak barrels for 18 months and cellared for an additional 9 months. Inspired by the celebratory spirit of special occasions and popping bottles of champagne, this beer is highly carbonated, packaged in champagne bottles, then corked, caged, and wrapped in gold foil.