A couple of weeks ago we bottled our Hedgerow Autumn ale in preparation for its Autumn 2012 release. The reason we've bottled it so early is that many of the subtle fruit characters we're after only come though in the bottle conditioning process, or after being in the bottle for up to 6 months.
Last years release was dubbed as an Autumn Berry ale, something that a few people thought was a little misleading given is subtle fruit character. Whilst this was never meant to be a fruit beer, we've decided to call the 2012 release an "Autumn Ale", so not to confuse fruit beer fanatics. Again, the 2012 Hedgerow will have quite a subtle berry element to the beer, almost giving it a woody/earthy flavour.
This year we blended a portion of the beer that had been ageing in French Oak Pinot barrels, that even at this early stage, has defiantly come through into the beer as well as being slightly dry on the palate.
Release will be sometime in early Autumn 2012, but rest assured in the meantime the beer is happy sitting in the bottle waiting patiently to be enjoyed in a few months time.
We've still got a single barrel with beer in it that we'll monitor and taste over a yet to be decided time period, and decide what to do with it at a later date. Its honestly something that may sit there for up to another 12 months developing a personality.