The beer, a Belgian wheat style flavoured with over 200kg of fresh strawberries, will be served on tap at the Tamar Valley Beer Festival (18th ,19th Jan) and Festivale (8th,9th,10th Feb).
The concept for the beer was in the increasing demand for the freshly picked field strawberries from Meander Valley Berries, who regularly sell over a 1000kg of strawberries within 2 hours at the local Harvest market in Launceston. Seeing the demand for the superb fruit, brewer Will Tatchell approached Meander Valley Berries about the concept for a strawberry beer for limited release this summer. Simon Dornauf, from Meander Valley Berries, jumped at the idea and fruit was made available for the development of the beer.
As craft brewers, we really try and test the boundaries of what we perceive beer to be, using different ingredients and varying production methods. We’d love drinkers to join in, and test their palates on some beer styles and flavours that they may have not tried before, and this beer hopefully provides that opportunity to do so. The beer itself was based upon a Belgian Wheat beer style, not only to match the warmer drinking weather at this time of year, but also too showcase as much of the strawberry flavor as possible that darker/heavier styles of beer may have subdued. The beer when through primary fermentation and then 120kg of freshly picked strawberries were added to a secondary vessel along with the beer and allowed to develop for 14 days. The aroma of the strawberries really started to show through after 7 days in the vessel, and after 14 days the beer was again transferred to another vessel along with a further 80kgs of strawberries. This second addition increased the flavor component of the beer and enhanced the aroma element to provide a superb balance in the final beer of strawberries and the wheat beer.
Geronimo serves as a beautiful shade of rose pink with an authentic opaqueness and exhibits that classically warm summer aroma of field fresh strawberries. The taste promotes the prominent strawberry characteristics, without the cloying sweetness often exhibited in strawberry ciders, whilst still allowing the yeast and light malt component of the wheat beer to show through. It develops a dry texture across the palate, perfect for thirst quenching in warmer weather, and at 4.3% Alv/Vol is lends itself to having a session on it at one of the two festivals it will be on tap. Served with a slice of fresh strawberry to further ingrain the fresh characteristics of the beer, you’ll have to get along to either of the two events in the next 4 weeks to try it as there are no plans to bottle it for release.