LACOMBE, AB — Blindman Brewing, a lively craft brewery in the friendly little city of Lacombe, is embarking on an adventure in oak and beer. They’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign to pre-sell special foeder beer and merchandise and some special experiences to help them pluck 2 beautiful, giant, oak tanks out of France and into small-town Alberta. The campaign seeks to raise $20 000 by February 5th, 2017.
What is a foeder?
These vessels have been used by winemakers (and in some cases specialized European breweries) for centuries to age and condition wine and beer. Lately, craft brewers in the U.S., and now Canada, are using them to do the same with local craft beer. There are a variety of processes that take place but the basic idea is that wood, unlike stainless steel, allows a slow ingress of oxygen into the beer as it sits in the foeder for months or years. This reacts with sugars, yeasts and the wood to change the beer in very interesting ways as it ages.
“Perhaps the most special aspect of our future foeders is that they’ve been used to age Cognac for years,” said Kirk Zembal, “We have experience with aging beer in used spirits barrels like bourbon and we hope that we’ll be able to transplant some of that French terroir and Cognac character into our home here in Lacombe and into the beer that we will fill these foeders with.”
Blindman’s first batch of beer was brewed in September of 2015 and they (Adam Campbell, Hans Doef, Shane Groendahl, Dave Vander Plaat and Kirk Zembal as founders and Curtis, Natasha, Chelsea and Jacki as newer additions) have been growing and expanding and broadening their horizons in the burgeoning Alberta craft beer scene.
“We’ve arranged for a cooper (barrel-maker) to make any necessary repairs and a couple upgrades to these foeders and get them ready for their ocean ride out of southwestern France and over to Halifax,” said Kirk Zembal, “they’ll overland from there and we hope to get them sometime late winter/early spring.”
The Indiegogo model allows Blindman to pre-sell beer (unlike Kickstarter) and will hopefully allow them to connect deeper with their patrons and have a little fun doing so. Blindman always welcomes people out to Lacombe where they have a taproom and they would love to chat anytime.
You contribute to the campaign at http://bit.ly/2hhCEHN