Bottle Release: OXCART Blend A

I'm proud to announce the release of the 2018 version of OXCART. This is one of the most special beers that we make at Black Project. It is a blend of 1, 2, and 3 year old traditionally-produced spontaneous ale. OXCART exceeds the requirements to qualify for the Methode Traditionnelle III crest. This means that although it is produced outside of Belgium and thus should not be called "gueuze" or "lambic" it is made using the same traditional processes and ingredients.

Production of OXCART starts with a turbid mash of 50-60% Pilsner malt and 40-50% unmalted wheat. The percentages differ as we actually make 3 different recipes with slight differences in grist, mash schedule, and hopping rates. The idea behind this is to create some slight differences for diversity in blending stock, years down the line.

In any case, after the turbid mash creates a very dextrinous, starchy wort, it is boiled for 3-4 hours with a large amount of aged whole leaf hops. The hops we currently use are 2013 Brammling Cross hops from the UK that have been aged at ambient temperature since harvest and in our own barrel cellar for the past two years. We bought these hops in bulk to last multiple years, but we are also currently aging a large amount of Colorado-grown leaf hops - which will start to be blended in over the coming years.

Following the boil, the wort is cooled in our ~360gal copper coolship, located under a large window in our barrel cellar. As the wort cools overnight (we only brew from late fall to early spring, so the outside night air is quite cool), yeast and other wild microbes innoculate it with many different types of microbes that will be involved in fermenting and aging the beer over the coming years.

In the morning, the wort is pumped into steam-sanitized barrels (we want to encourage the microbes to come "spontaneously" from the air, not from previous batches in the barrel). After a few days, the wort begins to actively ferment. It develops alcohol and the pH begins to drop, setting the young beer up the full transformation that will happen over the next 8 to 36+ months.

The next and most important part of the creation of OXCART is blending. I taste through barrels in the cellar and come up with a blend that meets the requirements for age, but as important is the overall flavor - my goal is to blend a beer which tastes interesting, appealing, and characteristically "Black Project."

This year, two blends were made, OXCART A and OXCART B. The two beers share a common core, but do have some differences in an attempt to showcase a bit of the range that can be made just by selecting different barrels. These two blends were both bottled in the early days of 2018 and now the "A" variant is ready to be made available to the public. It will be released in a lottery format - entries for it start today - and there will also be some limited availability throughout the year as on-site bottles in the taproom. The bottles are 375mL, corked and capped, and cost $22. Stay tuned info and comparisons with the second blend, which we have scheduled to be released in October.

Thanks for your support,

James Howat

 

Bottle Release: MACH-LIMIT

April 23, 2018

Hello Black Project Fans,
We are delighted to be releasing this year's MACH-LIMIT in the coming weeks. This release will follow a lottery format. Please bear with us as we are in the process of working with an outside company to develop a MUCH SMOOTHER system for these lottery releases. It isn't quite ready so for this release we will have to stick with a similar system to what we have used for past releases. You can find the link to the lottery entry form at the bottom of this post. Here's some information about the beer:

MACH-LIMIT starts with wine grapes from locally-sourced, family-owned vineyards in Palisade, CO. Once the grapes have been destemmed and crushed, we allow the juice to rest for a few days - developing rich color and depth of flavor - before finally transferring the juice to neutral oak barrels along with beer from our spontaneous solera vessels. The beer then goes through a secondary fermentation with the grape juice, followed by additional aging in barrels. MACH-LIMIT is fruited at the highest limit allowed, thereby creating a beer that is truly something of a hybrid with intense grape character - almost sangria-like. To highlight the extreme wine-like character of this beer, it is bottled with only a very minimal amount of carbonation. This beer should age well with proper cellaring, however the grape character may diminish over time.

Variant 1: Petit Verdot x Cabernet Sauvignon

500mL bottles, cork and cap, $25

Variant 2: Malbec x Merlot

500mL bottles, cork and cap, $25

LOTTERY WINNERS WILL HAVE ONE VARIANT RANDOMLY SELECTED DURING THE LOTTERY PROCESS. YOU WILL NOT HAVE A CHOICE OVER WHICH VARIANT YOU WILL RECEIVE A VOUCHER TO PICK-UP. THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY DELICIOUS! 

LOTTERY WINDOW: Monday 4/23 @ 12PM - Friday 4/27 @ 9AM
LOTTERY WINNER SELECTION: Friday 4/27 @ 12PM
PAYMENT WINDOW: Friday 4/27 @ 12PM - Monday 4/30 @ 12PM
PICKUP WINDOW: Friday 5/4 @ 2PM - Sunday 5/6 @ 8PM⠀

Please click the button below to go to the lottery entry form. Before entering, please read the entry form page very carefully and note the terms and conditions, which you must agree to before entering.