Posted November 6, 2019
Starting Monday, November 11th, we will release the final piece of our 2019 First Fridays Collection: Your Popsicle Melted. Pouring an alluring scarlet hue, this blend of sour golden ales and saisons was aged in French oak wine barrels and Sangiovese puncheons with our house lactobacillus and brettanomyces cultures before resting on 6,000 pounds of Michigan-grown Balaton cherries for four months in our original oak foeder.
Ryan McNeive, lead brewer of our barrel-aging program, tells us more about the long and complex barrel-aging process involved in making Your Popsicle Melted.
I’ve come across a few Balaton cherry beers in the past, and have always been interested in making one here at Boulevard. Side Project’s Balaton has always inspired me, along with Sun King and a few other breweries that have used this specific cherry. It makes a very interesting flavor when used at a higher ABV.
We did a few brews over the course of 14 months, a Belgian Golden Strong in a foeder, and a couple of Saisons in red wine barrels. We blended up a ratio of what we really liked, and then added 6,000 pounds of cherries to that blend and placed it into our foeder.
We then did a super long maceration of the cherries. The whole fruit rested on the blended beer for 4 months. To put that into perspective, we usually do 2-3 months. That can be too long for a lot of fruits, but with cherries a long maceration seems to pick up more intense flavors and a bit more tannins, which creates a really unique beer.
Aroma – Tart cherries, lollipops, pie filling, brettanomyces
Malt – Pale malt, pilsner malt, wheat malt, unmalted
Hops – Aged saaz
Balance – Dry, slight puckering
Body – Light to medium
ABV – 7.4%
IBUs – 5
Color – 28