W&L No. 024: Marley
a saison with roasted beets and sweet orange peel
Exploring how different ingredients – whether it be fruits, herbs, or spices – interact with our house culture is one of the most fascinating parts of our ongoing experimental series of saisons. Rather than providing a one-note experience, it’s our goal with these adjunct-driven beers to present an interplay between the base beer, our blend of wild yeasts and bacteria, and an array of special ingredients.
These two new installments of Windward and Leeward represent just that: a goal of capturing the “essence” of two distinct root vegetables. After roasting up batches of beets and carrots from our friends at @farmstandlocalfoods we blended them into a simple farmhouse ale base. Inspired by culinary pairings, we added dried sweet orange peel to Marley and dill to Tosh post fermentation, adding an extra layer of complexity to each beer.
Why beets and carrots, exactly? From Geoffrey: “I like the raw texture of both, how they’re almost like candy in that form. The idea with roasting them was wanting to get a maillard reaction – not leaving the sugar behind but getting that other earthy component of caramelization. Our culture is so voracious it dries everything out anyway, leaving behind the essence of that particular ingredient.”
There is also a layer of sensory dissonance with Marley and Tosh: deep, vibrant colors suggest a fruitiness or sweetness upon first glance, with the aromas and flavors providing stark contrast to these expectations. “The other thing I really like about both these beers is how the culture doesn’t change the color – you get this deep garnet color from the beets that almost says “fruit punch” in your mind, but there’s a deep earthiness on the palate.”