Halcyon Barrel House releasing its first sour ale, Gravity Well, to LCBOs
After brewing the early batches and nearly a year of patient waiting, Halcyon Barrel House is set to release the first of its sour beer creations into Ontario LCBOs. Gravity well is a modern interpretation of a Flanders-style red ale. True to tradition for the style, the beer is both fermented and aged in wood barrels at Halcyon.
The 9 % ABV Gravity Well pours a deep red. Its aroma is noticeably malty with a sweet tang, offering up stone fruit undertones and a hint of wine. Flavours are tart with cherry and wine, and slight alcohol warmth. At the heart of what makes Gravity Well special is the tandem of the acidity playing off the subtle caramel malty sweetness, keeping each other in check.
This balanced tart and fruity maltiness in Gravity Well is fine-tuned by Brewmaster Bryce McBain, who has been steadily brewing up and barreling a supply of his red ale since 2016. The barrels, which now number in the hundreds, are ostensibly similar: each held red wine in a previous incarnation, each now holds up to 220 L of beer. But each barrel takes on a distinct flavour when fermented with a mix of different yeasts and bacteria, and aged for various lengths of time. McBain custom-blends each batch Gravity Well from his in-house supply.
Conditioned in 750 ml bottles and sealed with cork and cage, Gravity Well will be sold at only a small number of LCBOs in Ontario, as well as a handful of craft-friendly restaurants and beer bars in the province. Halcyon Barrel House beer is also stocked and sold at the tap room at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario. Halcyon Barrel House expects to continue release Gravity Well on an ongoing basis, but in limited supply.
Halcyon Barrel House is modern brewing, patiently rooted in traditional methods of mixed fermentation, barrel aging and bottle conditioning. Halcyon Barrel House opened in May 2017 with Infinity Mirror, a Brett IPA available in Ontario and Québec. Infinity Mirror won Silver at the 2017 World Beer Awards in the Experimental Beer category. www.halcyon.beer Halcyon Barrel House is part of the Beau’s family. www.beaus.ca