Funky Buddha has become quite close and cozy with grape must.
Must is freshly-pressed grape juice, with all of the skins, seeds, twigs, and other stuff still there. Those solids (called pumice) are kept in the juice as a flavoring, then filtered out and pasteurized to make grape juice, or fermented to become wine.
A few months ago, I tried Undefeated Saison which featured, among other ingredients, Concord grape must. Quite delicious, and provided a great sweetness to the beer.
Of course I was excited to see that grape must was an important ingredient to their new bottle release, Iron and Barleywine (English Barleywine, 10.5% ABV, 30 IBU).
Barleywines tend to be incredibly strong, in both ABV and taste. They are usually syrupy as all get out, a slurry of alcohol and malt.
Iron and Barleywine, on the other hand, is a lot lighter feeling and more refreshing than that. To be sure, there’s a strong, deep, molasses-esque malt character that carries with it additional hints of burnt caramel and pumpernickel.
The grape must, however, does wonders. The sugary sweetness of the must does a lot to cut the excessively strong flavors of the barleywine down, keeping the palate from getting exhausted too quickly. It also brings a light juicy character to the beer that is recognizable and very flavorful.
Maybe it’s not the most traditional barleywine. Maybe I don’t care. It’s full of flavor and easier to drink than its 10% ABV belies.
And I don’t have to take my shoes off to crush grapes with my feet.
Drink Florida Craft,