Following on the heels of the nitro beer and cold brew coffee trend, tea time is even moving to the taps. Nitrogen gas infused into the tea as it fills your glass, imparts a creamy, full-bodied, almost velvety texture to the beverage. It also helps unlock even more aroma and helps cut the edge on any bitterness. When combined with the right tea blends, it's certainly an experience worth enjoying time and time again.
Most of our teas will be cold-brewed in house, from the highest quality ingredients. The slow extraction process subtly coaxes out the nuance of the tea. Some blends are just better to extract with a little heat though. After brewing, they're transferred to kegs and made available to all those stopping by the tasting room.
Oxymels & Shrubs (coming soon)
Oxymels have been around for thousands of years, along with their drinking vinegar cousins shrubs, switchels, etc. Traditionally, vinegar was used as a solvent to extract the desired active compounds from medicinal herbs and sweetened with honey to make them more palatable, resulting in an oxymel ("acid honey"). Although oxymels are typically made with just herbs, they can also incorporate fruits and spices. When fruits are introduced, they are typically referred to as shrubs.
Beyond their possible health benefits, we love oxymels & shrubs so much because they are a fun way to create refreshing, unique beverages. We don't make any health claims about our offerings, but can guarantee that they're perfect to quench your thirst on hot summer days, or serve as a tasty alcohol-free libation to help unwind at the end of the day. They can even be used to make some of the best vinaigrettes to ever dress a salad.
We start with the highest-quality vinegar we can get our hands on, or make it ourselves. Then a variety of different herbs, spices, and fruits are infused...followed by a healthy dose of local, raw honey. A growing variety of oxymels & shrubs will be available to mix with soda water or our meads in our tasting room.
Vinegar (coming soon)
Just like alcohol, vinegar was an accidental discovery. Basically, it's the continuation of the fermentation process. Once yeast is done converting sugar into alcohol, Acetobacter moves in and begins to convert the alcohol to acetic acid, in the presence of oxygen. However, it wasn't until around 1400 in France that vinegar was produced in a "factory" by means of the Orleans method for the first time.
When creating our vinegars, we either use a more traditional surface process or a small-scale version of the generator, or Schützenbach, process.
The surface process is very simple and consists of leaving the wine in an open container. The bacteria form a skin on the surface, “mother” of vinegar. It takes about 1 to 3 months to complete. After fermentation, about ⅓ of the vinegar is drawn off for bottling and replaced with fresh wine. The slow process results in an excellent bouquet in the finished product.
There are a few different generator processes, but the one we use was invented in 1823 by German chemist Schützenbach. It consists of a cylindrical vessel filled with non-compacting, inert material which is divided horizontally into three sections. The wine trickles down through the inert material, which provide a large surface area on which acetic acid bacteria can become established. The wine/vinegar is then returned to the top of the same tank for re-circulation.
The generator process is still relatively slow compared to more modern methods, but we believe it creates an incredibly enjoyable end product that:
- Maintains the best characteristics of the original wine
- Has a softer, more balanced acidity
- Is more full bodied, with richer flavors
- Requires shorter maturation time
We will offer a growing variety of honey, wine, and apple cider vinegars in the tasting room. Some will also be infused with various fruits, herbs, and spices.