Country Boy Brewing has been quenching the thirst of Lexingtonians for 6 years this week.
I sat down with owner and brewer Evan Coppage to talk about Country Boy’s Living Proof series, consisting of wild and sour ales.
Evan gives credit to Jolly Pumpkin for sparking his interest in using unique chemistry and yeasts to produce a wide array of flavors. He also drew from his experiences traveling in Belgium visiting breweries such as Cantillon. Evan and Country Boy have also collaborated with American sour-producing breweries such as Upland in Indiana and Blue Jacket in the D.C. Area.
Evan and his brother Nate tend to over 300 barrels in the Country Boy warehouse. This includes a foeder (pictured) and their own creation: a “Franken Foeder” made from inoculated wine barrel staves fixed inside one of CB’s original stainless steel tanks.
Evan says his favorite part of the process is tasting and blending the barrels to produce the best flavor profile they can. He also stated one of the challenges of this process is the re-fermenting of fresh fruit such as strawberries, cherries, peaches, and plums.
Evan’s recommendation for those wanting to try their hands at this style, or simply to educate themselves, is the book “American Sours” by Michael Tonsmeire, who is also the founder of the website themadfermentationist.com.
If you’re interested and want to learn more, check out Country Boy’s anniversary Facebook event. The celebration starts this Thursday, February 8th, running through Saturday, February 10th. Be sure to come out Friday night, and hear from the man himself at the Country Boy Warehouse on Chair Ave. as he discusses the sour program and gives a tour of their facilities. Just as I had the privilege of previewing all this for the article, you too will be shown where all the sour magic happens. You will have the opportunity to taste the progress of these delicious creations and learn more about their process. As a bonus, bottles of their Rose Wild and Strawberry Ginger Golden Wild will be available for purchase! Hope to see you there!