FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Gilded Goat Brewing Company has become the first brewery in Fort Collins to use traditional Belgian methods to create lambic and gueuze style sour beers using a coolship and spontaneous inoculation.
Coolships (Dutch/Flemish word is koelschip) are wide and shallow open top stainless vessels that have been used for centuries across Belgium. Their use has experienced a renaissance in craft breweries across America over the last decade. After following a traditional recipe and brewing process, the coolship is filled with hot wort and left exposed to the cold winter air overnight. During this time, as the wort cools, naturally occuring yeast and bacteria float into the open vessel. Once cool, the wort is transferred into oak barrels and left to ferment for up to three years before blending. Since these beers rely on local, air-borne microbes for fermentation and locally sourced malts, these beers often have an exclusive terroir.
Head brewer and co-owner Charlie Hoxmeier, who holds a PhD in Microbiology from Colorado State University, wants to make a uniquely Fort Collins beer using these methods while diving into the science behind spontaneous fermentations. According to Hoxmeier, “This town is famous for its beer, which often contains locally sourced ingredients. I want to take that next step and employ spontaneous inoculation to make these styles of beer.”
Numerous scientific studies have investigated the microbial species involved in spontaneous fermentations in Belgium. Hoxmeier and Gilded Goat Brewing want to know how the species floating into beer in Colorado compare to the Belgian cultures. In collaboration with the Fermentation Science and Technology program at Colorado State University, genomics specialists at Yale University and other Colorado brewers using spontaneous inoculation, Hoxmeier and his team will sequence the DNA of these microbes throughout fermentation.
“I think our study will uncover some regional differences in microbe populations,” said Hozmeier. “We will also be able to compare Colorado lambic beers with traditional lambic beers in a new way, and potentially uncover new species of yeast and bacteria that could be used for other types of brewing and fermentations.”
Gilded Goat Brewing Company will add spontaneous fermented beers to their award winning repertoire, which includes a GABF gold medal winning Bock, a malty German lager and a long list of traditional and unique beers.
About Gilded Goat Brewing Company
Gilded Goat Brewing Company’s mission is to cater to our customer by carefully crafting bold and balanced beer using the best ingredients in an exceptionally clean environment; making our products available in a comfortable and enjoyable setting; and employing knowledgeable and friendly staff who reflect these values.