A lightly soured Robust Porter, with Colombian panela (unrefined sugar), aged in Rioja red wine barrels. This yields a rich Porter backbone, strongly influenced by red wine and wood, and restrained sourness like a Flemish Red Ale.
29 Daniel was first brewed in November of 2013. It is brewed at Mateo & Bernabé & Friends, and imported by Sublime Imports. The brewery is in the charming town of Logroño, in a region called La Rioja in the north of Spain. This is a region famous for wine, where nearly 25% of the wine sold in Europe is made.
It didn't take long for the discussions for this beer to turn towards the idea of aging in Rioja red wine barrels. Sounds like a great idea - but there are considerations that come into play when you barrel age a beer that should be kept in mind when you create the recipe. Among them; the time in the barrel will rob some of the body from the beer, there's a very good chance the beer will be influenced by wild yeast (Brettanomyces) and bacteria (probably Pediococcus) that are in the barrels. and tannins from wood and grape from wine barrels can express too aggressively if the roasted grains are not restrained.
So, what to do?
• To ensure the mouthfeel for the final beer is appropriate, an extra measure of caramel malts is used
• To provide food for the wild yeasts and bacteria so the beer will express restrained sourness and a bit of funk, Colombian panela is used for residual complex caramelized sugars.
• To draw the richness from the black grains without too much roast and tannin, they are cold steeped and added at vorlauf instead of in the mash.
The aromas of the red wine, restrained sourness, some funk from the Brett, and the base Porter should bloom from the glass when you pour the beer. It will start somewhat sour and funky with lots of red wine character, and with time in the glass will gain richness and sweetness, and the Porter pedigree will move forward.
I hope you are as pleased with this beer as Alberto, Head Brewer at Mateo & Bernabé, and I are.