Catching Up with Trinity Brewing - An Interview About All the Upcoming Plans and Releases

If you've paid attention to Trinity Brewing lately you've probably noticed that not only did they expand their brewery by 300% but they've been talking about a number of different new brews. They've got plans for a beer called Oh Face, Capitaine, and a Black Fox collaboration. Not only that but they've already released some awesome Saisons including the Three Flowers and the Saison du Tomme. I imagine this season has been very exciting for brewer and president Jason Yester. I caught up with Jason via email to ask him about some of the new brews and new things happening around the brewery. Here's our conversation:

It sounds like you guys will soon be putting out a lot more bottles, how exciting is that? Has the expansion really opened the floodgates of possibility and creativity, or do you find yourself still playing catch up?

Yes, that was one of the goals for our expansion, to be able to do more bottles...I am currently still catching up on Farmhouses and house draught because we are selling more than I projected, but we are still on schedule to begin releasing batches of bottles by fall as we had planned. Right now I am trying to find offsite storage and license it properly so we can develop a cellar for these special bottles.

Any plans for distribution of bottles, if so, where?

We will likely sell extremely limited quantities of Bottles out of town.  Places like Falling Rock and The Kitchen have been hounding us, and I think it would do Trinity well to have some placement in shops that respect and present beer in high regards.

You mentioned to me recently that all your saisons will now have a blended yeast with a bit of Brett. Can you tell us a bit more about this new yeast strain mix and what we might be able to expect that's different (even if subtle) in your newest beers? Will all your bottles also have brett as well?

My new mixture is 70% 3726 [Farmhouse Ale Yeast], 20% Drei Fonteinen Bretta, and 10% 3711 [French Saison Yeast]. The resulting mixture creates a dry and spicy beer from the Saison yeasts that is a little bit more earthy along with subtle hints of bitter leather from the addition of Bretta. And, yes, all of our Saison family of bottles will include Bretta.

Okay, now I have some questions about your upcoming bottled beers.

Oh Face/Occupational Hypnotherapy
I see two titles, which one will it be? The title is based on Office Space, as is the TPS Report beer. Do you find inspiration in that movie when creating the recipe as well? What can we expect from this beer, sounds like it will be light at 4.8% but also full of flavor and texture. Tell me more! When will it be out?

This beer was previously called Provisional, we only changed the name and not the recipe. We wanted to call the beer Occupational Hypnotherapy, but TTB claimed that name promised unwarranted affects to consumers and made us change it. So, we just nailed a board with the word 'Face' spray-painted over the name to partially cover it and give TTB a little attitude :p ... That rendition of the label was approved. Our 'Cases of the Mondays' series is definitely inspired by the movie Office Space. I would say the inspiration is less in the direction of recipe and more in the direction of lifestyle of doing things your own way and not really following other people's rules! This entire series will be Brettas and not 'sours,' and we plan to introduce two more beyond 'Oh Face' and 'TPS Report' which will be brewed once a year. The first recipe will be dry hopped and more similar to an IPA base beer, and the second will be a darker beer....both will be Brettas.... I would place this series theme similar to the tasty Brettas that Chad Yakobsen makes at Crooked Stave.
Capitane Petite Bouddha
This sounds like a new version of the Buddha Nuvo, am I right? If so, what's different about it? I see some of the adjuncts are different, what will this beer turn out like? Did any of your adjunct quantities change as well? When will it be released?   

Since opening Trinity I had always planned on doing a huge Blonde Saison (10%+ ABV) and I've always loved Buddha's hand. Now that our expansion is complete and we have additional capacity, I can finally fit this beer in to our schedule. Although I loaned some of my Saison ideas to Buddha Nuvo, like massive amount of pumpkins, these are ideas that already existed in Trinity Saisons since the beginning. Squashes and spelt are two of my favorite things to use in a Saison because of the dramatic affect they have on texture. I look at Saisons as the antithesis of 'intentionally slap you across the face and dump yer dick in the dirt by adding way too many ingredients' brewing. Good Saisons present ideas in a humble way, you don't have to throw as many hops in the kettle as it can hold to make a nice dynamic beer. Saisons are very quiet with how they present complexity. While many can appreciate these beers, people with trained palates will be able to enjoy the complexities more, and I look at this recipe as falling right in with the Trinity Saison theme specifically. This recipe includes ingredients typically used in Belgian beers and cuisine: spelt, rye, grains of paradise, oats, wheat, pumpkin, cacao nibbs, and brown sugar candied endive. I look at the Buddha's hand as just a very nice and unique zest which will fit in a blonde Saison recipe perfectly. Capitaine basically translates as 'maestro' or 'the master,' and we are doing this beer as a tip of the hat (or a floating of the hat :p) for Peter Bouckeart... the man who generously taught so many American brewers how to make beautiful Belgian inspired beers. Since day one at Trinity, I have also planned to do an alter-ego beer to our 'Farmhouse Nocturnum'...and this is that beer. Both will be available only in bottles, and the Nocturnum will feature a similar label to the artwork of Capitaine, but with a Black Bird in place of the Owl. Although I've not come to a specific name for that beer yet, it is going to pay homage to the best rock and roll band in history... THE BEATLES xD.

Black Fox Collab:
We are very curious about this beer, I remember you told me about it months ago and it's supposed to reference the Mayan Calendar coming to a close. It's another collaborative brew with Black Fox. Can you tell me more about the inspiration for the beer, the recipe and the name (if it has one), and what you are expecting the beer to be like? 

The name of this beer is 'Le Petite Morte Trajet,' which translates to 'Little Death Ride.'
We'll be using large amounts of corn on this beer, wild cinnamon, beans, squashes, cacao nibs, peppers, annatto to make the beer blood red etc etc etc...All Mayan cuisine ingredients on this recipe. We are also aging this beer on clay to lend somewhat of a musty and dry character as if it were created in clay pots. Black Fox owner, John Schneider, and I both like a challenge and we work well together on recipe formulation. We're able to build on each other's ideas and create a recipe that neither of us could craft alone. We will switch artists every other collaboration, so the artwork for this label will be done by Black Fox. We are releasing it in bottles and only about 6 kegs to very select accounts! It will be released on 12.21.12 and Trinity will host a Death Costume party that night along with a grindcore band from 10:00pm - 1:00am .... 12.21.12 is likely going to be another Y2K, but John and I figured that if the world ends that night we're going to enjoy the ride ;)

Le Petite Morte Trajet is your #2 collab with Black Fox, is there a general theme behind these collabs, or is the general theme just to make it as wild and crazy as possible? (BTW recently had another Double Rainbow and I thought it's turning out really nicely).

The general theme on our collaborations is to capture contemporary culture and put that memory in a bottle the best way we can...If it takes wild and crazy ideas to get there, then so be it...we've got the talent :) ...Double Rainbow is now gone forever, except for the lucky few of us who cellared some bottles. Our collaborations are extremely limited and will only be brewed one time ever. 

One last question: What's in the works? Do you have a beer idea or something that you're working on that you'd like to share that we haven't mentioned today?

I think for right now this pretty much wraps it up.... this is a huge amount of work and will keep me extremely busy! :p

- - -Stay up to date with Focus on the Beer. You can receive email updates and join us on our Facebook page.

BeerEric Steen