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Beer Meets Wine: A Brewery Techne–Tria Collaboration

Beer Meets Wine: A Brewery Techne–Tria Collaboration

It’s a beer! It’s a wine! It’s…a Brewery Techne–Tria collaboration, It Takes Brut to Tango!

These days, beer and wine mash-ups are officially A Thing. But we think this one’s special. Allow us to present a beer that thinks it’s a dry rosé wine – It Takes Brut to Tango.

What’s in a beer name?

Tria Taproom server / bartender extraordinaire (and closet wordsmith) James Trainer christened our newly brewed baby. (Was James channeling Pearl Bailey?)

Started life as a Saison

The intent of It Takes Brut to Tango is to create the positive vibe of drinking a dry rosé wine. The idea came from Tom Baker, friend of Tria, and co-founder/brewmaster at Earth - Bread + Brewery (Mt. Airy) and Brewery Techne/Bar Hygge (Fairmount). Tria partner and wine director, Michael McCaulley, is an devoted champion of pink wine, so this was just fine with us.

The starting point for It Takes Brut to Tango is a strong (about 8% ABV) Saison, a style at which Tom and his assistant brewer, Duffy Lonergan, are particularly skilled. The grain bill is predominantly Pilsner malt with a touch of light caramel malt. The hops are Citra with a hint of Mosaic, both used to subtle effect. Rather than a customary farmhouse ale yeast, Tom reached for a Burgundy red wine yeast, naturally used for Pinot Noir, also for other wines including rosés.

The Burgundy yeast goes into mash tun (L); James removes the spent grain, which goes to lucky livestock (R).

The Burgundy yeast goes into mash tun (L); James removes the spent grain, which goes to lucky livestock (R).

Prettier in Pink

To get the desired rosy hue, Tom used the newest old trick in the book: hibiscus flowers. For flavor, many fresh strawberries (and the zest of some brave blood oranges) were sacrificed to the cause.

Tom purees the fruit (L); Kasey adds it to the beer (R).

Tom purees the fruit (L); Kasey adds it to the beer (R).

Techne gets technical

So far, so good, right? Well, here’s the clincher: amyloglucosidase. (Say what?!) This hard-to-pronounce enzyme is used to “degrade starch polymers and maltose to glucose.” In English? It allows the yeast to ferment the living daylights out of the sugars, making for a BONE-DRY beer. (0° Plato for the beer geeks. Click here if you’re up for a short microbiology lesson, courtesy of Beer & Wine Journal.)

If you’ve read about or, better yet, tasted Brut IPA, then you’ll get the point of using amyloglucosidase in brewing: some like it dry. The Brut IPA sub-style, not even two years old, is surging in popularity. The word “Brut” references the French designation for the driest Champagnes and other sparkling wines. “Brut” in this instance does not refer to the “classic” men’s fragrance and deodorant line that we simply cannot recommend. (It’s a palate-scorcher!)

It Takes Brut to Tango is not an IPA, but rather a Saison, making it one of the first beer-related uses of amyloglucosidase for something that’s not an IPA. This brew is the perfect application; you rosé drinkers out there (become one, if you’re not!) are not looking for the beer rendition of Sutter Home White Zin. You like it dry; Brewery Techne brewed it dry. It’s our own little beer-wine “tango,” taking the best of both worlds and spinning them into a tasty little dance that’s just right as the weather starts to get warmer.

We will serve no beer before its time

It Takes Brut to Tango is coming to Tria… when it’s good and ready. Remember: this is an experiment. The Techne and Tria teams will taste the beer in the coming days and will tweak if beneficial. Once the beer is sufficiently mature, we’ll celebrate the launch with the Techne team (and you, of course) at an especially happy Tria Taproom Happy Hour. Stay tuned for updates on both the beer and the event.


Brewery Techne + Tria

We contend that Tom Baker is one of the region’s most talented brewers. We’re flattered that Tria is one of the few establishments offered to pour Brewery Techne’s beers outside Bar Hygge. We’re honored that Tom offered to brew a beer just for Tria (and Bar Hygge), paying homage to Tria’s dual focus on wine and beer. Tria founder Jon Myerow, Taproom Manager James Small and Tria Admin Director Kasey Kline joined Tom and Duffy at Brewery Techne on Thursday, February 28 to help prepare this beverage. (Okay, they mostly drank and watched, but they did perform a bit of manual labor.)

We would love for It Takes Brut to Tango to become Tria’s “house beer,” but Tom dislikes brewing the same beer twice. Maybe we can convince him to make this a series? Regardless, we hope you enjoy this beer-wine-whatever. Cheers!


About Brewery Techne…

Tom Baker and his wife Peggy Zwerver are the founders of Earth - Bread + Brewery in Mt. Airy (2008) and Bar Hygge (say: hoo-guh)/Brewery Techne in Fairmount (2016). Tom previously operated Heavyweight Brewing Company in Ocean Township, New Jersey from 1998 to 2006. The beers were, true to the name, bigand they were excellent. Tria founder Jon Myerow served Heavyweight beers from the brewery’s launch at Pollo Rosso, his earlier venture, and at Tria from its 2004 launch. Heavyweight maintains a cult following to this day, but Tom and Peggy took the brewpub route, giving Tom the creative flexibility to brew a different beer every time. Occasionally Tom brews one of the Heavyweight beers (he just brewed Perkuno’s Hammer, for which the recipe lives on as Victory’s Baltic Thunder). Tom, it should be stated, is not an IPA fan; on occasion you will enter Bar Hygge and there won’t be an IPA in the house. And on occasion, would-be guests walk out. That doesn’t bother Tom.

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