What is a foeder?
A foeder (pronounced FOOD-er) is a large oak beer-ageing vessel, much like a giant barrel. Our foeder is being handcrafted for us by Foeder Crafters of America and it will allow us to experiment even more! Since this foeder will be brand new, we will first need to hydrate it using filtered water to allow the wood to swell and ensure that there are no leaks between the staves.
Adding a foeder to our cellar will allow us to expand our wild yeast program, age beers on fresh fruit, and create a rhythm of wood-aged releases, and ultimately allow us to delve into the world of wood-aged sour beers.
Based on our wood-ageing experience, we know that new wood can be “aggressive”, so we are having the foeder steam-conditioned to lessen the impact of tannins on our first beer. A big benefit of the size of foeders is the lower surface area to volume ratio of the vessel: the complexity and benefits of ageing beer in wood are apparent, while the oak character doesn’t overpower the beer itself. We intend to initiate the foeder with a lightly bodied, Belgian-inspired ale refermented with a blend of our favourite wild yeasts (including Brettanomyces). We can then blend that beer with other beers, or move it on into barrels to give it more time, making sure to release only when it’s just right.