Collaboration is often at the heart of the most creative, interesting and enjoyable creations in this life. The union of multiple minds, processes and ideas always sparks new pathways and possibilities, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to beer. Together with our friends at Deya, we’ve brewed a pair of beers that celebrate this collaborative approach, forming a two-part study that examines the way very different breweries can come together and create something wonderful.
Wiper and True first worked with Deya a few years ago on a four-way collaboration for Bristol Craft Beer Festival, alongside Verdant and Left Handed Giant. The beer was a super juicy, fruity IPA brewed at our place in Bristol, and was absolutely delicious. We’d been waiting for the right time to work with Deya again for a long while (brewery schedules are always chaotic even when we aren’t in the midst of a pandemic), so were delighted when founder Theo Freyne suggested a joint beer in 2020.
We had spent much of 2020 working on our Bretted beers, and were particularly excited to see how our mixed fermentation techniques could partner with Deya’s now legendary house style, based around an in-house yeast strain and a no-holds-barred approach to hopping. With this basic principle for the collaboration established, we realised we could take this further, expanding the collaboration into two beers, as we honed in on one particular facet of the recipe: exploring how changing the secondary yeast strain will affect the beer when all other aspects of the recipe remain constant.
To kick things off, we brewed a clean, simple wort based around Extra Pale and Munich barley; perfect for carrying strong hop aromas and allowing the yeast profiles to really stand out. The base was to be split across two tanks, both to be fermented with Deya’s house yeast, but with different Brettanomyces strains added to each beer during the fermentation process.
Since social distancing meant that the Deya crew couldn’t be with us on brewday, our Barrel Store manager Will hopped in his Golf and drove over to Cheltenham to collect a sizable vessel of the top secret house yeast strain that is the driving force behind that hazy profile that we all love about Deya beers. With the precious cargo safely retrieved from Deya HQ, we paused the proceedings and toasted Theo and his team with their own Meet Me In The City, a cracking 6.5% IPA dry hopped with Citra Cryo and Galaxy.
We worked with Deya to select the best hops for the two beers, choosing varieties beloved by the Cheltenham brewers for the way they interact with their house yeast strain. True to Deya’s style we limited kettle hops to late whirlpool, keeping the IBU low and maximising the aroma contribution from the hops. Post-fermentation, we also added a plentiful supply of dry hops, upping the hoppy ante even further.
For the next stage of the brew Will selected two strains of Brettanomyces, chosen for the totally unique flavour profiles the variants are known for demonstrating. ‘Brett D’ is known for introducing a fruity cocktail of pineapple and red apple aromas, and typically develops into a fairly assertive kick of that characteristic Brettanomyces funk when left to mature in the can. At the brewers’ final tasting before this version was packaged, the beer had a beautiful hazy golden yellow hue, like the inside of a perfectly ripe plum. There’s a huge fresh fruit salad aroma, underscored by softer notes of stewed apple and subtle sweetness that’s reminiscent of tonka bean, with a raw, wild hint of Brettanomyces in the background. To drink, the beer delivers a serious hit of flavour, with an almost white wine-like finish, garnished with red apple.
‘Brett Q’, on the other hand, is a strain that’s popular for the softer fruit flavours it introduces; notably pear and strawberry. In the finished beer, gentle notes of peach yoghurt tickle your taste buds and sense of smell. You might also pick up hints of pineapple, white chocolate and honeycomb in the beer’s aroma, so the crisp, gently bitter finish may come as a surprise upon drinking.
The two beers are delightfully different, and we’ve loved working with Deya on this collaboration. Both beers are now available to order online, and Plan Q will soon be at good bottle shops around the country.