CCB & 7venth Sun Brewery Release Deceptive Decor Mixed Culture Ales Trio
After years of work and waiting, we are beyond excited to announce the release of Deceptive Decor, a trio of mixed culture ales produced in collaboration with our dear friends at 7venth Sun Brewing. These three beers embody the mutual respect felt between our breweries and are the result of years of hard work and patience. The story and processes behind these beers are as interesting and satisfying as the finished products, so let’s dive into these beguiling collaborations.
The origins of Deceptive Decor go back to 2016, when the Production team at Cigar City Brewing invested in four French oak foedres. Each holding 35 hectolitres (more than 900 gallons!), these enormous wooden vessels are traditionally used in the aging of wine but have been adopted by craft brewers in recent years to impart wood flavors and provide an environment where wild yeast and bacteria can thrive. Mixed culture beers were a new horizon for our brewers, so we utilized the expertise of the 7venth Sun Brewery team to help develop our plan to use the foedres. Through those conversations, our teams agreed to harness their collective skills by placing the foedres inside 7venth Sun’s Tampa facility where their staff could monitor the evolution of beers designed by both CCB and 7venth Sun brewers inside these vessels. The CCB team’s experience with wood aging and recipe creation would meld seamlessly with the 7venth Sun team’s expertise in mixed culture fermentation, and together these brewers could develop beers that played to their collective strengths.
First up for this collaborative project would be a mixed culture beer that would serve to inoculate these foedres with a one-of-a-kind blend of brettanoymces, a wild yeast that can create fruity, funky qualities; lactobacillus, a species of bacteria that would impart acidity; and pediococcus, another bacteria that creates a spectrum of delicate, nuanced sensory notes. The beer was brewed in December of 2017 and moved to the wooden vessels after primary fermentation, where they would mature and evolve. The flavors and aromas prized in mixed culture beers take years to develop, so the foedres became part of the familiar sights of the 7venth Sun tap room. Though the beer inside the foedres was evolving and maturing, guests would often mistake the deceptively stolid vessels as “part of the decor.” After more than three years of sampling and blending by the brewers of both CCB and 7venth Sun, the beers have matured in a way that captures the original vision for these beers. We’ve named the first CCB/7venth Sun foedre beers Deceptive Decor as a nod to the deceptively unchanging appearance of the foedres throughout the aging process for this beer.
Three versions of our first mixed culture collaborations have been created. Deceptive Decor: Modern Farmhouse is a meticulously created blend of beer from several different wooden vessels and showcases complex flavors of oak, earth, and citrus. This beer also serves as the base for Deceptive Decor: Contemporary, which features additions of raspberries and blackberries, and Deceptive Decor: Shabby Chic, a peach and apricot variation on the beer. Each of these beers has been selected by the brewers of CCB and 7venth Sun to showcase the nuances of a unique blend of yeast and bacteria and capture a moment in time within a bottle, quite literally.
“We’re so excited to see the first releases in our collaborative mixed culture series with 7venth Sun finally see the light of day after years and years of blending and tasing,” said CCB Brewer Manager Sean Sasscer. “Devon and her team have years of experience with these difficult-to-manage beers, so we knew that the results would be fantastic. We had no idea they’d be this great, though! The Cigar City Brewing and 7venth Sun Brewery mindsets work so similarly, and we know there will be even more ambitious and delicious beers to come in this series.”
Bottles of all three Deceptive Decor iterations will be available at 7venth Sun Brewery’s 10th Anniversary celebrations taking place at their breweries in Tampa and Dunedin, FL on Jan. 7 and 8, 2022, and at Cigar City Brewing’s Spruce Street Taproom on Jan. 24. The 500 mL bottles are being offered in very small quantities so be sure to swing by either location to get your hands on these exciting beers and raise a glass to our friends on their anniversary. Here’s to friendship, collaboration, milestones, and great beer!