In March of last year, we drove to Marquette to brew the first of this special series of beers: The Laurentian Series. Named after the watershed in which the Great Lakes reside, these beers will be brewed and then cooled at each of the Great Lakes. We brewed this particular batch at Ore Dock Brewing, and cooled it in a mobile coolship, utilizing the night air blowing in off of Lake Superior. After cooling overnight, the tank was closed and hauled back to our brewery, where the cooled wort was transferred into oak barrels. Inside the barrels, the microbes from the lake’s breeze began to ferment the beer, imparting their unique character over time. No additives were introduced for flavoring, with the highlight being the native flora of Lake Superior and Marquette, MI, imparting aromas of hay, sweet dough, and stone fruit, along with the oak character of the barrels.
This singular beer is a snapshot of the beauty of Lake Superior in the Spring, and with such a special beverage, it is only fitting that it come in an exceptional package. This first batch of The Laurentian Series will also be the start of our Wood Label beers, the format for all of our extended-aged specialty products. Each bottle will be labeled using locally-sourced maple wood veneer, and was designed by our friend Elizabeth VanStee. Along with the special label, this beer will be accompanied by a small booklet featuring original artwork by our friend, David McKie, who created illustrations in a Native American inspired design representing two Ojibwe myths, the Lake Superior Merman and the Lake Superior Water Panther, Misshepezhieu. These myths relate our heritage, as descendants of the Ojibwe people, as well as the history of this land.
With the release of Lake Superior, we have decided to donate a portion of the bottle proceeds to the National Wildlife Fund, for their efforts in protecting the Great Lakes against the threat of the Line 5 oil pipeline. The preservation of the Great Lakes is extremely important to us. As residents, parents, daughters and sons, and as brewers, we believe it is our duty to be the best stewards of this great land as we can be.
Due to its rare nature, and the painstaking process for making this batch, we will be releasing less than 400 bottles of Lake Superior in February. We are planning a future release of a solera-method dry-hopped Lake Superior as well, which was fermented with the yeast from the bottom of the spontaneously fermented barrels. Currently, the rest of the Laurentian Series brews are being planned out for 2018, which will be made as weather and temperature allow. We have other exciting news for this series further down the road, and will announce it as those batches become ready. For now, we hope you are as excited as we are to experience Lake Superior.
750ml corked and caged bottles are $32/ea. Bottle reservations will take place on Eventbrite, and will take place February 3rd at noon for the public, and January 27th at noon for Cultured Club members.