The barn hand opened the stall and panicked. One of the horses had leaned far enough over the stall to pull a bung from one barrel…and was licking the beer inside. Fearing he’d be blamed, he replaced the bung and told no one. Months later, our brewers found that barrel of experimental wheat ale had unexpectedly turned sour and funky, but it was delicious! From that one barrel, we captured our Horse Tongue Wheat sour culture…a blend of pediococcus damnosus, lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and wild yeasts found naturally here in Anderson Valley.
This unique wheat beer is fermented with Belgian yeast, then later undergoes a secondary fermentation with the Horse Tongue Wheat culture. After six months in stainless steel tanks, it is then transferred to wine barrels for maturation and aging. This extended process (and of course, the Brettanomyces) allows it to become just slightly sour, making it a wonderful session beer for those who lean towards the sour and funky side of the bar.