Casper Vorting and Gitte Holmboe own Bøgedal Brew in Vejle, Denmark. The brewery is located at an 1849 farm, where they live and brew traditional Danish ales and oak-aged sours, while restoring the farm, growing grains from Nordic Genebank and rearing cattle.
At Leuven Innovation Beer Festival they talked with the Beer Idiots about what innovation means to them (see video). Bøgedal Brew is Scandinavia’s only all-gravity brewery. The wort is boiled over an open fire, and then flows freely from vat to vessel without pumping. Vorting says this is softer on the beer and yields a less harsh tasting brew than if pumped.
They have also innovated on the Danish tradition of brewing Godtoel or “the good beer”, described as very rich, full bodied with many of the natural sugars still intact.
By restricting the reliance on technology and without temperature control Bøgedal tends to allow the beer to live its own life and develop naturally. The brews are never identical, even when the same recipe is followed, says Vorting and Holmboe.
“Bøgedal is all about reinventing sustainable slow production,” says Vorting.
At Leuven Innovation, they brought:
Bøgedal Sour’ish 1: an oak matured soft sour, 7.7%, a sour made on a blend of two sour beers that fermented 9.5 & 12 months on French oak partly with ½ liter of juice made of fermented apple peels, mash and local yest and partly with ½ liter of juice made of fermented blackberries and local yeast. Vorting says this results in a very vinous beer having lots of similarities to natural wine but with the beer bitterness.
Bøgedal Sour’ish 2: a pale barreled ‘soft sour’, 7.7%, a sour beer that fermented 12 months with ½ liter juice of wild fermented blackberry. Vorting describes this as “a vinous sour’ish that one could – in a blind tasting – take for a dry white wine or sherry with a aftertaste of beer”.
Bøgedal Flowerhop: an IPA-like fresh hopped pale ale, 6.2% that is malted in a single infusion, boiled over open fire, and not pumped. It is dry-hopped with Nugget, Mosaic, Simcoe & Fresh Winge hop harvested from their own hop-garden. Moderate hopped IPA with flowers, citrus and nectar. Winge hop is named after the Danish Professor Winge who took care of Carlsberg’s hop garden.
Bøgedal Stout’ish, stout’ish, 6.5%: brewed by adding some Older Tripler and OldAle in the fermenting process.
Bøgedal No 589, triple ale’ish, 9.5%: big on the malt and with a scent of honey, fruity grains and flowers.
Bøgedal OldALE, a dark ale of 6.2%: It is 90% dark qle mixed with a 10% Bøgedal No 512. Bøgedal No 512 is brewed with Langelands barley, an old Danish variant they found in Nordic Genebank. Langelands barley is cultivated and malted on Bøgedal. The beer is bottled matured and comes up strongly with tastes of coffee, caramel and English licorice and leather, with a sweet edge.
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