On the subject of creative and artisanal, the wild and sour side of The Bruery has opened its tasting room in Anaheim. A few years back The Bruery in Placentia made the wise move to separate its line of beers fermented with wild yeasts from its traditionally fermented and spirited ales, 3 miles east, in Anaheim. Bruery Terreux was born. This reporter had the opportunity to tour the finished facilities and new tasting room and glimpse some of the magic currently fermenting.

Distribution Marketing Manager Cambria Griffith showed me around Terreux. The highlight of my visit was meeting with Jeremy Grinkey. As Terreux’s Production Manager, he oversees the whole operation at Bruery Terreux. He has transitioned his former winemaking skills into a passion for creating unique wild and wonderful brews utilizing many ingredients, including various fruits, wine grapes and yeasts, and differing fermentation and finishing vessels.

Wort unfinished beer comes in large tow tanks from The Bruery and is destined for three potential places when it arrives.

Destination One: Beers, such as Terreux’s Oud Bruin-style beer Gypsy Tart, see fermentation in 90-barrel stainless fermenters.

Destination Two: The heaviest fermentation workload goes into large wood barrels called puncheons. In brewing sour barrel aged beers, wort is racked into giant wooden puncheons. Wild yeasts bugs already in the puncheons are responsible for primary fermentation of the wort. “We can then add [additional] bugs when those beers are moved into smaller barrels where they can finish souring and aging,” Grinkey shared. Each of Terreux’s core barrel aged beers originate in these puncheons. Those include Oud Tart, Tart of Darkness, Sour in the Rye the sour blonde base beer used to make many of the fruited lambic-style beers, and gueuze-style blends. 1,850 barrels are currently aging beer for periods ranging from seven months to
2.5 years.

Destination Three: Two giant 250 barrel wood foeders are used in the initial formulation of Berliner-style frucht German for fruit beers. Beer is then taken from these foeders for a fruit treatment fruit re-fermentation prior to release. Unlike barrel aged beers, frucht sours generally spend only 2-3 months aging in stainless
steel tanks.

Jeremy shared some works in progress. First tastes came from two stainless tanks: one a sour blonde ale spending time with nectarines and the other, the same sour blond finishing with peaches. These beers comprise the components in this year’s iteration of Room For Me, a very popular seasonal brew with fruit sourced from Masumoto Family Farms. Last year’s smaller batch utilized 800 pounds of single variety nectarines and peaches. This year’s larger batch required much more fruit. This resulted in sourcing four successive nectarine and three different peach varietals from the same orchards. In tasting the two separate components, it became apparent that the use of multiple varietals had resulted in adding more-complex layers of flavor. Nectarine flavors with a marked tart finish dominate in the nectarine beer, while more multifaceted peach essences and additional residual sweetness came through in the peach sour. I could definitely taste how blending of the two would result in a more-rounded and complete flavor experience. With components aging separately, Grinkey and Team Terreux will have more flexibility in blending at bottling time. Release of singular peach and nectarine beers might also happen.

True to his winemaking heritage, Jeremy has also been experimenting with grapes. He segued into having us taste two wine-beers bottled the prior day. I think both would pair well with many menu items of the aforementioned Old Vine Café. Both started as 50%/50% mixes of beer and grapes. Terreux Bourgogne Blanc is a Chardonnay sour formulated with pressed Chardonnay grapes from Gary Burk and Gold Coast Vineyards in Santa Maria Valley. The Chardonnay was blended and fermented with fresh sour blonde wort. It then went into second run French oak barrels. The Chardonnay characteristics shine with light, subtle and pleasant juicy flavors. Rue Sans is a sour rye ale brewed with Roussanne grapes sourced from Lino Bozzano from Santa Barbara Highlands winery. It was completely different in flavor and finish. For this beer, destemmed grapes were left on their skins and blended with one-year-old barrel aged Sour in the Rye as its base beer. The microflora in the beer went to work on the grapes to finish their fermentation. Then it was transferred to early-run American oak barrels. It was more viscous, with citrus characteristics, and honeysuckle & oak/vanilla in the finish. The orange/honeysuckle flavors of this Rhone varietal combined well with the beer and the wood.

Finally, Grinkey treated us to a work he’s had in progress for some time. For this, 500 pounds of Grenache grapes went into two large barrels stems, seeds & all along with sour blonde wort. It aged from October thru mid-January before being drained and hand-pressed. It then transferred into a tank and has finished over the last eight months and has become an amazingly balanced wine-forward beer-wine. In its current state, its complementing funk combines for a unique but enjoyable drink. Jeremy spoke about the possibility of adding a light carbonation to enhance the experience in the final product. I would drink it as-is, perhaps accompanied by some dark chocolate. If you tasted this at a wine tasting I’m not sure you would know it was part beer.

Leaving Grinkey to return to his art, it was now time to try a few things from Bruery Terreux’s wonderful new tasting room. You should do the same. This new and well-appointed tasting room with outdoor patio is located at 1174 N Grove St, Anaheim, CA and is open daily 12-10 p.m.