If you've ever spoken to any of us at the brewery, you've very likely heard the word 'terroir'. It's one of our favorite aspects of brewing, the reason many of us became interested in beer in the first place.
Terroir is, put simply, the unique flavors of a particular place. You usually hear it from sommeliers, referring to the climate and soil wine grapes were grown in. It's a unique set of circumstances that can't ever truly be reproduced, flavors unique to one particular patch of land in one particular part of the world. We've captured these flavors in the past using Massachusetts-grown barley and previously unknown yeast collected from the wild.
Scatteree contains some of the most specific regional flavors we've worked with yet. Named for a small stretch of coastline in Chatham, Massachusetts, Scatteree is our attempt to bottle the memory of one particular day, December 26, 2015. Louie, our art and marketing guy, was visiting family in Chatham over Christmas.
The day after, he was walking along a grove of juniper trees as the briny ocean wind blew all around. He decided right then that he wanted to bottle that particular moment.
Friends and family put on winter coats, grabbed a couple of buckets and got to work. Juniper berries were picked by hand for the rest of the day, tossed into buckets and bagged up. Fresh juniper berries, for those who have never tried them, are extremely aromatic and most commonly found in gin. With flavors of bright citrus and piney resin, these were almost as fun to pick as they were to brew with.
Next, we needed salt. Sea salt is easy to find in coastal towns, but Chatham's best kept secret is a sea salt vendor located on the outskirts of main street. Monomoit Wild sells maple syrup and little jars of sea salt, but not the usual kind. Each bottle is labelled with which particular waters it was harvested from. Luckily for us they had plenty from the waters just off of that juniper grove, so we dropped some money in the honor system slot and went on our way.
That sea salt was what determined Scatteree's beer style. We went with a German-style gose, a beer brewed with sea salt and coriander and soured by lactobacillus, one of our favorite kinds of friendly bacteria. We pulled the juniper berries out of our freezer and tossed them into a spice grinder, then filled strainer bags with them and tossed them into the kettle. The brewery smelled like fresh juniper for the rest of the day, which absolutely nobody could complain about.
We've released Scatteree just in time for the beginning of the warm weather, which is when we usually fantasize about cold ocean breezes the most. This is our attempt to describe a fond memory through a beer, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have.