A key part of Black Arts Brewers & Blenders passion isn’t just driven by their love for making wild and barrel-aged beer but their fondness for collaborating and sharing what they do. Here, they've done just that twice over.
Dark Wild with Blueberry & Coffee was made with the perennial collaborators at Carwyn Cellars as well as the distributors at Forward Hops and saw the trio select a mature dark wild ale and age it on both blueberries and coffee to conjure a complex mix of flavours in a relatively big barrel-aged sour measuring 8.6 percent ABV (side note: does that make it an imperial wild?). The beer has underlying rich malt base that includes chocolate and dates, fruity and funky complexity and acidity – and that's before we get to the added flavours. Of those, the coffee beans are most apparent and, as they add their own notes of berry and some honey, really complement the subtler blueberry components.
From 330ml cans to 750 ml bottles, Apricot Wild is the second batch of this beer and it’s also a collaboration, although this time it's not with others in the beer industry. Instead, it's with the Forster family who, for the second time, have let the Black Arts crew raid their home's tree for the summer fruit. Black Arts took a saison base and aged it on apricots, which come across in quite a soft and delicate manner. Delicate seems like the only word you could use to describe a sour with such a subtle mix of flavours too, in which the apricot is joined by tarter nectarine, a funky note from the Brett, vanilla from the oak, and a very soft mouthfeel. If it sounds like your kind of beer then probably the best time to get your hands on one is now: there's only about two dozen bottles in existence.