Firestone Walker Barrelworks Releases Bretta Tangerine

image of Bretta Tangerine courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing
image of Bretta Tangerine courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing

After deciding upon the perfect variety of tangerine, Firestone Walker Brewing’s Barrelworks used the Murcott variety for its latest release, Bretta Tangerine. Harvested from the Ojai Valley, located east of Santa Barbara, Barrelworks used a ½ ton of these Murcott tangerines to brew this new hybrid wild beer.

“We sampled a bunch of different tangerine varieties before settling on the Murcott,” said Barrelworks’ Master Blender Jim Crooks in a statement. “The aroma coming off the zest was so pungent, bright, and in your face. We knew that it was going to make this beer pop.”

In brewing Bretta Tangerine, the brewery used its Bretta Weisse as the base beer. “Bretta Weisse is this classic Berliner Weisse-inspired wheat beer, and it provides this beautiful, citrusy canvas for creating a range of fruited wild beers,” continued Crooks in a statement. “We’d done raspberries and black currants, and now it was time to explore tangerines.”

When choosing the best tangerine for the beer, Crooks and his fellow brewers sampled seven various tangerine varieties from Friend’s Ranches in Ojai. After they zeroed in on the Murcott variety, Friend’s Ranches shipped the tangerines up the coast to Barrelworks, where the 1,000 pounds of fruit were juiced, pulped and zested.

“We created this thick, pulpy mass using nearly 90 percent of the volume of the 1,000 pounds of tangerines,” Crooks said in a statement. “The aromas coming off of it made our heads spin.”

This fresh Murcott tangerine concentrate was then blended with 15 barrels of Bretta Weisse for fermentation and maturation. Meanwhile, Crooks also secured additional tangerine concentrate from Ventura Coastal and co-fermented it with another lot of Bretta Weisse. The two tangerine-infused lots were later combined and blended with a third lot 18-month-aged Bretta Weisse to create the final blend for Bretta Tangerine. The result is a uniquely juicy and delectable wild beer, loaded with vibrant tangerine goodness.

“The Murcott tangerines are the star of this show,” Crooks said in a statement. “They jump out of the glass with this spicy pungency that really sets this beer apart.”

Bretta Tangerine is making its way this week to all Firestone Walker markets in limited draft and 375mL bottle formats. This is also the first of four bottled Barrelworks wild ale that will be released in the year 2019.