As a New England farmhouse-inspired brewery, we have always appreciated the intimate agricultural relationship that our craft has with the land. Spontaneously fermented beer is the full embodiment of that notion and brewing Habitat is one of our most cherished yearly traditions. It begins in late winter when the protracted cold has ushered in the most preferred of the naturally occurring fermentation microbes. After the long mash protocols and extended boil is done, we gather around as the hot wort collides with crisp winter wind while knocking out into the coolship. These moments always bring us into deep reflection of the time gone past that led up to this experience. We deeply breathe in the steamy, yet chilly air as our minds race forward with eager anticipation of what's to come until the beer is ready to enjoy.
A simple, traditional grist composed of locally-grown malted barley & raw wheat from Valley Malt in Western Massachusetts and extensively aged continental variety hops serve as the foundation for what these native microbes will slowly churn through in the coming years. The traditional approach to brewing and local ingredients combine to express an indelible and full New England terroir. While these few bottles of Habitat are the initial offerings from our spontaneous program, they represent an already five-year commitment and investment to land stewardship, agricultural sustainability, and healthy local food systems. As founding members of the Northeast Grainshed Alliance, we couldn't be happier to manifest that commitment.
Elegant, unpredictable, and undoubtedly special, spontaneous fermentation is an exercise in patience, practice, and a committed drive to create something memorable in the face of uncertainty.
When first light arrives, the naturally cooled wort is transferred into large format oak barrels where we wait for those first signs of active fermentation. Active microbes starting to leap from the bung signals the advent of seasonal, successive and continual change. Each barrel weathers years of rest and revival until we can carefully cull, select and blend in focused sessions. After that, we must once again remain patient for necessary, extensive bottle conditioning. Our Habitat series of spontaneous ales are now ready for your enjoyment offering a thankful reflection to our collective past while embracing the perpetual hope that our commitment and efforts present themselves in the bottles before us.
As New Englanders, we have a deep reverence for lessons learned from history; a desire to glean knowledge from those who have come before, and to pass wisdom down to those that will follow. Habitat encapsulates that notion and is intended as a long-term legacy body of work that will continue for generations to come. One day, we will look out over native grains grown down at our own farm in North Stonington, CT, sharing and enjoying a bottle of Habitat, appreciating the fullest expression of Trillium's founding and forever intent.