On one exceptionally hot September day I happened to round my day up in our German partner’s beer shop in Bamberg. A beer shop is kind of an understatement, it’s more like a club with a licenced master brewer and beer sommelier behind the counter; a meeting place for local craft beer fans to taste and discuss beer.There were various special beers that evening also. The world of local beers is awesome. In the city, about the size of Narva, there are 9 breweries and it’s still customary for every village around Bamberg to have their own brewery. The world-famous smoked beer is brewed in Schlenkerla, Bamberg.
One quite tattered looking bottle caught my eye. Noticing my gaze, the man who had brought the bottle, explained that he had stumbled upon it when cleaning the brewery where it had been hiding for the past 8 years. 8 years is quite a remarkable age when compared to the history of our craft beers. In Bamberg breweries measure their age with centuries. Hence no mercy was shown to this eight-year-old and it was opened for tasting.
The years had had quite an extraordinary effect on the beer. This drink would have been hardly recognised as beer in blind testing. It is widely known that the scent of hops fades to almost nothing within half a year. The period of 8 years is totally capable of demolishing the bitterness of hops. That said, there has been plenty of time for the alcohol and residual sugars to weave complex esters though. Oxygen, leaking through the cap, had added handfuls of sherry notes. An exciting and multi-layered drink.
Only one question remained to torture me. How could I share this experience? The 10 year old beers are not likely to come across on every corner. One option is to brew it yourself, but then there will be the 10 year waiting period. Yet again, the sooner you brew, the sooner the 10 year-old beer arrives. So, after a couple of test brews, the „Time capsule“ was born. To create some comparison we decided to sell half of the brew now and hide the other half for 10 years in a safe place. To get an interesting nuance to the fresh beer, we added loads of sherry cask shavings to it.