Gotlandsdricka, meaning “Drink of the Land of Goths”, is believed to have been the beer of the Vikings. Our rendition of this ancient style is inspired by the traditional farmhouse ales once brewed on the island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden. Gotlandsdricka (6.6% alcohol by volume) is brewed with birchwood smoked malt, juniper, sweet gale and rye. It’s unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated through re-fermentation in the bottle.
We don’t consider Gotlandsdricka to be a historic recreation of the style. Even if we intended it to be just that, it’s now impossible to experience what it truly tasted like centuries ago. From what we can gather, the original beer would likely have been smokey, sour and reeking of juniper and birch. It would not have been the product of fermentation with brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in a temperature controlled, sanitized stainless steel vessel, which is how our rendition of the style was created. Rather, like all historic beers brewed before the rather recent discovery and harnessing of brewer’s yeast, it would have been the product of fermentation involving wild yeast and bacteria.
We enjoy the “clean” version of the style and think you will too. However, we’re also interested in how the beer will present after having undergone additional fermentation with wild yeast and souring bacteria. We presently have a version of Gotlandsdricka that we inoculated with wild yeast and bacteria aging in oak barrels. If we’re happy with the results, we’ll release the soured version several months from now, once it’s ready.
The first tapping of Gotlandsdricka will be at the Borefts Beer Festival on September 28th and 29th at Brouwerij de Molen in The Netherlands. It will make its stateside debut a week later at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin on October 6th and at the Pints for Prostates Denver Rare Beer Tasting IV on October 12th. Following its debut at the festivals, a limited amount of naturally conditioned kegs, casks and gravity kegs will be released in Texas with a wider bottle release to follow. A portion of the bottle release will also be made available through the Rare Beer Club.