Hang out with brewers long enough and eventually you’ll hear one say “brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.” False modesty aside, there’s a lot of truth to that. It’s not just booze and bubbles our fine fermenting friends are putting out, it’s the esters and phenols (and other, sometimes less desirable, compounds) that contribute to a beer’s fruity or spicy flavor profile.
Nestled in Mount Airy in the northwest corner of Philadelphia proper, Earth Bread + Brewery is something of a fermentation destination. Their flatbread dough is made 24 hours in advance to give the yeast time to generate all those flavorful compounds and carbon dioxide that make bread delicious and textured. And while it’s the same species of yeasty eukaryotes used in the beer, they’re very different strains with very different results.
Brunette is a Belgian-style amber ale brewed with the Ardennes yeast strain and fermented a few degrees warmer than usual to encourage production of citrus-y esters. It’s a bright copper pour with a solid balance between the hops and malts flavors—clearly the yeast is the star of the show here. They never brew the same recipe twice, so Brunette won’t be around forever. If you miss it, console yourself with the Baltic porter and Belgian IPA they have on deck.
For more, visit earthbreadbrewery.com.