New Braunfels Brewing Company recently announced that “Sangre de shiva is the best expression of the soul of what New Braunfels Brewing Company stands for. Not quite a wine, not exclusively a beer, sangre de shiva is a strange and new flavor experience that is constantly evolving.”
There is no question that Texas wine is growing along with Texas craft beer, and now the two are being used to create a unique beverage by the New Braunfels Brewing Company in what they are calling their Farmhouse Program. Each release of the sangre de shiva will be a different blend using a Texas red wine barrel and New Braunfels black weizenbock, Shiva’s Tears. The aging of the beverage will depend on the blend, but will be roughly 9-12 months. Much like a great wine from vintage to vintage, every release will express slight variations.
The first example made was called Blend1 and used wine barrels that previously held a red-blend, Enchante, from William Chris Vineyards in Hye. The second called Blend2 used Texas Syrah barrels also from William Chris Vineyards.
The current release called Blend3 used Comal County Black Spanish barrels from Dry Comal Creek Vineyards. The next releases planned are:
- Blend4 due out in December has been sitting in William Chris Syrah barrels
- Blend5 is aging in Dry Comal Creek Malbec barrels
- Blend6 is very wet Texas Sangiovese from Hilmy Cellars
- Blend7 will be Texas Merlot from William Chris Vineyards and will be their biggest release of sangre ever
- The brewery is currently looking for the right barrels for Blend8
This is how New Braunfels Brewing Company describes how their sangre de shiva is made:
“With sangre de shiva, it’s all a matter of timing. We prepare weeks in advance by brewing a batch of our weizenbock using five different malts, 85% wheat, in our modified decoction mash. A 2-hour boil and a primary fermentation with our house saccharomyces yeast from Weihenstephaner, Germany creates a rich, smooth beer with a clean finish.
“Then we wait for the winery’s processing day so we can get barrels as soon as they’re dumped. We ask the winery to leave the lees and sediment in the barrel, which will add massive flavor and aroma to your glass. The barrels are quickly transported back to our little brewery in downtown New Braunfels, filled with the base beer and then…we wait.
“After 9-12 months, our house mixed culture of wild yeast and souring bacteria dry the residual sugar out and add a funky, tart character. The deep, rich tobacco and oak flavors from the wine blend and balance with the rich, caramel and chocolate notes of the beer to produce what is our brewmaster’s pride and joy. Bottle-conditioned with freshly fermenting beer, the CO2 in this beer is lower than in our others, to allow the thick wine to coat your palate and give a unique drinking experience.
“As with most of our beers, we appreciate subtlety much like sobriety. If you’re not a fan of big, tannic, oak-monster red wine, there’s a real good chance this isn’t the beer for you.”
In the current release, only one keg for the brewery and 110 cases were produced. The official release date is October 15th at the brewery’s taproom in downtown New Braunfels, with the rest of the cases going out to retail soon after. Join the Facebook event for October 15th.