Matera: Collective Force in Experimental Brewing

Matera Brasseurs Tonneliers is a fairly new small batch brewery looking to expand its horizons and spread their brew all over Quebec and potentially further. Recently on February 4th of this year they had a very successful event showcasing their Tam Tam Session IPA. Due to a craft beer event cluster f*** that day, I was already too far gone to make it over and my night pretty much ended at 5pm with some lets just say bad decisions? Anyways after a Big Mac, medium fries and that surprisingly addictive buffalo chicken poutine, I was out cold by 8pm. Lucky for me one of the forces behind Matera, Olivier Moreau, was able to offer me some exciting beers to taste and share my thoughts!

Matera started out from humble beginnings like most micro breweries do. Micro breweries come from a history of passion for beer, which turns into an obsession and ends with an idea that leads to the start of something great. Olivier Moreau began in his twenties working in woodwork where he learned all the tricks of the trade on barrel making from Pascal Plamondon. That experience coupled with a passion for beer and friends who shared the same passion began Micro Tordue as a collective force. Micro Tordue was an experimental small batch brewery, they experimented with various recipes and barrels to create some test batches and really nail down their dream and vision. The forces behind Micro Tordue all learned brewing from various books, which is a true testament that you can learn any skill as long as you have the passion and a strong drive. Most brewing was done in their apartments and other locations. With a name change now set to Matera, the guys are ready to begin an incredible new journey into experimental brewing.

Matera is Olivier Moreau, William Marin, Ranko Bobusic and Hugues Leroux-Kelly.

I am truly excited to talk about these guys as I always find it inspirational to see individuals and groups of individuals who purse a passion and a dream and turn it into something successful and great. To see the birth and steady rise of Matera will be a real treat! I was able to catch up with Olivier for a few moments and he was able to talk to me a bit about their plans, even as far as a sneak at their floor plans of their upcoming brewery set up and tasting room. More to come on that soon! The future of Matera indeed looks bright. Olivier was kind enough to offer me a bottle of their Tam Tam Session and an experimental Belgian sour/wild ale, Omnia.

Matera Tam Tam
Session IPA || ABV: 4.9% || IBU: –
Bottled: Feb, 7 2017 || Drank: Feb, 8 2017

What is created as a session IPA, is really the start of development into a DIPA or NEIPA style beer. Tam Tam, is only the first step to what looks to be something of marvel. The release is more a test and of course over time it will change and improve.

tam_01

The aroma is not a bold one off the bat. When I think of session IPAs, my mind tends to lean towards a strong hop aroma with some fruity kicks. The aroma on the Tam Tam is very subtle, I’m getting minor notes of the hops, a bit of an oily feel and hints of grain. The appearance is fairly clear with not too much of a haze going on. To taste the beer has dominated grain attack and a clean yeast finish. Almost has an IPA Pils taste as well, you could categorize it as an India Pale Lager. I don’t feel too much of an IPA style on this one but it is a rather unique take on a session. The drink-ability is super smooth, the taste is balanced but it is missing the hop attack aspect for me. Of course there are various sub categories within the category of an IPA and there are endless amounts of different styles of IPAs. The taste in general is very enjoyable and in my experience I have not had an IPA that has a grain feel to it, which is a nice surprise for me. Since this is the first batch, there will be some improvements and changes with each consecutive batch and I am curious to see the progress of this beer into the eventual vision Matera has in store for it.

3.75/5

Matera Omnia
Belgian Sour/Wild Ale || ABV: 12.9% || IBU: –

Omnia is a Belgian experimental brew and a style I feel will take Matera to new heights. It is no surprise that experimental brewing is on the rise globally as well as in Quebec. Brewers are showing more interests in creating beer with unique tastes and experimenting with various yeast strains, barrels, and grains. When Matera reaches its eventual higher success I can foresee their experimental beers being very successful. Omnia was aged for a little over a year with tactics bacteria and wild yeasts from the Brett genus, Clausenii and Lambicus, and strip of american white oak aged on an amazing Pinot Noir, with Raspberries and Blackberries added after ten months for a two month period before seeing a bottle.

omni_03

The aroma that’s hitting my nose is very interesting. It has great notes of fruits, predominantly raspberry. With some minor hints of alcohol hitting the nose as well. At such high ABV it sure doesn’t smell like it, the boozyness isn’t as strong or bold. Taste is great to start, with a wonderful fruit/sour kick followed by a very palatable clean finish. The finish is a bit dry, but a slight dryness which doesn’t end too strongly, just enough to create a great palatable finish. The acidity is very mild  and very smooth for a 12.9%. I am really enjoying this beer. It has all the qualities of a great sour wild ale coupled with a minor bit of a Belgian ale. It is very easy to drink and leaves a great taste on the palate. I am hoping we can see more of these sour wild ales from Matera soon! They are sure to be a delight for all.

4.25/5

Matera is a brewery to keep your eye on in the near future. With plans already laid out to build their new location and gear up for a larger production, 2017 is looking bright for these beer fanatics to make their mark on the Quebec beer scene. Look out for some summer canned releases of their products.

Words + Photography by HopCitizen. Featured image from Matera.

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