Matera: Coming To Age

As some of you may know from my previous articles I was introduced to Matera Brasseurs Tonneiliers when they were in their infancy. Olivier reached out to me about sending their Tam Tam session IPA my way to get some feedback. This growler of the Tam Tam was the first batch and the recipe was not as of yet solidified. Along with this growler I was given a bottle of a special barrel aged beer called Omnia. Though this beer was never officially released to the market, it told me a story which I believe now to be true. That Matera is not a child which will grow to focus on making representations of IPAs, but rather on that will focus on barrel ageing their beers and crafting unique, interesting takes on standardized beer.

Most new breweries, with the exception of very few, take a bit of growing pains to really get to the standard which they themselves wanted to reach initially. And after a year and a few months I believe that Matera has come to fruition and are ready to take their beers to the next level. They truly have to come to age.

After drinking their stoutunstout last year, this year I had to try out some of their wild/saison/farmhouse style beers they have been experimenting with. And it is safe to say I selected two which really nailed it.

Beau Bouquet
Saison/Farmhouse || ABV: 5.6% || IBU: –

This beer is a 100% brett Pale Ale which rested in Oak Foudres vat for 5 months. A foudre is a large wooden vat popularly used with wine in France, and are typically oak. Since it is a pale ale at base, naturally you will get a kick of bitterness from the hops, which is present to taste. Although I am not a fan of 100% brett IPAs or Pale Ales, the oak foudre brings out the oaky funky character which mellows the brett and allows it to aid the beer rather than dominate in the taste. This beer has a dance between all the elements, you get some of the funk, saison and the bitter hops. The funk, the whole funk and nothing but the funk. It does lean more towards a brett dominance on the finish in my opinion, but this certainly is not a bouquet for my wife, this is a beau bouquet my wife brings me for valentines day. #menDeservePamperingToo.

Coming of Age
Sour Fruited || ABV: 6.5% || IBU: –

My excitement with fruited sours is something that some of my close craft beer friends know all too well. When Hill Farmstead has a Flora fruited release you are sure to find me there. When Olivier told me about this beer, I went gaga. An assemblage of belgian beers aged in California red wine barrels with raspberries and of a blackberry sour wheat ale? Yas please. Sign me up for that one. The aroma has a soft wavering to it, with a lot of fruits jumping at you like a 3D movie. To taste I get the flirtatious fruits which attack me like me on valentines day when the night has reached its end and I have done everything perfectly, and I am like “I’m ready,” and your wife says “For what?” and your like dam… and then the hook continues. Moving forward I get a lot of barrel with the oak tannin shining through and the astringent dryness balancing it out to finish. I did find the dryness to be a bit bold towards the end, but it is a given with wine barrel aged beers.

I look forward to more from Matera and there have been some new releases already and I urge you to give them a try! They recently released their stoutunstout again but this time aged in cognac barrels, along with a barley wine called Stingo. Get ya Stingo on! I know I will.

Words + Photography by Hopcitizen

Your Ordinary Beer Citizen

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