Little Beast Brewing’s New Mixed-Culture Wine Grape Beers – Bière Gris and Radical Forces

One of the Portland area’s hottest new breweries, Little Beast Brewing, has released two new mixed-culture wine grape beers in the growing beer-wine hybrid category called Bière Gris and Radical Forces. Both beers were released this week in 375ml bottles at the Little Beast Beer Garden on SE Division in Portland. Limited distribution for the beers will take place in Oregon and California, with Bière Gris also on tap at the Little Beast taproom and Radical Forces in bottles only.

More from a press release:

Bière Gris is a collaboration beer with Stewart Boedecker of Boedecker Cellars. Little Beast has aged beer in Boedecker wine barrels since they first started brewing, so when Boedecker visited the new brewing facility in Clackamas and sampled the brewery’s house lactobacillus culture, he proposed the idea of a collaboration. “We turned the art of wine and beer-making on its head a bit and the result is quite beautiful,” said Charles Porter, Little Beast Brewmaster and Co-Founder.

Porter and Boedecker began by inoculating Pinot Gris juice, from Finnigan Hill Vineyard, with lactobacillus–a process that is heralded in the making of tart and sour beers but typically avoided in winemaking. Once the fermented juice evolved it was blended into a base beer with a primary Saccharomyces fermentation. Brettanomyces was added for a secondary fermentation and the beer aged on oak where it developed for six months. The resulting beer has a soft vinous quality and pleasing floral aroma that parallels its delicate flavor and subtle tartness. The beer is 9.4% ABV.

Radical Forces is a 10.7% ABV adventuresome beer with a recipe that is rich in pilsner malt and loads of whole cluster Pinot Noir grapes from Finnigan Hill Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon. Diverse microflora and a six month stint on French oak have transformed this unique blend to express bright notes of cherry, plum, green peppercorn, along with a warm smack of spirits, baking spice and vanilla.

Both beers are available beginning at noon on Wednesday, February 20th at the Little Beast Beer Garden at 3412 SE Division St. in Portland. Also coming to the taproom this Friday are new draft selections, Wolf Camp Hoppy Saison and Country Wizard Brett Saison.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: