Crux Fermentation Project releases Gypsy Coolship Experiment No. 1

Bend, Oregon’s Crux Fermentation Project is releasing the first in its nomadic series of spontaneously fermented gypsy coolship beers. Crux is known mostly for its northwest ales but has dabbled with sour and barrel-aged beers since the beginning. A coolship is a shallow fermentation vessel designed to cool hot wort out in the open where wild yeast, bacteria and other microflora can settle in and spontaneously ferment into a wild, sour ale. Coolships have become a popular addition to American breweries interested in traditional Lambic-style beers, and Crux’s Gypsy Coolship #1 is the first beer in the new series.

Crux Fermentation Project writes in a newsletter:

Dreamed up by our brewers during a late night drive back from hop selection, our coolship lives on a trailer so we can take it on the road to explore what mother nature has to offer in the form of spontaneous fermentation. For our first experiment, we stayed close to home and parked the Coolship on our tasting room lawn during a cold winter day last December. We brewed up a low ABV (3.7%) grisette recipe and let nature do its thing as it sat overnight. After a few months in wine barrels, the local microflora did its job, creating a subtle tartness with an intriguing funkiness – capturing what you might say is an authentic flavor of our high desert, mountain town.
Gypsy Coolship Experiment No. 1 will be available in limited release 750ml bottles at the Crux Fermentation Project tasting room in Bend, OR. Crux is also shipping 40 cases of bottles to Columbia Distribution that will be available in specialty Oregon bottleshops in the coming weeks.

Coolship Experiment #1 features a label by local Bend artist Sweet Pea Cole, who designed the landlocked sailor themed art.

Stay tuned for details on Gypsy Coolship #2, currently fermenting away in barrels after cooling in the Metolius Preserve last month after it was successfully inoculated in the forest air.
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: