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Welcome to Penyllan

At Penyllan we focus on brewing small batches of beer, aged slow and cool on wood with our house culture of wild yeast. We are inspired by the changing seasons and the wealth of ingredients available to us on our beautiful island.

The StoryOur Beers

The Story

In 2016 British film maker Andrew Telling visited us and made this fantastic movie about our brewery and our island.
My husband and I moved to the little island of Bornholm with a vision of making beer using some of the glorious local ingredients. Bornholm is located in the middle of the Baltic sea, and has a unique climate, making it home to a wide range of grains, herbs and fruits that can be used in brewing. To begin with, we were not certain what we would make, where we would do it and how we would do it. What we did know was that it had to be made using a native wild culture and we would explore how wood affected the process.

The first thing we did was to place a bucket filled with sugary beer wort underneath the apple tree in our garden and wait for the magic to happen. And it did! After a few days the wort was turned into a natural, wild beer utilising the yeast and bacteria in the air. While the beer itself was not anything we would drink, it did show some promise. Over the course of many months we inoculated dozens of different worts at different temperatures. We ended up with a culture that provided the unique fermentation character we wanted with enough acid producing bacteria to make the beer lightly tart, which was exactly what we wanted. We called the resulting culture “The Garden Party”.

In 2015 we found the location we needed on the harbour of the little fishing village of Tejn. After several months of hard work cleaning, painting, installing equipment and then some more cleaning, we finally got to make our first beers to fill our many barrels.

We had the goal of creating balanced beers where the acidic component serves as a balancing character without taking the stage from the malt, hops and yeast flavours. We already knew that our Garden Party culture could produce the result we wanted if it was kept cool, so all our wild barrels ended up in a huge cool room, where it would sit until ready.

What we did not expect was that it would take almost three years before we had the perfect beers we were looking for. But what we did believe is that it would be worth the waiting time, to get the unique balance and depth of flavour from a long slow fermentation.

In the autumn of 2018 the first four beers became available and in the summer of 2019 we will have another few available. Being only two people in the brewery, production is limited. Our ambition is to be able to add a few beers per year to our core range with an annual yield of approximately 30.000 bottles.

It has been a long, tough and challenging journey. I hope you agree with us, that it was worth all the work and the long waiting time.

… And why “Penyllan”?

My family were some of the first settlers in Western Australia and before that they came from Wales. Generations before that Penyllan was the name of the family homestead on top of a hill in Wales. The name has been passed down and used for many things over the years, recently being a yacht and my uncles house (on top of a hill) in Western Australia. So I trekked back there and asked permission to use the name. And he said yes.

Jessica Andersen, Penyllan brewer & blender

craftmanship

Doing things the hard way does not necessarily lead to a better end result. But being involved on in every step of the process is what allows us to create beers with a personal expression. Every beer starts by being mashed in by hand in small batches and hand bottled after fermentation and maturation. Our labels are hand drawn and the labels are manually signed and applied manually to the bottles.

Wood

Wood has been the traditional fermentation and maturation vessel for beer for centuries. We use wood for several reasons. For some beers we use fresh wood where the tannins and wood sugars provide structure and mouth feel to the beer. For other beers we use freshly emptied wine- and spirit barrels where the product previously hosted in the barrel lends its character to the beer. Finally, wood is a living and porous material that allows the microorganisms in our yeast and bacteria culture to thrive and keep producing aromas and flavours for years.

Time

Time may be our most expensive ingredient. We put our barrels in our insulated warehouse, where the beer ripen slowly and cool for years. The culture we inoculate our beers with is a mix of wild yeast, bacteria and fungus, that unlike regular beer yeast, is not optimised to live in the harsh environment a beer is. However, given enough time the micro organisms will slowly and steadily develop rich, complex and smooth flavors, while the extended contact with wood provides the luscious mouthfeel we seek in our beers.

Care

Every beer is carefully monitored during maturation. We regularly sample our  barrels to taste the progress and make trial blends. Working with wild yeasts and bacteria means extra effort has to be taken to obtain a stable and consistently good end result. Some barrels loose beer over time – the so called “angels share” – and needs to be topped up to compensate. Others do not go in the direction we look for and will need to be inoculated with a fresh culture of micro organisms. Some may even need to be dumped so the barrel can be put to better use.

Our Beers

Creating Penyllan Beers

Our beers are brewed by hand in 1000 liter batches and depending on the recipe, either fermented with our house culture “Garden Party” or fermented with an ale yeast before being inoculated with Garden Party in the barrel.

Over the span of some years, Garden Party will work its magic and slowly take the beer into the direction we want. Some barrels ends up exactly as we imagined, while others need to be blended to obtain perfect balance. Sometimes we blend in an older vintage to get acidity and complexity, and sometimes we blend in fresher beer to balance and smooth out flavours.

We will often add fruit to the beer at some point in the process. This is not because we are looking for the beer to actually taste of fruit. What we are looking for are the uniquely complex flavours that come from the fruit being transformed by the micro organisms by the mysterious process of bio-transformation.

After the beer is matured and blended it is bottled with a little fresh yeast and a bit of sugar allowing it to undergo a third fermentation in the bottle. This bottle conditioning process is very important to the finished product because it keeps the beer alive, which will allow it to mature and develop for years.

NINA

ABV: 6%   |   Release Date: May 18  |   Vintage: 2015

This cuvée of three beers (a sour brown fermented with wild yeast, a blonde ale fermented with brettanomyces yeast and a clean saison) has been matured in a 2400 liter chianti foudre for 18 months before release. After maturation we only packaged two thirds and left the rest of the beer in the barrel, where it was topped up with fresh beer. A form of simplified solera system, that provides complexity and aged notes to the beer in a year or two.

Nina is an amber beer with white head and a complex aroma of apple, wet forest and a touch of vanilla from the oak. The flavour is light tart, with notes of red berries, plums and fresh dough complemented by toffee from toasted malt. Finish is dry with light caramel notes.

No of Bottles: 272/1559/14   |   Packaging: 375ml, 750ml champagne bottle and 1500ml magnum

Natalie

ABV: 12%   |   Release Date: May 18  |   Vintage: 2015

Old ale initially fermented with Belgian trappist yeast in and matured in bourbon and cognac barrels with Garden Party. The secondary fermentation with wild yeast transforms the yeast flavours into complexity without much acidity. Fat, intense aroma of dried fruits, coconut, vanilla and coffee. The sweetness is complemented by raisin, dark rye bread and chocolate and balanced by warming alcohol. Extended maturation on lees provides almost meaty flavours not unlike bacon.

No of Bottles: 284   |   Packaging: 750ml champagne bottle

Genevieve

ABV: 5%   |   Release Date: May 18  |   Vintage: 2015

Hoppy golden ale with primary fermentation taking place in steel with English ale yeast and matured in used champagne barrels, with our wild yeast culture for a year, after which it is dry hopped for freshness. Crisp, dry and sparkling with intense aroma of citrus, passion fruit and freshly cut grass. Effervescent mouth feel with biscuit-like malt and tart, fruity flavor.

No of Bottles: 483   |   Packaging: 750ml champagne bottle

Linnea

ABV: 6%   |   Release Date: May 18  |   Vintage: 2015

Chestnut colored ale with a tan head inspired by the Belgian “oud bruin” style. After wild fermentation on red wine barrels for about a year, it is going through a short controlled vinegar-fermentation. Light aroma of balsamic vinegar, sour cherries and cocoa. Flavour is dominated by toffee and toasted malt, with the tartness balanced by bready sweetness.

No of Bottles: 209/390   |   Packaging: 375ml and 750ml champagne bottle

Penyllan

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Photography by our friends Thomas Knudsen, Kasper Buchart ThyeSemko Balcerski og Mikael Sejer.

© 2018 Penyllan

ADDRESS

Havnevej 8D (entrance from Vestkajen 1).
3770 Allinge
Denmark

CVR No:
31303990

Tax Warehouse ID: DK31303990301

CONTACT

Drop us a mail at
Jessica@penyllan.com or send us a Facebook message.

TAPROOM & SHOP

The taproom & shop is closed for the season. We will reopen June 12th 2019. The brewery is still open by appointment.