Below is a slightly fixed up google translate of the article. Just remember that it is an article so not completely correct. But you can get the gist. It is still an incredible write up.
Sour wildness on the sunshine
Text by Rasmus Palsgård
What do you get when pairing an Australian underwear designer, a Copenhagen beer brewer and a closed fish factory on the Bornholm north coast? Then you get Penyllan, Denmark’s first brewery with a focus only on wild fermented beer. Come along to the small coastal village of Tejn, where Denmark’s perhaps most exciting beer project is on display.
The evening sun has begun to find its low-rise rental in the village of Tejn on the Bornholm north coast near Allinge. Some seagulls hang in the air over the still water, where a few small fishermen have landed for the night. People are immediately not one of them, either in the mantle that matches the address, but that does not contain anyone who neither brews nor drinks beer right now. 30 meters further down the harbor, it looks like something. The gate to a closed fish factory is open. Christian Skovdal Andersen accepts. He is the one party in Penyllan, which he runs with his wife, Australian Jessica Andersen. Penyllan concentrates on being the first brewery on Danish soil to make only wild and fermented beer of the sour type, which the Belgians are famous for.
That Jessica and Christian jointly established Penyllan, however, were not equal to. The starting point of Christians was Copenhagen, while Jessica, born in the western Australian city of Perth, had her daily walk in Melbourne, where she worked at her sister and brother-in-law’s nose two tail restaurant, where she largely took care of the mating of food and beer which was an essential part of the identity of the restaurant. It was also the beer that brought the couple together. Christian has brewed beer for 14 years, among other things at the Ølfabrikken, and with his own brand, BeerHere, he flew to Melbourne to promote his wet goods. He did so to Jessica in such a style that she not only fell for the beer, so the adventure so little began. Jessica is particularly passionate about the acidity of beer, and the enthusiasm for the beer-type arose a few years ago. As a underwear designer, her career led her to Italy and then Belgium, and this was where she first became acquainted with sour beer, and she was immediately sold.
“There has been a tradition of wine growing and production in my family, and my background in the world of wine makes me love things. Therefore, my first experience with sour beer in Belgium was to drink a complex natural wine or cider. It is impossible to compare with what people usually regard as beer, and I was excited about the complexity and freshness of the beer, which contained many layers and shades. I had to know more about it, “she says.
Things take time
The newly paired couple decided that their common future as married people should be in Denmark and they started looking for the right place to live. None of them had a relationship with Bornholm, so the assessment was taken on a strict basis.
“Bornholm has the most beautiful scenery and cheap houses,” says Christian, who, like Jessica, was saturated with the big-city life.
Only when the couple had moved to Bornholm and found the shut down factory, the dream came about to create Penyllan. When the decision was made, BeerHere’s production moved to the island. BeerHere is a series of unpasteurized beers, which both have longer life and much more flavor and complexity. BeerHere, which is primarily sold to a bunch of special beer bars, and besides being brilliant beer, it is also “paying the rent,” as Christian expresses it. BeerHere has – like the most beer – a short production time, which provides a regular and more predictable turnover, and without it, the couple would not be able to afford the start of Penyllan. It is mainly Jessica who, with his passion for sour beer, drives Penyllan, while Christian takes care of BeerHere.
As we move past the actual brewing section and behind a port behind which a dark storage room reveals, we get the answer as to why Penyllan’s beer is not cheap to make. Here are wine barrels, the so-called barriques and the larger foudres distributed throughout the room. Several of the barrels have red spots, due to the fact that they have previously served as wine barrels in Bordeaux, Chianti and Champagne respectively. The first beer was brewed in 2015 and is currently on the threshold to be released, and it is of course not cheap to have beer to record a full storage room for two to three years without generating regular sales.
“But that’s what we want. It’s the slow, cool process that gives the beer its complexity and acidity, and we give the beer the time it takes, “says Jessica.
Wild yeast from apple trees
The couple is not going to make a big number out of the fact that Penyllan is located in Bornholm, but after all, the brewery uses local produce for the beer as much as possible, and the yeast is ultra local. The wort – a decoction of malt used for the fermentation of the beer – they put in an open bucket under their apple trees in the garden. Slowly but surely, the apple tree yeast cells began to infiltrate the herb, thus gaining new life from wild yeast cells. Normally, it is against all common sense in brewing of beer because it creates unpredictability when you do not work with a culture of culture from a laboratory, where the result can be designed to a greater extent to the brewer’s and consumers’ tastes; but that was exactly what Jessica after her time in Belgium dreamed about.
“We just wanted to make beer that has its own life and develop in its own direction. Beer where you can not predict the result in advance. It is incredibly difficult to predict the evolution of the beer, and the biggest part of the work is to taste the beer and evaluate when it’s done. You never know what you get. For example, we had the same beer that were put on four champagne barrels. Two of them became amazing, while the other two became a bit boring. We do not know why and that is part of the exciting thing about it. The two dull barrels get a little longer and then we see what happens, “she says.
Fresh and elegant
We must of course have a look at the case and it is best to taste the goods. Christian goes to one of the big dishes, loosens a screw in the front, after which the precious drops begin to pile out in a thin beam. The acid is distinctive and fresh and the taste is light and mild. Christian estimates that it still lacks a year. It is completely free of carbonation, as it first gets in connection with the bottles in the bottle. We taste the same beer, just from the year getting and just bottled, and therefore it takes a couple of months before the yeast has settled down. However, the experience is wonderful with a beautiful sense of mouth with small, lively bubbles thanks to the slow breathing and there is a fresh taste of apple, lemon and mirabelle.
“Curiosity is the red thread of Penyllan; but it’s a subdued acid. Some Belgian beers are definitely sour, and that’s not what we want, “says Jessica, continuing.
“Our beer will not be the most challenging in the genre, because they will not be extremely sour. It is sometimes scary, because many beer neards love the very sour beer, but at the same time most beer drinkers do not know at all for sour beer, so it is sometimes anxious to make a beer that does not really fit into a particular shelf in the market “Says Jessica, hoping that Penyllan can help spread the awareness and enthusiasm for the sour beer type with the balanced acid they are looking for.
A gastronomic beer
Then the question is just whether there is actually a market for Penyllan’s beer. The couple believes that sour beer may well become the next major beer trend.
“Now we have had the big wave of IPA, where it could hardly be bitter enough, and it seems people are ready to try something new. Looking at the country’s specialty beer bars, there are many who have started to sell sour beer, and several have it on their dishes. At the same time it is in line with the entire natural wave. People want something new, different and natural, “says Christian.
Regardless of how small the target audience may prove to be, there are probably 10,000 bottles that Penyllan expects to be able to produce annually. There are already more inquiries from interested, including restaurants, which is the part of the industry, Penyllan especially wants to hit.
“It is a complex form of beer that fits very well for food and therefore we would like to cooperate with excellent restaurants,” says Jessica, who at the same time sends a friendly insult to the country’s sommelier.
“It can be difficult because sommelier is a little” anti beer “. One should expect that people with such great knowledge and ability to taste can pair food with all kinds of beverages. Wild fermented sour beer is very good for food. There is a hint of bitterness and freshness that you do not see in beer that cleans your mouth very well, “she says.
Although any success would cause demand to rise, Jessica and Christian have no plans to expand.
“We are really excited about the current size of the brewery. We are happy to handle all the processes ourselves, and we do not want the Penyllan to be a big fire. We’d rather keep it small and under control, “says Jessica, who at the same time holds his passion and sense of design.
“When I studied design, I learned that one should look at all aspects of a product. Therefore, I hand in all labels, and so I want to name things. All the beers are women and they are named after women whom they remind me of. For example, one of the bears is called Nina, just like my good friend’s daughter. She rang and told her that she was pregnant while I had just brew Penyllan’s first beer.