This week, our sister blendery House of Fermentology introduces Complementary Dots, a new series featuring collaborative efforts with individuals and organizations for which we have great respect. For years, Todd has quietly guided these beers, accomplishing the large majority of the work solo. Complementary Dots allows for Todd's work to come together with the work of other skilled makers, growers, artists and the like to create beers born out of a shared passion for their craft. The first installment of Complementary Dots was brewed in collaboration with Jim Williams of Backdoor Bread in Charlotte, VT. This beer is an American Wild Ale brewed just over a year ago after Todd asked Jim if he'd like to create something together. For the beer, Jim decided to bake a German/Scandanavian-style rye with whole grain Thornhill Fam rye, which was added for a long steep toward the end of the brew. Similar to HoF’s wild ales, these breads undergo lengthy fermentation periods, so it felt very fitting. In addition to the use of these loaves, Peterson Quality Pilsen malt was utilized as well as Triticale and Nitty Gritty Grain’s raw wheat. Finally, fermentation began and came to completion in Pinot Noir wine barrels. Toward the end of fermentation, a touch of citrus zest was added to the barrels. This wild ale opens with a vibrant, citrus forward aroma. Very tart, with freshly squeezed lemonade on the palate followed by ripe citrus, a hint of raspberry and subtle notes of sourdough. Exceedingly, and pleasantly effervescent.
Along with the release of this beer, we'll have loaves of bread from Backdoor Bread at the brewery. Baked in the same style as the bread used in Complementary Dots, a Northern European style Rye bread, these loaves are baked dark for the maillard in the crust. When enjoying this bread outside of the beer, it's best sliced thin and eaten with cheeses and cured meats, or just some honey.
Our connection with Jim dates back to a dinner at Philo Ridge we attended with other local producers, and we fell in love with his bread and his ethos. Jim and his wife Lynn moved from Rhode Island to Vermont after owning and operating a successful bakery in Providence for upwards of two decades which had several locations. They moved up to our beautiful state after selling their bakery to start anew, and they now have put their energy into Backdoor Bread. The skill, knowledge and thoughtfulness which goes into their bread is unmatched. We've become friends with the Williams' and we feel fortunate to have been able to collaborate with them. You can find loaves of their bread at Foam on Friday July 2nd, in limited quantity.
In addition to the bread, we've been lucky enough to go a step further and be a part of cheese production as well. Jasper Hill Farm is one of Vermont's finest cheese makers and they have produced a very limited run of their Willoughby cheese, washed in Complementary Dots. We have developed a relationship with Jasper Hill over the years, serving their cheese on our cheese and charcuterie slates nearly since our open. We have collaborated on cheeses in the past, but only now are we able to release a bottled beer simultaneously with the cheese. We're very excited to finally make this happen together.
The cheese produced by Jasper Hill, Willoughby, is an original creation of Marisa Mauro’s Ploughgate Creamery, a JH Cellars collaborator that ceased production of the cheese after a creamery fire in 2011. With Marisa’s blessing JH has resurrected this washed-rind cheese and they've continued to develop the recipe. Jasper Hill's standard Willoughby is a succulent and buttery washed-rind cheese with aromas of peat, roasted beef and onions – a strong and complex front for the subtle milky, herbal, ripe-peach flavors within. Willoughby has a thin, tender, rosy-orange rind, which adds earthy dimension to the texture and flavors of the gooey interior.
Washing the cheese in House of Fermentology's Complementary Dot has brought another dimension to the cheese. This cheese has a nice orange hue, even rinds, it is stable with nutty, onion, and yeasty notes as well as a hint of sourdough. We have 8oz wheels of this cheese available in limited quantity, only at Foam, not sold anywhere else.