Small Tuesday, Big Beer
It’s been a while since we did one of these, so what better way to kick things off than to talk a little bit about one of our most exciting upcoming projects: Petit Mardi.
In the beautiful words of our Director of Production, Jeremy Grinkey:
Labor of Love
From start to finish, this beer was a massive undertaking by the entire team— so next time you see a Bruery team member in the Tasting Rooms, toss them a friendly fist bump. From the decadent liquid, to an entirely custom label, we’re beyond proud to showcase Petit Mardi.
Petit Mardi started where many of our beer/wine projects start: sourcing the best grapes we can. For this beer, we found Napa Valley Petite Sirah and Syrah grapes. We brought them over to our Terreux production facility to make some magic happen.
DESTEMMING AND MACERATION
Next, we destem the grapes to prep them for cold maceration. In cold maceration, we basically let the grapes soak on their own skins at a low temperature with the goal of extracting more aromas and color from the skins.
BLACK TUESDAY COMES TO PLAY
After a few days of maceration, we add in some Black Tuesday wort and let it literally coferment with the grapes. Finally we press it, rack it to oak barrels, and let it age and develop— in this case for 18 months.
Because of the unique shape of the bottle, we couldn’t run this packaging through our regular bottling line. Instead, we called up some of our old friends from wine country to drive out their mobile bottling line. We spent a full day packaging the beer and pressing in the toppers by hand.
Creating the Label
Liquid as unique as this deserves a label just as innovative. We decided to forgo our iconic badge for this special project, instead opting for an all-new fully custom die that covers the bottle from front to back— literally. Kelli Willcoxson, our Staff Designer at The Bruery, describes the process of creating such a unique label:
“When the production team asked just how custom we could go on a label shape, I was already interested. We collaborated on the up-and-over label shape concept, then asked our print partners if they could make it happen. To our relief, they said go ahead, so I got to work on designing the look and feel.
Given the history of beer-wine hybrids at The Bruery and the reference from 2021’s popular Portified Black Tuesday, I came up with a look that combines vintage elegance with the rich complexity reflected in the liquid. After several rounds of hand-trimming prototype prints to determine the best fit on the bottles, we approved the design and sent it to our printer.
As of writing this, we’re excitedly waiting for the labels to come in so we can get going on what I’ve deemed our ‘hand label party day’ – the ultra-custom nature of this label shape requires that every single bottle is hand labeled. Thank you in advance, production team!”