'The Terroir Project' joins grain and grape for festival featuring 12 breweries

'The Terroir Project' joins grain and grape for festival featuring 12 breweries

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The Terroir Project wine-meets-beer event will take place on Sept. 21  from noon to 3 p.m. at West Ranch in Los Olivos, showcasing experimental one-off beer creations made by international brewery participants.

This year, the event has "doubled-down" on the number of participating breweries, according to steering hosts Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks.

Twelve breweries — compared to last year's seven — from around the world will participate in an experimental crossover of beer and wine which will be revealed at the festival's main event.

Jim Crooks, master blender at Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks said that "The Terroir Project is all about blurring the genres of beer and wine to explore how ‘terroir’ — or sense of place — drives what we taste.” 

The Project, which was launched just last year, will this year feature Arizona Wilderness of Gilbert, Arizona; Barrelworks of Buellton; Beavertown of London; Birrificio Del Ducato of Soragna, Italy; The Bruery of Placentia, California; Garage Project of Wellington City, New Zealand; Jester King of Austin; Side Project of St. Louis; Sierra Nevada of Chico, California; Trillium of Boston; Wild Beer Co. of Somerset, England; and Wildflower of Marrickville, Australia.

Crooks says the participating breweries were invited to produce their own distinct beer-wine hybrid over the past year, but with three binding stipulations: they all had to use the same grain bill, the same methodology of handling the grapes, and the same co-fermented percentage of wort (51%) and red wine grapes (49%) fermented with wild flora.

He likened the special brewing process to "embracing the absolute soul of the vineyard,” adding that all grapes must have also been grown within 100 miles of each brewery.

The 12 breweries will present and share their beer-wine interpretation at the September event, Crook explained.

Live music, a food truck, charitable raffle and artisan marketplace will also be part of the festivities.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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