Koelschip or coolship are terms that most beer drinkers aren’t familiar with, except the geekiest and most dedicated to the industry. Terrior, is a term used in winemaking and speaks of atmosphere, land, and environment of where wine is made that adds to the finished product. Together, koelschip and terroir combine to create incredibly complex beers that only a limited number of American breweries offer, or what has to be imported from Belgium.
Opening their doors in Prospect off of Ionosphere Street Primitive Beer is where you can see koelschip and terrior combine in funky synchronism. A side project of Odd 13 Brewery head brewer and taproom manager, Brandon and Lisa Boldt, this is a labor of love and experimentation.
A large, metal, shallow vessel occupies the corner of the taproom of Primitive Beer. This is their koelschip. Spontaneous fermentation is the process where wort (unfermented beer), is inoculated through the presence of wild yeast and bacteria in the air. The wort, still steaming hot from the boiling process is left in the open top koelschip to cool off. As it cools over a period of time, airborne, wild yeast infects the liquid and then is moved into barrels to age and ferment further from a period of months to years.
This is the process that Primitive Beer uses and is also certified, “methode traditionelle.” An entire article can be dedicated to discussing this certification and its partnership with the Lambic producers of Belgium, but suffice it to say, this certification says their beer is lambic-inspired in process with the blessings of the Lambic producers of Belgium.
What can you expect from Primitive Beer? Tart, sour, acidic, funky and highly complex barrel fermented aged beers. The first American Brewery to sell their beer in a box, same as boxed wine, and they will open their doors every second and fourth Saturday of every month with the grand opening on Saturday April 14th.
They are also the first spontaneous fermented only brewery in Colorado and locally source their ingredients. This style lends itself well to be served “still,” which means non-carbonated, and is why their beer will be sold in bags.
When visiting their taproom, you’ll have beer that includes traditional fruits such as cherries, peaches, and plums that are served on cask in addition to their base sour beer recipe, Unbroken Boulevard of Green Lights. A truly unique and exciting addition to the local brewery list, Primitive Beer will offer a new experience to any craft beer lover.