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This Philly Brewery Ages Beer with the Help of the Wu-Tang Clan

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A beer aged to the beats of the Wu-Tang Clan? RZA and GZA would approve.

Created at Philadelphia’s Dock Street Brewing Company, the barrel-aged brew is surrounded by speakers playing a Spotify list of Wu-Tang hits around the clock.


The brains behind the hip hop–inclined suds? Dock Street’s head brewer Vince Desrosiers, who announced his musical aging experiment via Twitter last week.

According to Desrosiers, “When yeast grows it produces flavor compounds. Vibrations are proven to cause yeast to grow more, which results in more flavor.” The logical next step? Find out if a deep bass line causes enough vibration to “move the yeast around and create different flavors during fermentation.”

Turns out, there’s a precedent for this sort of thing. New York’s Tuthilltown Spirits has dabbled in “sonic aging” in an effort to accelerate its whiskey’s aging process—blasting dub step and hip hop around the barrels during the night. The aggressive bass supposedly agitates the liquid and produces a richer flavor in less time than traditional, long-term aging would.

A similar method is applied at Cambridge Brewing Company, where tuning forks are used to provide “vibrational therapy” for aging beer. Cambridge’s head brewer has a penchant for musical instruments, which led to his experiments of stimulating the fermentation process with vibrating tuning forks.

Eager to create a series of beers based on his musical preferences, Desrosiers turned to Wu-Tang Clan to inspire his first attempt. His new golden saison will be called “Ain’t Nuthin’ to Funk With” and will continue to age under its current amped conditions until September. Bearing tart and spicy citrus-pineapple notes, the brew will also pave the way for other beats-influenced beers: Desrosiers is planning another barrel aged to the lyrics of hip hop duo Run the Jewels.

Come September, four kegs of the beer will be tapped and bottled at Dock Street for your drinking pleasure. Until then? Keep that Wu-Tang playlist on repeat.

Series & Type: News Trends

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