Art History & the Women of Binny’s Proudly Present Wry Expression

This summer the Women of Binny’s visited Art History Brewing for their very first collaborative brew. Art History was an easy choice. In addition to being a majority woman owned business, women are ever present in multiple facets of their operation – be it the taproom, management, brewing, or sales team. As for the beer style, the Women of Binny’s suggested a spicy twist on an old-world classic.

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In the 18th century, countries bordering the Baltic Sea tasted English porters for the first time. England tended to export porters of the “stouter” variety – a reference to both their flavor and strength. These stout porters were particularly beloved by the Russian Imperial Court; hence they were sometimes referred to as Russian Imperial Stouts.

In the 19th century brewers across the region, in countries such as Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland adapted the English stout porter template to their liking, with one commonly adopted practice being the substitution of cold fermenting lager yeast in place of English ale yeast. As a result, modern Baltic porters present an intriguing amalgamation of styles, with elements reminiscent of Germanic lagers like doppelbock and schwarzbier, alongside the flavor and strength of classic English stouts.

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Baltic porters feature big malty sweetness which the Women of Binny’s sought to balance out with a touch of rye spice. Two kinds of rye were used – flaked and Weyermann Chocolate Rye. Weyermann is a revered German maltster, and their Pilsner, Munich II, Carabohemian, & Carafa Special 2 malts were utilized to craft a complex and layered malt profile. Head Brewer Carolyn Stephens guided the group through all aspects of brewing process - even having them taste each of the grains.

Magnum and Saaz hops were used to provide bitterness and balance. These European classics are famously bold and spicy, further accentuating the rye character. After a period of cold conditioning in the lager tank, Rye Expression finally made its way into cans. Chelsea Wisz, a member of the Art History taproom team, designed the beautiful label artwork. It’s inspired by traditional celebratory clothing worn by women in the Baltic region.

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From recipe development, to brewing, and all the way through label design, the great care taken in this collaborative effort resulted in an exceptional dark lager.

Raise a glass with us as we toast Art History and the Women of Binny’s.