Cinderlands' Lawrenceville location is now officially a 'foederhouse.' What exactly does that mean? | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Cinderlands' Lawrenceville location is now officially a 'foederhouse.' What exactly does that mean?

Photo: Cinderlands Foederhouse

In early November, Cinderlands Beer Co. embarked on a new chapter of brewing, rebranding their original, Lawrenceville location into Cinderlands Foederhouse.  

Cinderlands Foederhouse specializes in beer fermented in foeders (pronounced FOOD-er) – large wooden tanks typically used for fermenting wine. The giant barrels give the beer a unique “sensory profile,” says Cinderlands head brewer Paul Schneider. Foeders also help with consistency; bigger barrels mean bigger batches, which reduces the rate of variation between brews. 

According to the Foeder Crafters of America website – the only national company to manufacture the giant barrels – the huge tanks “allow a slow ingress of oxygen into the beer that is easily supervised with the tasting valve.” This slow admission combined with the size of the barrels enables brewers to age beer slowly; the Crafters’ website notes that a smaller barrel may speed up the maturation process so much that brews become acidic before fully matured. 

Cinderlands’ foeders will change with each brew, absorbing yeasts and bacteria to create what Schneider describes as a “unique microclimate.” Similar to aging whiskey and wine, Cinderlands’ foeder brews will take on flavor characteristics from the oak tanks, and each new brew will contribute to the taste of those that follow. 

Foeders have replaced all of Cinderlands’ stainless steel tanks at the Lawrenceville location.

Since their official rebrand to Cinderlands Foederhouse in November, the brewery has been consistently introducing new foederbiers to their draft list, supplementing with a mix of brews from Cinderlands Warehouse in the Strip District. (The brewery’s house pilsner and pale ale have permanent spots on draft.)

Currently, Cinderlands Foederhouse is offering four foederbiers: Tumbling Blind (4.8% ABV), a foeder-fermented, dry-hopped wheat lager, Duane (5.0% ABV), a blended saison, Coax (5.2% ABV), a mixed culture Saison said to “get funkier with time,” and The Glue in Your Magnet (6.8% ABV), a mixed culture saison re-fermented with apple juice. The brewery plans to release wild ales later this year. 

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