Beer Man

GABF Medal Win Helps Tiny Primitive Brewing Bubble to the Surface

GABF Medal Win Helps Tiny Primitive Brewing Bubble to the Surface
Primitive Beer
Primitive Beer Company's silver-medal win at the Great American Beer Festival earlier this month was a long time in the making. More than two years, in fact — that's how long ago Primitive owners Brandon and Lisa Boldt brewed the first batch of beer that would eventually become ShibbleShabble.

That's because Primitive, which opened its tap room in Longmont in April 2018, specializes in Belgian-style wild and sour brews that have been spontaneously fermented, aged in wooden barrels and blended into uniqe beers.

Previously, the unusual brewery had focused only on beers that were "still" (or uncarbonated), and served on draft or in boxed plastic bags — in a fashion similar to some wines. But ShibbleShabble represents a new milestone for Primitive, which will release the beer, and three other carbonated, bottle-conditioned blends, on Saturday.

click to enlarge Brandon and Lisa Boldt, after winning their medal. - PRIMITIVE BEER
Brandon and Lisa Boldt, after winning their medal.
Primitive Beer
"Bubbles," says Lisa, were always part of the plan. "But we were waiting until our beers were old enough. When the beers hit the two-year mark and we found blends, single barrels and fruit refermentations worthy of bottling, we went ahead and packaged. ShibbleShabble, named for a song that Brandon and his high-school band wrote, is a blend of two wooden puncheons (small oak casks) and has notes of lemon, pineapple and black tea, "with a beautiful, clean minerality and a lively but balanced acidity," she adds. And its flavor will change as it ages.


The fact that it won a medal in the Experimental Beer category is a good indicator that their decision to start carbonating some of their beers was a good one. The other three beers being released in 750ml bottles are: Jazz Pilot, a blend of four puncheons; And Now We Sparkle, a single puncheon blend; and So Last Season: Nectarine, a two-puncheon blend matured for nine months on whole Hotchkiss nectarines.

The beers were all made following the "méthode traditionelle" process, which was created recently by American makers of lambic-style ales to establish guidelines similar to the Belgian beers they are modeled after.

"In addition to the effect of carbonation on mouthfeel and volatile uplift, the bottle refermentation process and additional maturation deliver exciting transformative flavors to Primitive Beer’s terroir," the brewery says. "Primitive Beer will continue to package young (one- to two-year aged) spontaneous beer in bag-in-box, and is excited to eventually add Méthode Traditionelle three-year blends...to their repertoire."

The theme of the release party, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2025 Ionosphere Street in Longmont, is a "Werewolf Bar-Mitzvah (or the more inclusive Werepeople B’nai Mitzvah) and costumes are highly encouraged," Primitive adds.
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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes