Inoculum Ale Works
554 1st Ave. N
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
While they have been brewing in Spring Hill, FL since 2014, the Tap Room at Inoculum Ale Works didn’t open till August 2018. The 4 year gap in time has a lot to do with the time and care it takes to produce the sour beers for a “mixed culture brewery.”
Inoculum Ale Works produces 100% sour beers and only serves sour beers in their taproom. Inoculum has 12 taps but it is difficult to keep them all flowing. While there were only 5 draft beers on the night I visited, they usually have at least 8 sour beers on tap. I had the Ciadogenesis, an American Wild which spent 18 months in red wine barrels. Inoculum’s beer prices are quite affordable at $1 for a splash, $3 for a 5oz pour, and $6 for a 12oz pour.
Single culture beer is brewed using saccharomyces (sacch) and can often be brewed in a week or two. With mixed culture beer, three other yeasts (Brettanomyces or Brett, Lactobacillus or Lacto, & Pediococcus or Pedio) can either be added to Sacch or mixed among themselves in any array of combinations to produce different sour beers that often take months to years before they can be poured in the taproom. Admittedly, I really have no idea what I’m talking about and from what I do understand, brewing mixed culture beer is no easy task.
I received my first lesson regarding mixed culture beer when I happened to catch Nick behind the bar at Inoculum Ale Works. Nick who occasionally doubles as a bartender is also head of production at Inoculum and also happens to have a bachelors of science degree in Microbiology. Besides yeast combinations, Nick’s background seems like another good combination for one to be able to successfully brew sour beers.