The Fair Isle Brewing Knitting Circle is now accepting new members. What’s that? Basically, it is an exclusive beer club, but it’s really a bit more than that. A knitting circle in its more literal context is a group of knitters that meet regularly to learn or develop the skills of knitting. So in the context of beer, the Fair Isle Knitting Circle is more than a beer club, it’s a chance to learn and to explore, to get a peek at small, experimental batches of beer, and so on.
Below I share all the details straight from Fair Isle Brewing. Join the Knitting Circle.
THE KNITTING CIRCLE DETAILS
Our approach to creating Knitting Circle beer is not necessarily about finding the best barrel or using the most obscure and expensive ingredients. Instead our intent is twofold: to offer you early insight into the direction of Fair Isle and to share small, thoughtful, experimental batches.
Often these batches include limited and seasonal foraged ingredients that result in a one-off beer expressing that particular time and place. Some batches reveal themselves as a result of handpicking specific barrels or puncheons with you in mind. In some cases these experiments are so successful and compelling that we can’t wait to take what we’ve learned and apply it to larger scale production.
As someone who is interested in joining the Knitting Circle, you may be aware that farmhouse beers take time to make. We do our best to plan out the timing of our beers and shepherd them along the way, but at the end of the day these beers are simply ready to drink when they’re ready to drink. Additionally, we are beholden to the seasonality of local ingredients and since this will only be the program’s second year we have a somewhat limited inventory of barreled beer to blend. This all means that while we do our best to release two beers every quarter, we can’t commit to a specific release schedule.
To give a glimpse of the beers coming your way we are tapping a keg of Batch C this week. Stop by our tasting room and enjoy this limited oak-aged saison on draft.
Here’s what we released last year:
SEASON 1, BATCH A: A SAISON AGED IN COPPERWORKS GIN CASKS
The gin barrel saison is dry with a nice citrus character that backs what, as you might expect, is a delicious juniper roundness and long finish.
SEASON 1, BATCH B: A BERRY MEDLEY
A farmhouse ale aged in oak with a medley of Washington berries: wild huckleberries, golden raspberries and foraged elderberries. The beer exhibits a fruit forward nose reminiscent of a summer’s day punch from my childhood, but finishes dry with a very light acidity and a balance of flavors from our yeast culture and berries.
SEASON 1, BATCH C: A SINGLE PUNCHEON SAISON
Matured for five months in oak puncheon no. ten and selected for notes of starfruit, custard and bright citrus balanced by a soft oak character. Batch c explores the subtle expression of our house yeast culture as it rests in oak.
SEASON 1, BATCH D: A SINGLE-BARREL OAK-AGED FARMHOUSE ALE
Hand selected for showcasing the base beer while expressing the character of the Syrah grapes previously in the barrel. Batch d was our Madame R. Galle in a neutral wet barrel from Andrew Will Winery on Vashon Island.
SEASON 1, BATCH E: A SAISON WITH FORAGED LARCH TIPS
In June on trip to the Chumstick Valley north of Leavenworth, we gathered fresh green larch tips for batch e. Returning to Seattle, we selected a barrel and added the larch tips – infusing them for two weeks prior to bottling. Batch e bursts with aromas of evergreen and floral followed by a soft mouthfeel and delicate citrus notes.
SEASON 1, BATCH F: AN OAK-AGED FARMHOUSE ALE INSPIRED BY A CLASSIC COCKTAIL
Caramel notes and malt forward, batch f was aged in a Westland Distillery PX Sherry cask and blended with house-made bitters. Created with ingredients farmed and foraged in the PNW. Fermented with our house blend of wild and feral yeast
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE KNITTING CIRCLE
8 Knitting Circle Beers
As a member of the Fair Isle Knitting Circle you will receive farmhouse beers created with you in mind. These beers will highlight special barrels, foraged ingredients, and unique small-batch recipes. Each member will receive the equivalent volume of eight 750ml bottles of beer. For example, over the course of the year, we may deliver seven 750ml bottles and two 375ml bottles. Additional bottles may be made available for members to purchase at each release.
First allotment of batch a and b are tentatively scheduled for February 2021!
1 Knitting Circle Shirt
All members will receive one limited edition shirt bearing the Knitting Circle branding available with your first allotment pick up on February.
Additional merchandise or perks may be made available for members to purchase at each release.
All Knitting Circle beers will be held for in-person pickup at the brewery for 30 days after the initial release date. Beer can be picked up at the tasting room during regular business hours. Beer not picked-up within 30 days will be forfeited to the brewery without refund unless prior arrangements are made.
At checkout you can choose to ship your bottles and any Fair Isle beer to anywhere in the state of Washington (shipping expenses not included in membership).
You are always welcome to have a proxy pick up your beer. To add a proxy, at checkout, put the name of the person in the “Order Proxy” space at the bottom of the checkout page. Your proxy must have a copy of your order confirmation, a valid ID and be 21 or older.
- Fair Isle reserves the right to discontinue the Knitting Circle for 2022.
- Only one membership per person. If an individual is found to have multiple memberships, Fair Isle reserves the right to cancel all memberships for that individual without refund.
- You must be 21+ to purchase a membership.
- All 2021 Knitting Circle Membership sales are final and non-refundable.
- Pick-Up Rules: Knitting Circle beer must be picked up by the individual who purchased their membership or an individual designated in advance bearing an ID with the designated individual.
- Beer and merchandise received through the Knitting Circle are intended for individual consumption and enjoyment. They are not for resale. Members found reselling their beer or merchandise may have their membership terminated without refund.
- Fair Isle reserves the right to cancel an individual’s membership and refund any unused portion of that membership at any time for any reason.
- Memberships in the industry are frequently undermined by traders and profiteers who have no personal interest in the beer but just want to make a buck or trade for some other beer. While this is not inherently bad, it is inconsistent with our intent to cater towards our early adopters and local supporters. No solution to this situation is perfect but we don’t intend to turn a blind eye. If we find traders or profiteers ignoring the rules, we will take the necessary steps to end these actions. We hope you understand.
- We typically only make enough of a Knitting Circle beer to satisfy the membership allotments. However, there are times when the process yields some excess of Knitting Circle beer, or member bottles are forfeited to the brewery. We reserve the right to sell this surplus beer as additional bottles to the membership, at festivals, special events and to the Knitting Circle Membership wait list.
- 2021 Knitting Circle Memberships will commence on January 1st, 2021 and will terminate on December 31st, 2021. If Fair Isle Brewing chooses to continue the Knitting Circle for 2022, all 2021 members will have first right to renew their memberships before they go on sale to the public.