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From Dream to Reality

Oriel x Clos de Colombes’s Magic Barrel of Wonder

cuvee anne marie

It was 2018 when the journey of Oriel’s latest creation began. We reached out to the legendary Mrs. Anne Marie Rosenberg, a woman whose name is synonymous with revolutionizing the world of wine in Romania. Our passion for craft beer was matched by our admiration for the exceptional taste of the wines from the Clos des Colombes winery. And so, we set out to bring these two worlds together.

The story of the Clos des Colombes winery began 20 years ago, with the arrival of French entrepreneur Anne Marie Rosenberg to the stunning Olimp resort located near the Black Sea in Romania. With a passion for wine and a family background in winemaking, Anne Marie saw the potential for a vineyard in this unique location.

Over the years, the vineyard grew to 6 hectares and the winery started producing French-style wines, characterized by their high acidity, tannic taste, and strong wood notes. But the real magic happened when Anne Marie and a French consultant began experimenting with blending the wines to create something truly special.

Fast forward to April 2021, and we received the exciting news that our dream was about to become a reality. We were gifted the opportunity to age one of our beers in a freshly emptied Viognier wine barrel, and without a moment’s hesitation, we got to work. We brewed a slightly different version of a Saison/Farmhouse Ale, and in May of that year, filled the barrel to begin the long wait.

16 months passed and the mélange of beer, wine, and wood was finally ready. We bottled 258 bespoke 750ml bottles, hand-labeled, hand-waxed, with a bottle number marking. And with a natural carbonation and an extra 5 months of maturation, the beer was finally ready to be shared with the world.

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A short resume


Another year has passed. Looking back, is like it was almost normal, but we need to keep our feet in the ground and still accept that things are not like they used to be before. The pandemic situation still affects us and people around us, but the best we can do is to continue brewing beers and doing our jobs with passion.

2021 started slowly, we gathered our forces and hoped for the best. The first beer released of the year was a “naked” Quadrupel, or our most famous barrel aged beer, but this time in a version that was simple and plain without the maturation in the wooden barrels. A rich and intense beer of 10.3%, that helped us accommodate through the cold winter days.

The second release of the year was a long awaited one, as we described it at that time, our second collaboration with Wicked Barrel brewery, was a beer that reminded us of the times before, See the light armagnac barrel aged for one year, a beer brewed just before the pandemic came. 11.5% and a playful, aromatic, dense beer with a blast of chocolate. The duality is always the answer, it does not matter if you are enticed by the light or by darkness.

We kept our optimism at a high level, releasing in April another barrel aged beer, a new version of Quadrupel aged in bourbon barrels, but with a base of rye malt. And yet again, 12% of pure joy. We continued with a reinterpretation of the famous italian caffe corretto, also in a Quadrupel, by adding star anise and espresso. Yes, we do have a thing for strong beers, we can’t help it.

We were expecting some sort of festivals and beer events for the beginning of the summer, but unfortunately, again, they were canceled, so, we needed to take everything in our own hands, and we decided to do the first beer event after almost two years, the launching of a new range, Oriel Wild Ales. As you all know us by now, we like to play a lot with different yeast strains, brettanomyces in particular.

And with the help of White Labs, we fermented our first mixed fermentation beers, Cuvée Nora and Cuvée Lisa. The first real sour and funky beers of our range in new bottles, new labels, new glass, everything done by the book. The beers launch event was like a breath of fresh air after all that time, The Beer Institute, our hosts, helped us with their location and we were happy to toast a glass with friends and beer aficionados.

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Oriel Wild Ales

Cuvée Nora & Cuvée Lisa

Inspired by nature, the new Oriel beers surprise with different tastes. We call them beers, some of you made the resemblance with natural wines. What do they have in common? Yeasts and bacteria from nature.

But let’s start with the story of these two beers, because we are not just talking about a new Oriel range, but about two completely different beers.

Life before the pandemic seemed to be so far away, but look, it’s almost over and we’re back to normal.

In 2019 we went to Arrogant Sour Festival, in Italy. I tasted so many sour beers, but surprisingly, I still wanted to try more, there is such a great diversity and although most were extremely sour, their tastes were sublime. There was already another level of craft beer that we wanted to reach. So we decided to try brewing a sour beer. At the beginning of 2020, we bought a 500 litres oak barrel from a Romanian manufacturer. We didn’t want anything sophisticated, just a wooden barrel, in which we could ferment a beer with bacteria and wild yeast. Although we would have liked to try open fermentations with yeasts from nature, the area where we have the brewery is under construction and we cannot do that, so we reached our yeast supplier and we found a blend of bacteria and yeast that replicates the spontaneous fermentation of Belgian beers.

All good and beautiful, the barrel was delivered, we watered it, it swelled, there are certain procedures to follow when filling a barrel the first time, we brewed the beer, added yeast, a blend of two lactic acid bacteria (lactobacillus and pediococcus), yeast saccharomyces and brettanomyces and we waited for it to ferment. The first part of the fermentation went normally, the resulting carbon dioxide was removed through the valve, but after a while, the fermentation began to become more and more aggressive. Most likely, the barrel staves began to expand, so leaks appeared. Sometimes when moments like this occur, the only thing you can do is think quickly about a solution. The most rational solution was to transfer the beer from the wooden barrel to a stainless steel tank, but all our tanks were full of other beers.


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The Quadrupel Barrel Aged series

Rye Quadrupel Bourbon Barrel Aged

Yes, you read it well, we released a new quadruple. You know we have a thing for Quadrupels, but it’s not just that, it’s like our special something. In a time when everyone is trying to impress with crazy experiments, we chose something like back to basics to remember our first time. When we first produced professionally at Oriel a barrel aged beer, we chose to brew a Quadrupel, an Oriel trademark, aged in Jack Daniel’s barrels. Hold your thoughts, we know that Jack Daniel is not bourbon, is Tennessee whiskey, but there is a resemblance between the bourbon and the Tennessee whiskey.

At that time, you, it’s always you, because as much as we want to say that we brew some beers because we like them, many times, we brew them because you are asking. The first edition had a huge success, we made a launching party, the ambassador of Belgium in Romania came, oh, such good times, and, as I was saying, the beer received a huge, great feedback.


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Belgian Imperial Stout Armagnac Barrel Aged


“Lets suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream,
And you would naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes.
You would have every kind of pleasure, you see
And after several nights you would say, “well that was pretty great.”
But now lets have a surprise, lets have a dream which isn’t under control.
Well something is going to happen to me that i don’t know what it’s gonna be.
Then you would get more and more adventurous,
And you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream,
And finally you would dream where you are now.

If you awaken from this illusion,
And you understand that black implies white,
Self implies other,
Life implies death.
You can feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world,
Not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke,
But you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.”

Many years ago, I came across a song with these lyrics, later I found out, they were the lyrics of Alan Watts. At that moment I was always thinking about black and white, as two opposite things, but it’s not like that at all, yes, black implies white…

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In a far away galaxy, in Bucharest, district 3

Once upon a time… No, I will not start again with this. In a far away galaxy, two guys started to brew beer. That was ten years ago, but that tale you all know. It’s not about the beers we brewed and it’s not about the years that passed, it’s just about the present time. Because we are all here and now.

This year was difficult to everyone, the pandemic crisis affected us and at some point we were asking ourselves, who cares about our beer nowadays, is it important to continue? But after reconsidering our thoughts, we were like “hell yeah! We bring joy into people’s life” or at least, that’s what we like to think about, because drinking an Oriel beer is an experience. We brewed from the beginning different beers, classic, like you all said, but special. Special, precisely because we focus on playing and adapting to modern times and even though we brew Belgian styles, they are quite different, right?

Last year we were getting ready to party for our anniversary and who knew at that time that things will get here? It’s funny because you never expect something to happen, life just happens without any notification.

A peculiar year 2020 was, but let’s looks at the bright side. Nature had almost an entire year to reboot, we had four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and now winter. When was the last time you looked around you? And thinking about this aspect of nature, we came up with the idea of a new beer specially brewed for our 3rd anniversary.

The surprise is that for the first time, we made an entirely different style, experimenting with everything, from malts, to yeasts and bacteria.

In a Far away galaxy is our reinterpretation of a historical English porter from the 18th century, a dark, funky and sour beer. Brewed with the finest ingredients with the Maris Otter as a base malt, a dash of smoked malt and other specialties, flakes, hops, this beer was sour kettled with Lactobaccilus Helveticus and fermented primary with WLP013. Second fermentation with Brettanomyces Claussenii lasted three months and after that, it continued the conditioning in the bottle. A complex bouquet is followed by layers of depth as the taste is changing over each sip. Roasted malts, tartness and earthy notes, funkness, dried grass, biscuits, praline, lemon, citrus, salt, mellow sweetness covered by smooth saltiness.


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A Belgian Dark Strong Ale for the winter


After almost three years of Oriel Beer, you already know by now that is our tradition to release a seasonal beer each winter.

In some parts of our country, snow is also present, here in Bucharest it’s just cold, but it doesn’t matter, it’s always a good time to have a treat for yourself.

So, by the time when you all celebrated Christmas last year, on 27th of December, we brewed our WINTER 2020 edition.

Brewed with patience, in the style of a Belgian Dark Strong Ale from seven types of malt, two types of flakes, two types of hop, Belgian dark candi sugar to a special blend of liquid Belgian strain yeast and of course with some special ingredients added: cocoa, coffee, Ceylon cinnamon, coriander seeds, orange extract and vanilla essence.

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White Quadrupel

A new crazy collaboration between Oriel Beer and Sunstone Alehouse

Some friendships and collaborations do last a long, long time. That’s the story between us and Sunstone Alehouse. If you don’t know our beginning, let’s recap it for you. We met Kirill many years ago, while we all still homebrewed. Now we are all pro, older and with the same courage to experiment with beers.
White Quadrupel comes as a sequel after Quadrupel IPA, that experimental beer that you all remember, not an ipa, nor a quadrupel. Well, the story repeats again, because this new beer comes close to another creative brew that both brewers come up with.
Oriel x Sunstone White Quadrupel is another experimental brew in which all the crazy ideas of the brewers joined for a beer to remember. Brewed out of a large variety of malts, flakes, hops, orange peel and a blend of yeasts, this quadrupel lighter in color, has preeminent aromas of figs, dates, praline and subtle hints of smoked malt. Taste is intense, bit sweet with vanilla, biscuits, chocolate notes, balanced and flavored with cold brew from DropShot Coffee Roasters. The cold brew was made from a single origin coffee, Ethiopia Sidamo, and brings delicate notes of blueberries, caramel and dark chocolate. A long aftertaste and the alcohol warmth linger on the palate leaving a mellow sweetness.


Please don’t take it as a regular beer, because it is not, is the honest beer that you will drink and like it because is different, but so pleasant in the same time. And that’s the beauty of brewing, playing with recipes and be creative.


Stories about beer

Quadrupel Ecuador Barrel Aged


This post will be about a beer, the beer, the almighty beer that you may know from our range, Oriel Quadrupel Barrel Aged.

For this batch we chose to get back to rum barrels, because we won a gold medal with the Belize version and to be honest, because we like rum, is nice to savor it all year round because is tasty and aromatic.

We decided to go again for rum barrels, but we needed to choose the barrels for aging. Our barrel supplier told about some Ecuador barrels that they should receive at a certain time and some stuff about Ecuador rums. First of all, the distilleries are situated at higher altitudes, the alcohol thing is very complicated in Ecuador and the barrels are always sealed with papers from the local customs and they are difficult and rare to obtain. The rums produced are unctuous, oily, round, dark and sweet.


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Templed in twilight

Collab Oriel Beer x Bereta TM

Exactly this time last year we were in Iasi, at Festivalul Girafelor, one month later we were in Cluj at Cluj Craft Beer Festival. Each time by coincidence we were neighbors with the guys from Bereta. But is there such thing as coincidence? Maybe yes, maybe no. Between pouring beers, we talked a lot about craft beers and shared ideas and in the end the idea of a collaboration was born. But it was difficult to choose one beer that could contain the essence of Oriel Beer and Bereta. After debating, the guys came up with the idea of brewing a barrel aged gose, well you heard well, they brewed a lot of gose beers in the past, we barrel aged a lot. Awesome and awesome, let’s see what happened next.

The recipe was simple, 50% barley malt, 50% barley wheat, wheat flakes, coriander seeds, Hallertau Blanc hop, black Himalayan salt and Lactobaccilus.


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