This one comes to us from the mind of our talented quality control specialist, Tyler Glaze. That's right, that big ol' brain of his is not just for crunching numbers and doing science type stuff, turns out it's full of ideas too. For those of you who don't know, Tyler originally hails from lovely Southern California. Where the air is dry (sometimes smoggy) and the climate is perfect for outdoor fun year round. While living in So Cal (that's what the cool people call it) Tyler got into mountain biking and would frequently ride in the mountains near his home. Below is the story, in Tyler's own words, of how Thundeur (intentionally spelled this way) came to be: "The mountains of Southern California were the birthplace of Thundeur. The fragrant Jeffrey Pine needles and its sweet vanilla-scented bark was always pleasing on my late evening bicycle rides. The quick descent from the 8,847ft peak of Mt. Pinos down to the 5,600ft elevation of my home were a daily routine. The trail is loaded with Jeffrey Pine. Southern California is also loaded with wild-fires, some of them causes by lightning during the a rare summer lightning storm. Thundeur was conceptualized to taste like the freshly lighting struck Jeffrey Pine. The unique floral fragrance of the Jeffrey needles, meshed with the scorched chocolaty-vanilla bark is an amazing thing to smell, and immediately I thought to make a beer in homage of this amazing act of nature. The name popped out at me as the original beer came together in my head. A combination of ‘thunder’ and ’fleur’ (French for ‘flower’), Thundeur. The original homebrew batch of Thundeur was brewed using no pine, but the intent was to capture the pine aromas via hops, the smokiness from smoked malt, the chocolate from chocolate malt, and vanilla from vanilla beans. The homebrew batch, originally a stout, was tasty but it didn't capture everything I wanted. Fast-forward 8 months.Upon moving to Michigan and working with Short’s, Tony and I discussed the possibility of making this beer again. I still wanted to use smoked malt and told Tony I was unhappy with the pine in my original homebrew. Tony said that I should just use real pine like in India Spruce Pilsner. This sparked my interest and I thought that using burning pine to actually smoke the malt would be a neat way to get some great tasting smoked malt, along with the pine flavors I wanted. Tony said that he was never happy with the flavors imparted from smoked malt. So, always with the great ideas he said, “Let’s just set ‘em on fire [the pine needles], and throw them in the wort," and that’s what we did...Thundeur is now an Experimental Black Ale made with Jeffrey Pine needles, sticks, twigs, and cones. We set some on fire with an enormous blowtorch, some we’re smoked, and all we’re added directly to the wort. Made with exclusively with Simcoe hops, we also dry-hopped with Simcoe and added vanilla beans during the conditioning process." With it's slightly bigger body and unique "green" tones, it's the perfect beer to transition away from winter and into spring; when the weather is still somewhat cold, but there's a touch of new life in the air.
The name popped out at me as the original beer came together in my head. A combination of ‘thunder’ and ’fleur’ (French for ‘flower’), Thundeur.