Style: Belgian Pale Ale/Farmhouse Table Beer
Brewed at: Westbrook Brewing Company, Mount Pleasant, SC
Brewer’s Note: “I brew beer for the love of science. Every batch we brew has new parameters and new variables and I push to continually evolve our process and the flavors of our beers. This is a lightly tart golden beer with a small touch of Brett and heavy handed hopping.”
Concept Note: “I conceived of Beer Table Table Beer as a way to engage brewers in a conversation about their process and consumption. I ask each brewer to brew the one beer that they believe they could drink every day for the rest of their life.”
(Check out a review of Stillwater Artisinal’s entry in the Beer Table Table Beer series here)
Before I begin this review, I would like to note my confusion as to the way this beer was brewed. From the information I could gather on the internet, it seems like Crooked Stave Artisan Beer project (i.e. Chad Yakobson) brewed this beer at the Westbrook Brewing facility. Whether it has a Brett strain cultivated by Chad or not, is not clear, however. I hope it does though…
The beer pours a pale, hazy yellow with a head of egg-shell white bubbles and a light retention. In body, the beer is clean but cloudy, with just a smudging of the other side of the glass visable. When the beer is splashed against the sides of the glass, a thin stringing spatter of lacing develops and lingers. On the nose, the beer smells of tart lemon juice with a lime zest, and a cherry must that has a touch of acetic vinegar and some earthy minerality. In all, it’s a bright citrusy scent layered in citrus must and a touch of earthiness. The more I linger my nose over the beer, the more scents I detect. Delicious complexity for such a light beer. On the tongue, the beer tastes of a citric acidity that moves into a briny minerality, and then finishes with a slowly changing bready sweetness, like a malty Berliner weisse. The acidity lingers as a pleasant tartness throughout the sip. In flavor, the beer is a beautiful burst of lemon-lime mineral water with a lemony wheat bread finish. There is a touch of just the faintest chlorine, but it instantly fades into the tart lemon-lime flavors. I’m really fond of the mineral character in this beer, and am impressed with its integration with the beer’s tartness. The beer’s finish lingers gloriously, slowly unfurling into the aftertaste of wheat bread and lemonade. In the mouth, the beer feels thin, nimble, and crushable. Carbonation is middling to high, with a nice sparkle on the palate. The mouthfeel is crisp and bright, with a lovely light acidity that bites lightly at the gums, while popping the mouth with a nice touch. When the beer leaves, the gums feel a little tingly, and a slight gel of saliva starts to build over the tongue and the rest of the mouth. This beer is beautiful knock back, and a must for the summer. Overall, it blends a beautiful punch of citric acidity with a lovely wheat cracker finish. Everything I have tried with Yakobson’s name on it has been superb and complex, and this fits that bill. At just 3.6% ABV it proves just how amazing session beer and Brettanomyces can be when put together. I wish Crooked Stave would put this in cans and make it year round, but I don’t think that’s their style. If you find this beer, try it.