Style: Mixed Fermentation Wild Ale
30% Fermentables: Chardonnay Grape Must
Single Hop Selection: Nelson Sauvin
Primary Yeast: House Mixed Culture
Conditioning Yeast: Brettanomyces Dre Brux
Brewery’s Note: “100% Brettanomyces fermented farmhouse ale with 30% fermentables coming from Chardonnay Grape Must and 100% Nelson Hops. Bottle conditioned on Brett./ The Sauvage Club is a limited membership program centered around an exciting series of beers called the Sauvage Series. The concept of the series is that every beer released under the name “Sauvage,” is the same farmhouse-inspired base grain bill, OG, and IBUs, fermented 100% with a house mixed culture of Brettanomyces in stainless prior to being conditioned in the bottle on wild yeast. However, 20%-30% of the fermentable sugars are from some “other” ingredient that is then paired with a single hop. For example, the first batch in the Sauvage Series was a collaboration with Trinity Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs, brewed at Green Bench.”
The beer pours a chalky yellow white with a hazy cloudiness and a huge, hissing head of eggshell white and rocky bubbles that settle to a healthy level and leave nice, soapy strands all along the glass. The body is a cloudy haze, but lacking in particles or a discernable murk. This is a pretty looking farmhouse/rustic ale. On the nose, the beer is hugely expressive of grassy, funky brett… Like Dupont Foret levels! Buttery chardonnay and soft lemon spritzer sparkle in the background, but raw, farmhouse funk accented with lovely citrus touches is the main event on the nose. This is spice, horse blanket, citrus, slight vinous chardonnay, decomposing hay, grass, sweat, and so much rusticity. I don’t know if I would get the chardonnay without the knowledge that it is in the beer, but I can definitely pick it out with that knowledge, which I appreciate. It accents the beer but doesn’t steal the spotlight. On the tongue, the beer tastes of spritzy, citrus acidity that builds to a lovely, softly tart crescendo in the finish. Beside the acidity is earthy bitterness that hits citrus bitters, herbal bitters, and then a slight tinge of metallic steel alongside fungal earthy sweetness akin to cheese rind. There is lemongrass, horse blanket, sweat, licking a steel sheet, mild pine and herbs, cheese rind, mushroom, lemon seltzer, hay, and just lovely layers of farmhouse funk. In short, this is beautifully funky. The bitterness is a touch too sharp, and with the metallic tinge, it cuts the tongue a little while the aftertaste is a weird balance of bitterness and fungal earthiness. In the mouth, the beer is light, crisp, and effervescent, sparkling across the tongue with a bright crispness that turns a little harsh in the bite. This is drillable and delicious, but a little harsh on the tongue. It needs a little more creaminess in the body to turn the bite into a fully refreshing crispness, but that is nitpicking. Overall, the beer is a delicious breath of funky farmhouse brett in a world of beers that are exploring all the newer flavors that brett can create. I like the old school gassy brett. I really like it. This is my first brush with Green Bench and color me wonderfully impressed. This screams Old World with a flair of new world. Its Wallonia with the New World hops. It’s wonderful.