Wow! There are benefits to owning a beer store, and one that I found last Friday was that beer Reps from the various breweries will just show up with beer and want to drink it with you. That is exactly what happened last Friday when Eric from Epic brewing showed up and wanted to discuss his brewery with me. So we discussed a little about the brewery, and some about the store I’m opening, then he asked if I wanted to try some samples. My response “Of course!”
We tried about 8 different beers, and he left me with one, their Spiral Jetty IPA which I haven’t tried yet, but it is soon on my list. I’m told it is an English style IPA at about 6.6% ABV. Looking forward to that easy drinker. We tried a lot of good solid beers, but there were a couple that stood out. First was their Brainless on Raspberries. That is their Belgian ale that was fermented with Raspberries as an adjunct. It was good, but their Brainless on Peaches that is Barrel aged is stellar so it was very good, but not my favorite of their Brainless beers.
No the one that stood head and shoulders above the rest was their Elder Brett. This is a Saison golden ale that is brewed with Brettanomyces and then aged in wine barrels. This was a beautiful beer. Delicate and refreshing with a dry, oaky finish that was very reminiscent of a high end Chardonnay, but so much better, because it was beer and still retained that hop presence and sweet malt backbone. This is THE BEER to choose when trying to convince a wino that beer is worth a second look.
Its character is a very delicate mix of beer and wine. I’ve had some that are pretty ham handed, but this one is very well done. It starts sweet and very refreshing, with good carbonation, you know the tickle your nose kind of carbonation. Flavor was grapey and citrusy with a nice sparkle and a really nice dry and oaky finish. I loved this beer, and I think it is one that would make any white wine drinker sit up and take notice to the possibilities that are available in the beer universe.
It also has a very nice surprise, it is 9.8% ABV, it really packs a whollup. And it is perfectly disguised, I had no idea I was drinking something that could be considered “Imperial” based on ABV. I would have guessed around 5%ABV based on flavor. If you find this gem pick it up and enjoy some warm summer evening, or better yet pair it with a white fish or chicken dish. You won’t be disappointed.