This post is dedicated to the biggest life change I’ve experience recently: moving to a new house. My wife and I attempted to buy a house a few years ago; however, we didn’t have enough money for a down payment and the market fell apart right at the time we were looking to buy. While we could have just given up, we found some programs that helped us with the down payment, and we settled into purchasing a condo. Fast forward 3 years. We decided to test the market again, and we found that it had rebounded enough to where even our condo was marketable. We managed to have our condo under contract in a week, and we shortly later found our brand new home. My activity on here has been lacking as we’ve been packing and moving, but we are finally into our new house, so I’m hoping to increase my activity once again.
I probably never would have purchased this beer, but I bought it the same day that we started moving into our new house. One of the most exciting parts of our new house is that we now have a front porch, a back deck, and a balcony deck off our bedroom. I saw the name of this beer and realized I wanted it to be the first beer I opened and drank on my new porch. New Belgium has become a standard brew in this area. About a year ago their brews became available in this area, and everyone seems to have jumped on the New Belgium bandwagon. It’s funny to see this extremely sought after beer become ho-hum over night. I still like them, but now they are that go to option when you’re in a bar that has only standard beers.
There are multiple reasons why I probably shouldn’t have picked up this bottle. First, it’s a fruit forward beer. I’ve had a few fruit beers I like. I enjoy Abita Strawberry and I liked Stone’s Chocolate Cherry Stout, but I rarely find a fruit beer I like. Also, while I’ve recently started to enjoy the flavor of peaches, it is actually a fruit I’ve never been a huge fan of. Secondly, it states it uses a bit of brettanomyces in the brew. Once again, I’ve managed to find a few brett beers I like, but they are somewhat hard to come by. In the end, this may have been a beer I should have avoided for personal tastes, but I guess the price and name were enough for me.
This one pours a golden orange color with some fairly big white sudsy looking head. Swirling the glass results in some really nice lacing and some superb sticky residue. The clarity on the beer was very good; although you do get a little bit of haze towards the end of the bottle. You have zero visible carbonation, but it had a great end of summer appearance to the beer.
The smell seems to be a cross between a saison and brett beer. The saison aroma gets a little overpowered by the big nature of the brett, but it is still present. There are some light sweet malts there that seem to combine with the sweet molasses. There is certainly a big floral aroma, but I tend to blame that on the brett. You do get a slightly cidery feel to this one in the scent department. There is a little bit of the light pear smell, but you really don’t have it too dominant on the nose at all. The hops are basically nonexistent on the aroma front.
The flavors do have some sweet malts and molasses at the onset; however, they are rather light and subdued. The light hand really helps with the style of beer. Interestingly, the light molasses and sweet malts lead into that apple cider flavor I was smelling. It’s light, however, it does make this a somewhat nice mix between a summer and fall beer. The big brett comes in pretty quick. Brett beers are very hit or miss for me, but I actually don’t mind this one. I have a feeling it has something to do with the other flavors in the mix. The brett flavors linger, but the big peach flavor comes in shortly there after. The peach is quite sweet, but it takes a slightly sour turn towards the end of the beer. I’m not sure if that is the lemon peel influence, or if it has something to do with some hops. Either way, it’s interesting to have brett, sour, and fruit all in one beer. The hops do present themselves slightly more predominately as the sour/tart flavor tapers off.
The carbonation does kick off the mouthfeel; however, it is certainly more syrupy throughout the rest of the beer. The brett helps to keep the beer feeling fresh even though it takes a more syrupy turn. The slightly tart and dry finish are okay; however, I think I wouldn’t have wanted to see the beer take this little odd turn.
I really more bought this beer for its name, but I ended up not hating it. Like I said earlier, I thought it had a lot of things working against it. Thankfully I gave it a chance because it was actually a pretty nice beer to drink on the porch after a long day in the classroom. If you’re looking for a nice beer for one of the last few remaining warm days we have, you should certainly check this one out. It’s fairly well-balanced and has some pretty good flavors.
Teacher Grade: B-
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