Oxbow Surfcasting

Tonight’s beer is another one that we brought back from Maine. Let’s see how it is.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Surf fishing is the sport of catching fish standing on the shoreline or wading in the surf. A general term, surf fishing may or may not include casting a lure or bait, and refers to all types of shore fishing – from sandy and rocky beaches, rock jetties, or even fishing piers. The terms surfcasting or beachcasting refer more specifically to surf fishing from the beach by casting into the surf at or near the shoreline. With few exceptions, surf fishing is done in saltwater. The most common misconception about surf fishing is the idea that one must cast as far out as possible in order to reach the fish. At beaches on the west coast of the United States, and in fact, at most beaches around the world, you only really need to get your bait into knee deep water. This is referred to as surf fishing the ‘skinny’ (the skinny water).”

Random: I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer and I can get on a boat.

The beer poured with a loose, pure white head that dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy yellow color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a bit of bright citrus and some salt and wheat. I didn’t pick up much else. The taste was much of the same. I got salt and wheat and a touch of lemon. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick and clean with salt. I thought this beer would have some more flavor. I wouldn’t rush back to have it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Almanac Peach Galaxy

I found another Almanac beer sitting on a shelf, gathering dust. I figured I should take it home.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “GALAXY DRY-HOPPED SOUR FARMHOUSE ALE AGED IN OAK BARRELS WITH PEACHES AND SPICES. Peach Galaxy is an intergalactic flavor odyssey! This stellar brew started with a blend of farmhouse Brettanomyces ales fermented with our house sour culture and aged in oak barrels. Next, 6,000 lbs of organic yellow peaches from Blossom Bluff Orchards in Northern California were added to the barrels to mature for several months. The beer was finished with a touch of coriander and a heavy cosmic dry-hop of Galaxy and Citra. The finished beer has an IPA-style aroma, backed by tart peach skin flavors and hints of gummy rings. Pair this out-of-this-world elixir with grilled ribs, ceviche, and peach coffee cake.”

Random: This beer would pair really well with ceviche. I’m not sure about the ribs.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was very cloudy and bright yellow in color. There was no carbonation visible because of the cloudiness. The nose was filled with peaches and a touch of funk. The taste had a dose of alcohol and then quickly went into peaches and funk from the yeast. There was also lemon pith as well. The body was on the medium side with generous carbonation. The finish was length with peach. As usual, I love another beer from Almanac. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Fat Orange Cat Do All Sixteen Dances

Tonight’s selection was a beer that I picked up in New York. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our small batch beer: Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a small, seasonal homestead brewery, opened for tastings and growler sales/fills August 13, 2016 out of our barn. We specialize in extremely high quality small batch recipes, and are making every effort to support and promote local agriculture. We are very fortunate that our property has a wetland and is in the Salmon River watershed area, resulting in exceptionally high quality well water. Many thanks to the UCONN Agricultural Extension for developing our waste nutrient management plan, enabling us to use all of our waste materials either on the property or for farm animal feed. Our large batch beer: Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a member of a collective called Twelve Percent Beer Project. This enables us to use our small brew system here on site as a beer test kitchen, constantly offering new beers. We partner and contract brew on a large scale with Twelve Percent, enabling us to brew and distribute on a much larger scale while maintaining the small and intimate experience here at the brewery.”

Random: My fat orange cats are sleeping in their bed, next to each other.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy yellow color with no visible carbonation due to the haziness. The nose had a lot of hay along with some yeast and clove and coriander. There was lemon there as well. The taste was a bit more citrus forward with lemon flesh and pith. The hay and yeast were there as well. The body was light and crisp with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with hay. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Logsdon Peche ‘n Brett

A month or so ago, I went to Cranbury Buy Rite and they were having a sale on sours. Initially, I didn’t have this one in my basket, but it came highly recommended, so I picked it up.

ABV: 10%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This award-winning version of our Oak Aged Seizoen Bretta is refermented with 1.5 lbs/gal of juicy ripe peaches from the Hood River Valley for several months before blending the aged beer with some young beer and fresh brettanomyces yeast, providing natural carbonation, added dryness and funky complexity to the beer.”

Random: This beer comes in at 15 IBUs.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pure white head. It was quite wispy. It dissipated quickly, leaving no lacing on the glass, but a small white crown on top of the body. The body was a slightly cloudy, white orange color. There were no floaties visible and a moderate amount of carbonation visible. The nose had a decent amount of funk with white wine grape, aged peach and a touch of horse blanket. The taste started with sour, unripe peach and had a little bit of sweetness from the peach. Oak definitely came through with a touch of vanilla. Brett was present, but not overwhelming. It gave a decent amount of funk, but definitely on the lighter side. The alcohol was insanely well hidden. It had moderate to high carbonation and a quick finish. This beer was outstanding and I would definitely have it again. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Stillwater Stateside Saison

Although my beer store regularly stocks Stillwater, I haven’t picked one up lately. This is one of their original beers, so I wanted to give it a try.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2017, we reformed Stillwater’s origin beer, merging it back into our evolving stream of thought where once it sat untouched. Still paying homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation, Stateside is now dry hopped and more refined. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. The beer is then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing.”

Random: It’s been awhile since I had a Stillwater beer.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, golden-yellow with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had some yeast notes first and a touch of citrus with orange. The taste had a bit more citrus with orange and grapefruit and then quickly went into a yeast note. It had a spiciness to it along with some cracker malt. The body was on the medium side of the style with generous carbonation. It had a dry and quick finish with cracker malt. It’s been awhile since I had a saison and this one did not disappoint. This paired well with food and I would have this again without a doubt.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Blackberry Farm Barrel Series 18 Month Brett Saison

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this brewery on some random podcasts, so I wanted to give them a shot. This was hanging out on the shelf of Cranbury Buy Rite, despite the brewery’s website saying they don’t distribute to New Jersey.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In keeping with the sense of place at Blackberry Farm, our brewery and processes are rooted in centuries old traditions. We are respectful of the time honored methods of making beer, while constantly pushing the boundaries to employ modern techniques to enhance the complexity of our releases. We create beers for a moment. Whether it is celebrating a special occasion, pairing with fine food, recreating, or just enjoying the day. The right beer is the perfect complement to marks life’s moments both big and small. Our bottled beers utilize a natural re-fermentation in the bottle, which produces a soft and pleasant carbonation. Every bottle that leaves our brewery has been conditioned in our temperature controlled cellar to ensure that you get the highest quality with each pour. Our can line is designed to feel youthful and bold. These beers are about recreating, connecting and enjoying an active lifestyle. Each can features label artwork from Southern artists who have a relationship with Blackberry Farm. The labels have their own unique personality, much like the beer.”

Random: I just spent way too much time on the brewery’s website. They have a votive candle for $98!

The beer poured without any head on top of a bright yellow body. The body was murky, but still had some visible carbonation to it. The nose started with a lot of Brett and funk, but went into red wine and a touch of vanilla. The taste was fruity up front. I picked up apricot and peach and it transitioned into funk. The oak came through next with some red wine and vanilla. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with red wine and oak. I picked up the bottle for $10.99, which came to $.87 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would pick it up again, despite the price.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Tired Hands Shambolic

Val and I went out to Ardmore to meet some friends for an early dinner. We had a few beers and some food and then we walked around. We ended up coming back for dessert and I had this beer while watching some baseball.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Nelson & Simcoe Saison 6.5% Brewed with malted spelt and raw white wheat. Fermented with our Magickal Saison yeast and rested in a large oak foudre with our house microflora. Dry hopped assertively with Simcoe and Nelson Sauvin. Notes of overripe pineapple, lemon balm, spring meadow, black lime, and cape gooseberry.”

Random: My favorite thing at Tired Hands is the nachos. Their beer cheese is absolutely ridiculous.

The beer poured with a thick, two finger, pure white head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some limited lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, bright yellow color with a lot of carbonation. The nose started with a lot of yeast and a lot of oak. It had a hoppy note as well. The taste also had a lot of yeast and oak. It had some lemon zest and tropical fruit notes as well. There was a grassy note from the hops as well. The body was full with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with a lot of tropical fruit and yeast. I thought this beer was outstanding. It never fails to amaze me how many different flavors that Tired Hands manages to get into their beers.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Against The Grain Coq De La Marche

Tonight’s beer is another offering from Against The Grain. I want to visit the brewery at some point, but it will be at least a few years before I get there.

ABV: 5.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Vous etes le coq de rien. Suffice it to stay, some beers are meant to be the cocks of walks, and some are not. This Session Saison safely falls into step with those beers striding confidently along that most fateful walk. Brewed with a dash of spelt and a healthy late hop addition this fine, frothy friend was fermented warm to perfect attenuation and carbed up high for a flavor that is at once bright, rich, juicy and ultra crisp. Strut your stuff, man.”

Random: This beer comes in at 31 IBUs.

This beer poured with a huge, five-finger, off white head. It was very fluffy and took forever to dissipate. It left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, bright yellow color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with grass, cracker malt and green, underripe grapes. The taste was way more towards a kolsch than a saison. It had a lot of cracker malt with grass and mineral water. There was still some grape note, but was very mild. The body on this was light and there was a touch too much of carbonation. It had a quick finish with crackers. I picked up this can for $3, which came to $.19 per ounce. I thought this beer was okay, if it were marketed as a kolsch. It didn’t have many saison characteristics.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Night Shift Matisse

I was never into Matisse’s art, but let’s see if I like the beer better.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Matisse is our way of showing that modern independent beer needn’t shy away from the canonical styles that brought us to where we are today. This classic saison is inspired by traditional French and Belgian farmhouse beers, and we chose a name that echoes the same origins. The French artist Henri Matisse captured lively scenes of the same French countryside where the rustic saison’s flavor profile was pioneered. We’re proud to have received the Silver Medal in the Classic Saison category at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival for Matisse. After an exciting first run with this beer, we brought it into our rotating and began to brew it on a larger scale!”

Random: The brewery suggests to pair this with paella, braised meats and soft cheeses.

The beer poured with a one finger white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose started with farmhouse funk and hay. It quickly went into grass and bread with white peppercorns. The taste started with some significant floral notes. Grass and hay came through next. There was a little bit of barnyard funk as well. White and black peppercorns came through next. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with hay. This was a gift, so I have no idea how much it cost. Either way, this was a solid saison that is worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Fantome Dark White

Last time Val and I went up to Half Time, I saw this lonely bottle on a shelf and needed to bring it home.

ABV: 4%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Fantôme (Brasserie Fantôme) is a small brewery in Soy, Wallonia, Belgium. Founded in 1988 by Dany Prignon, it produces Saison, a type of farmhouse ale. The brewery occupies a modest stone farmhouse on the main road through the village of Soy in the Marche-en-Famenne district of Luxembourg province. Founded in 1988, Brasserie Fantôme has gained international attention and a cult following among lovers of craft beers. Owned and run by Dany Prignon, Fantôme is known for its unique variations on the Saison style of farmhouse ale, often involving the use of herbs, spices or fruit juice. Within the craft beer community, Fantome saisons are considered highly desirable and have developed a significant audience in the United States and United Kingdom. Ironically, while their complex, earthy, and herbal flavors have caused them to be sought out by connoisseurs outside Belgium, Fantôme’s products are difficult to find and not well known in the country of their origin. The name of the brewery stems from a legend of the nearby town of La Roche-en-Ardenne, which asserts that the ghost of the long-dead Countess Berthe de La Roche can still be seen walking amidst the ruins of the town’s castle. There is a small bar adjacent to the brewery that is primarily open on weekends and for special occasions. Tours of the facility can be arranged by reservation as well.”

Random: I’ve had this beer on my must-try list for years now.

The beer poured with a huge, five-finger, tan-colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown and hazy with lots of floaties visible. There was moderate carbonation as well. The nose started with a lot of fruity yeast with dates and prunes. I picked up some brown sugar and molasses along with some sweet caramel. The taste was filled with Belgian yeast up front. It transitioned into almonds, caramel and dates. Brown sugar came through next. The spice came through at the end, which finished up the sip very well. The body was on the medium side with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with spice and Belgian yeast. I picked this bomber up for $17.99, which broke down to $.82 per ounce. It was definitely pricey, but worth every penny.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0