Sunday, 19 February 2017

#331: Wild Things

Oddity seems to be Wild Beer Co's thing and if there's anything I could take away from the label and description of Shnoodlepip it's that it is odd. One couldn't possibly come away with anything like a meaningful set of expectations of a beer that contains spelt, pink peppercorns, hibiscus and spends four months in French red wine barrels and is fermented with a combination of saison and Brettanomyces yeasts. 

Whatever the case it's at first clearly dry but with a nice prickly, tangy sourness to the fore. The nose gets herbal, floral and spicy stuff but I'm of a mind to assume that's as much a saison yeast contribution as it is a flower contribution but hey, it works so who cares. It's also cooling, minty and quite green on the palate with is wholly unusual but nothing like the ghastly concoction found in Fantome. After some time it opens up to some almost juicy fruitiness - again, tart - before the flash of pepper does make itself known at the finish. 

There's no reason a beer that's seen so much extra-curricular fiddling should work to reach a beautifully balanced, drinkable and refreshing conclusion but Schnoodlepip does. 

I had less luck with the Brett Brett Double IPA (no prizes for guessing what this is), even though it first presents a gorgeous aroma - cool, fruity and sherbety, all lemon skins and acid that gets the hopes up. To taste it's very slightly tart, but the headline of this beer is a big bitter effect that, while dry and approachable to begin with, gets tough going as time goes on, as it becomes more and more bitter, tangy, syrupy and coarse at once. One to pass over.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

#330: Tradecraft

This is a companion can to the Aftermath I had in Amsterdam from Californians Black Market Brewing, and the first blackberry sour ale I've had to date - interesting not only as a point of difference from the usual cherry/raspberry stuff but also considering the ease with which wild blackberries can be foraged in Ireland.

The beer is called Tradecraft and I believe it's one of a few versions of the same base beer, each fruited differently. 

At 3.8% it opens wonderfully tasty and very drinkable; a pinky-peach-tinged amber, it shows off blackberry jam sweetness and a typical sour wheaty grist on the nose; this is most likely some descendant of a Berliner weisse. There's a fullness to the body I wouldn't have expected for the strength, almost feeling rich and confected with the jam thing still doing it's work. This is all scrubbed up neatly by a wave of tartness and bubbly carbonation leaving only that light, friendly, pinkish sweetness behind. 

Lots of delicious fun.