It goes without saying that I was uncontrollably excited when I heard about an upcoming brettanomyces-laced farmhouse ale from Delta-based Four Winds Brewing. I’ve already been hugely impressed with both their product and their priorities, as Four Winds has produced a good number of inventive and excellent beers with a particular focus on farmhouse style ales AND have been the second brewery in BC history to cork their beer.
I was even more excited when I heard very, very positive things about this beer. I bought four bottles Friday, about an hour and a half after they hit the shelves at Brewery Creek (I got there as quick as I could). I didn’t open the first bottle until tonight. You can now chalk me up as another strong supporter of this beer.
It pours a hazy golden yellow with big puffy head. I was hoping for nearly-uncontrollable head size off this beer and I got it. It is a mark of a great craft saison. Smell is of orange fruits like peach and apricot, lots of barn-straw, grass, some gentle spices, slight pepper, and wonderful brett character – not overly funky, just a great added depth of complexity to the yeast character.
Taste is much the same – it starts off as an already great, fairly malty saison and suddenly the brett breaks through with a healthy dose of straw and a damp and dirty moss-like quality… I realize that may not sound appealing, but trust me when I say I mean it in the best way possible. Moves towards a dry oak finish after all that, with the brett still leaving its mark.
Carbonation and mouthfeel are spot-on for the style and do nothing but support the excellence of this beer. I commend Four Winds for tackling such a difficult and fickle style so early into their existence; the fact that they hit it out of the park the first try is just icing on the cake.