Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Grasslands Funky Rye Saison

This is a recurring monthly series in which I taste and share my thoughts on a different beer from Grasslands Brewing Co. as they progress on their journey to open their doors to thirsty craft beer lovers (2014).  Grasslands is an up-and-coming brewery out of Tallahassee, Fl. that centers their philosophy on making quality "earth first ales." I will taste pilot batches and share my thoughts with the BeerApostle community. You can read past posts about Grasslands beer in the archive section of this blog. 

Brewery:  Grasslands Brewery
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Style: Funky Rye Saison
ABV: 6%

My last review highlighted Grasslands' Rye Saison. Today, I am essentially tasting the same beer with the addition of a Brett (Brettanomyces) yeast that often, but not always, produces a sour (or "funky") flavor profile.

Now that I have had multiple variations of Grasslands' saison, I am excited to get this review started to see what the Brett has done to this beer!

Appearance: Pretty much identical to the Rye Saison: light golden hue with subtle copper highlights. Looks clean and well-filtered. Carbonation is visible in the glass. The head retention is much better in this version than the Rye Saison. Not sure if that's correlated to the yeast or not.

Aroma: Sweet, sour, and tart. This nose is much different than the original Rye Saison. I can definitely pick up some of the funky smells that the Brett has produced. The spices that I picked up in the first saison are still present, but take more of a back seat to the tropical tartness that I am getting from the Brett.

Taste: Mild is the first word that comes to mind. Everything is extremely well balanced. I thought this was going to be a funk-first beer, judging by the nose, but that's not the case at all. The palate is first met with a clean spritz of carbonation that's followed by  fruit-sweetness and semi-sour tart flavors. The finish is biscuity and crisp.

Mouthfeel: This is a light-bodied beer. Lots of carbonation help make this an incredibly refreshing drink. I am tempted to say that I would like the body to be a tad-bit-heavier, but then again, this is a nice break from all of the heavy-hitting-winter-warmers and stouts.

Overall: Funky Rye Saison is a sessionable beer that adds just a touch of flair to the traditional saison style. The fruit flavors were unexpected and add nice depth to the tart and sour notes of the Brett yeast. This is an experimental beer that has gone right for Gabe and Grasslands.

As always, I need to give a HUGE thanks to Gabe for sharing his beers with me as he progresses on his journey to open up Grasslands Brewing Company's doors in 2014. I am humbled and honored to get to share his beers with the beer community through this online platform!


Interested in becoming a Grasshopper?
If you're interested in getting your hands on any of Grasslands' brews before 2014, register for their Grasshoppers Club which is your ticket in to getting exclusive releases from the brewery before they open. As a Grasshopper, you'll be eligible to enter the monthly lottery drawings to sample beer and provide critical feedback that may contribute to the final product. You can also check out Grasslands on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

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