Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our Side, by Two Gypsy Brewers

I have previously blogged about gypsy brewers ... people who brew beer without having their own brick-and-mortar brewery.  Rather than invest in the building and the equipment, they depend on the kindness and generosity of others, borrowing their equipment to brew beer.

Two of the biggest names in gypsy brewing are Stillwater Artisanal and Mikkeller.  Stillwater is an American gypsy brewer based in Maryland but who travels to brew beers like Stateside Saison, Cellar Door and Existent.  Mikkeller is a Danish gypsy brewer based in Copenhagen but who travels throughout the world to brew beers Beer Geek Breakfast, Gypsy Juice, Monk's Brew, Stateside IPA and The Big Hunt.

If you noticed, both Stillwater and Mikkeller brewed a beer called "Stateside."  Having that in common, the brewers joined forces to collaborate on a new beer, Two Gypsies, Our Side.  As the label states, "Mikkel and Brian are two of the world's most unconventional brewers.  By designing beers at various breweries around the globe, they have found the freedom to experiment and innovate, resulting in unique beers that often blur the lines of definition.  After having met at a festival in Bodegraven, Netherlands, the two realized that their first creations both were called stateside.  It was then an obvious decision to make the two recipes into a new product, packed full of piney, resinous hops and backed by the esthers of a farmhouse yeast strain." 

Sounds like a very promising beer.  (That is why they write it that way.)  In any event, Our Side pours like a pale ale or saison, with a golden color.  There is a very big, persistent foam from a lot of carbonation.  The foam is very assertive, providing a thick cloud over the beer.  Aroma is faint but there are some elements that can be discerned from the beer.  The aroma is suggestive of peaches, and is accompanied by some hops and yeast esthers.  While the aroma may be a little faint, the taste of the beer is complete.  The principal flavor of the beer is the piney hops (although not very resinous).  While the hops provide the up front taste, the finish is filled with some lemon and citrus (perhaps some grapefruit).  The beer accomplished the goal of the two gypsy brewers... to combine the Stateside Saison and the Stateside IPA into one beer.  One very good, drinkable beer.

When it comes to pairing this beer, its dual personality (saison/IPA) allows for a wide range of pairings.  Most notably, pork, poultry and seafood could work well with this beer, provided that there are no heavy sauces.  A variety of cheeses could also work with this beer, from creamy cheeses such as Camembert and Tallegio to more pungent cheeses, such as Rogue Blue.  

I found this beer at a local grocery store.  It sells for about $16.99 a bottle.  


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