As you may have guessed by the beer name, this beer draws on some inspiration from the classic French 75 cocktail – a refreshing medley of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne.  Our version is dry, citrusy and spicy, with a bubbly effervescence that we hope is worthy of the French 75 namesake.

This beer started as a French-style saison – primary fermented in stainless with saccharomyces, then transferred to Old Tom Gin barrels with brettanomyces. It spent nearly 9 months resting in the cellar, picking up citrus, juniper and peppery notes and a subtle brett-induced earthiness.  Although it wasn’t the original inspiration for the final beer, we couldn’t help but think of a citrusy, gin-based cocktail – the French 75. 

As a side note: there’s rarely an exact plan for what the final blend might look like when the beer is going into barrels – so much evolves over time and unexpected awesome flavors or opportunities (fresh fruit etc.) arise that we can’t pass up.  We'd prefer to let the beer lead us in the right direction rather than having to force something to fit a sales plan.  But I digress…

So we decided we loved the parallels with this beer and the French 75 cocktail, but to make it a truer representative of its namesake, we thought we’d like to up the gin character slightly and accentuate the lemon side of the citrus notes we were getting.  Fresh lemon zest took care of the citrusy aspects and we were lucky enough to have procured the barrels from a local gin producer who generously allowed us to have some spent botanicals for just this purpose.  Every gin has its own proprietary botanical recipe, so it was really awesome for us to be able to have the exact botanicals to match the barrels that we’d just aged in for a little secondary bump of the gin character!

As most of our beers, French 75 was bottle conditioned and has spent about 60 days maturing in bottle before we release it to you.  We love this refreshing citrusy beer for a warm late-summer evening on the patio alongside a perfectly grilled salmon filet...