When we got Alesong rolling in 2016, we set right out to put beer into barrels to start their long slumber on oak so that we'd have something to showcase as soon as we were able. One of the first brews we crafted was Touch of Brett, which was a Brettanomyces (wild yeast) fermented farmhouse ale that we later dry-hopped with Citra hops. That beer, aged four months or so in oak, was fortunate enough to win a gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer fest in the Brett beer category. We figured with that quick success, we'd better try again, and sure enough, the next year, in 2017, we were honored to win the bronze medal in Brett beers for Touch of Brett Mosaic. Well, now we're on to something!
So as you might guess, we've now made a third and it's dry hopped with a great hop grown in Germany called Mandarina Bavaria. As the name suggests, it's orangey/tangerine/citrus and has some real distinct 'American' characteristics, despite its continental origin.
This round of Touch of Brett, primary fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, is light and delicate, yet complex and layered. As with all of our Brett beers, they tend to transform with time as the yeast continues to work in this 'live' beer. We noticed that our previous two iterations of TOB aged very nicely, picking up a pleasant perceived acidity and enhanced earthy Brett aromas. Some of the hops fade over time, but it's fun to watch that progression.
I preferred Touch of Brett Mosaic slightly over the original Citra-hopped version and am excited to observe Touch of Brett Mandarina as it ages, but can already tell that it is shaping up to be another wonderful Brett saison! So try this new version now, with its fresh hoppy aroma, and tuck a couple of bottles away so it can age with grace, allowing the Brett complexities to develop and shine. Let us know how they rank for you!