Wednesday, March 28, 2007


A great example of the scientific experimentation in wild yeasts and bold flavors going on at RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING in Santa Rosa (where I’ll be making my first-ever pilgrimage to next week – report forthcoming), one of the American masters of craft brewing. Your enthusiasm for this beer will highly depend upon your enthusiasm for off-beat, funky flavors, and your willingness to go deep & to go extreme. Me, I’m somewhere on the fence on SUPPLICATION. This barrel-aged-for-15-months “wild ale” has “craft” written all over it, as you can just taste how much thought & care went into hand-delivering a beer that balances the untamed with the tried-&-true. It’s a total sipper, one that brings forth a massive burst of tart, sour cherries, and a whole host of strange & complex bacterias (no! the good kind!) and yeasts. My wife called it a “dessert beer” that should be served in shot glasses; I beg to differ – it holds its own in a full glass, but to even think of slamming this down would be sacrilege. It would also be exceptionally masochistic – this beer has an extremely strong taste, very yeasty, acidic and sour, and is very far from even your standard IPA or pale ale. It does not have an overwhelming alcohol taste, which is great & which allows you a chance to really absorb the crazy flavors going on in this thing. As “wild” as I’m probably making this sound, SUPPLICATION is indeed a beer lover’s beer, and is not so far off the beaten path that it’s unconquerable for others. I’m just not at all prepared to call it a masterpiece as I have so many other of Russian River’s beers. 7/10.

1 comment:

Loren said...

This batch is probably the best beer Vinnie has produced yet at Russian River. It has the perfect amount of acidity that it was missing last year, when it was still OMFG good.

Send me your leftovers.