This whole trend of elite brewers making single batches for specific bars seemed to start about a year ago when MONK’S CAFÉ in Philadelphia teamed up with Browerij Van Steenberge from Belgium to make MONK’S CAFÉ FLEMISH SOUR ALE. That seemed to be quickly followed by a couple of beers brewed from San Francisco’s TORONADO, and I’m pretty sure there’s another example or two that passed me by. Thanks to our Seattle beer connection, this BROUWER’S IMAGINATION 2008 did not escape my grasp. BROUWER’S is a Seattle beer institution that I still have not been to. When I lived there in the late 90s it was all about HALE’S & PIKE BREWING, the HILLTOP ALE HOUSE and of course LINDA’S TAVERN. That’s where I spent my quality time, but ten years on I’m pretty sure I’d change my game plan if I lived there now.
Anyway, BROUWER’S IMAGINATION 2008 is a saison brewed especially for the bar by – wait for it – wait for it – are you sitting down? – PORT BREWING company from down San Diego way, aka the maestros behind several knockout beers as well as the LOST ABBEY sub-brand. Oh my heavens yes. What do you think HBJ thought about this one? Hey, you’re right. This 6.25% ABV “farmhouse saison” may have a ton of brettanomyces bacteria action going down, but I’ll be honest with ya, it’s not all that funky. It is, however, fantastic. I actually thought this pale yellow ale might have been a witbier, albeit a flavorful banyard witbier. My notes say “Sour lemon meets musty tangerine meets older grapes”. Very floral, and very dry, and very very good. Of course it is. It is available on tap in Seattle, at Brouwer’s of course, and in limited-edition corked bottles, from a northwest beer trader should you choose to befriend one. 8.5/10.