Monday, August 24, 2015


There's probably a better-than-even chance you haven't yet had a beer brewed with sea salt, and nearly as likely that you've not considered drinking one, either. After trying this lip-smacker from SANTE ADAIRIUS RUSTIC ALES called "BRACKISH", it's kinda funny that salt has been turning up so infrequently in experimental ales during this most recent half-decade, a decade in which salt's made such a big ruckus in the adjacent worlds of chocolate and caramel. I can see the mad scientists at Sante Adairius barely able to sit on their hands & plotting any number of ingredients to throw into their next batches. What's amazing with these folks is just how often it works, and not only works, helps to rejigger the consideration set for what combination of weirdo ingredients can successfully be integrated into a beer.

"BRACKISH" sounds like a great title for an mid-period FALL song, but literally means "slightly salty, as is the mixture of river water and seawater in estuaries." Thankfully it's not river water and seawater taking up congress here, but your quote-unquote standard "dark farmhouse ale" that's been tweaked and turned into something bizarrely great. I've never had a beer that's tasted remotely like this. A wild ale meets a gose meets a saison, sort of. It pours a dark, muddy brown that initially tastes like a sour, albeit one with a salty aftertaste. The sea salts only ups its own presence as the beer warms, and it becomes clear how clean and balanced the beer is at that point, and how it is most definitely not a sour ale. 

There are "grains of paradise" in here too. Had to look those up, so sue me. From Wikipedia:

"Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. This spice, commonly known as grains of paradise, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, fom wisa, or Guinea pepper, is obtained from the ground seeds; it imparts a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus."

Pungent and peppery. Yeah, I can agree with that, but in the best sense of the word "pungent". The synergistic effect is in full force here - salt making you thirsty, beer quenching that thirst at the same time. Then it's gone, and you're left with magnificent 9.5/10 beer to tell the world about on yr blog. 

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