The (very) old standby meets the young Capitola upstart, and hey, the results are pretty not half bad and then some! TRIPLE ROCK is a place I used to regularly go to Berkeley, CA before the first 1990s craft beer (or "microbrew") revolution. When I first drank Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, Boont Amber etc., there weren't many places to go experience great beer on draft, but there was always Triple Rock, Cal-Berkeley frat boys be damned. I'd get on BART, go record shopping on Telegraph Avenue with my ne'er-do-well pals, then walk over to the 'Rock to cap off many a successful day of vinyl-scouring.
Sometimes I forget they're still around, but I remember having something very sour and very delicious of theirs at "Sour Sunday" a few years ago, or maybe it was somewhere else, so we know that there are some wild experiments going on over there even now in 2015.
The real hero of our story, of course, is SANTE ADAIRIUS RUSTIC ALES. It is they who sold me this bottle of the SARA/Triple Rock collaboration saison "CELLARMAN" at their location in Capitola, CA, as well as the glass that I drank it in. They are, in my opinion, the best Northern California beermaker to come along since Russian River Brewing Company back in the late Bill Clinton era. But you already knew that.
Together they've made this tart saison, this "Cellarman", which is fermented in oak. I wasn't planning to drink it just yet, but when I opened my beer fridge I inadvertently knocked it over and it started gently fizzing out of the top. "Oh well, guess I have to drink this giant beer by myself", right? It's a super-cloudy orange/yellow, with tons of lacing sticking to the glass. Big, big grapefruit taste - not like an IPA, but I mean like a grapefruit, or even unripe grapes. Not much going on here in the way of oakiness, but that's okay with me. It's a 6.5%-ABV beer that also bring a peppery tinge to the tartness. Reminds me of the last Hill Farmstead saison I was fortunate to have, with a bit more complexity and believe me, it's well in that league. 8/10.