After a birthday weekend sampling a lot of great beers, we are going to jump back and review some of the beers we tried at NBE the previous week. And I’m going to start off with one of the pleasant surprises of the day from Triple Crossing Brewery. If I begin to start sounding like a broken record, I’m sorry, but I do like saisons, especially this time of the year. While I was hoping for a lot more from some of the other breweries, the best one this Saturday was the Single Hop Saison, and while hard to find in my area, I was able to get my hands on during a return trip to RVA.
Single Hop Saison, Triple Crossing Brewery (Richmond, VA)
Saison/Farmhouse Ale, ABV: 6.48%
Presentation: Tap pour into tulep
Appearance: Hazy pale to light yellow, white head dissipating into small peaks.
Taste: You are looking for great (1) earthiness, (2) citrus, (3) breadiness, with a little optional (4) ‘funk’. While it’s easy to tell you about the nice grassy/lemon zesty front end with a solid yeast back, the ‘funk’ is something you are really either looking forward to or trying to avoid. I have found that I have enjoyed saisons with or without a damp cloth, hay taste to it. For example the Aleworks Springhouse Ale has it, and it’s great. Conversely, neither Boulevard Tank 7 nor Smartmouth’s Alter Ego have that at all, and they have a great spice note to it that makes it good as well. This brings that ‘funk’ to it that just makes all the flavors more complex.
ABV/IBU: It is not a very hoppy beer whatsoever, at right around 6.5%, it is right on par with other farmhouse ales.
Overall: While it is the summer, saisons are the way to go, and it seems the industry is trending in that direction. It seems to be the niche at the moment, especially in Virginia, and everyone is putting that in their permanent rotation, even though the origins of the product are mainly an ‘after harvest’ beer. This one is a great example of what the industry is trending towards. I gave it great marks for over all concentration of flavors and embracing the more traditional style of the beer. Was it the best I had? Not really, but it was the best one I’ve tried from Virginia.