From the Beer Writer: Earlier this year, Vista’s Booze Brothers Brewing launched a sister business dubbed Owl Farm, the purpose of which is to create “unique fermentations,” many of which are ale-incarnated takes on alcoholic beverages outside the beer realm. The latest, Afternoon Zester takes most of its flavor cues from the citrus stalwart Margarita, and arrives just in time for Cinco de Mayo. As one would expect, it’s made using fresh lime zest, but a large percentage of this beverage’s overall, cocktail-like flavor comes from pear juice and a base kettle-sour. The Owl Farmers did a good job finding the proper balance of all three, resulting in a beer that is recognizable as an emulation of something very familiar, yet much more drinkable at 5.6% alcohol-by-volume versus the spirit-proof potency of an actual Margarita. It may be missing a tequila kick, but it’ll make for a lengthier fiesta devoid of a siesta.
From the Brewer: “Like many beers from the Owl Farm line-up, Afternoon Zester was inspired by a beverage other than beer. This particular example was based upon a cocktail created by Levi Daigneau, a local bartender who named the original drink, ‘The Dagnow.’ Working with local mixologist, Scott Obermeyer, we developed a recipe to recreate the aspects of the cocktail we most enjoyed. Afternoon Zester is a mix of pear juice and a kettle-soured beer, fermented together with Amalgamation, a six-strain blend of brettanomyces yeast. The resulting beer is dosed with organic, cold-pressed lime juice and just a touch of lime zest. The result is reminiscent of a margarita; refreshingly tart with a touch of funk. The lime and pear play a game of sweet and sour, with neither claiming the win. Enjoy.”—Donny Firth, Co-founder & Brewmaster, Owl Farm Unique Fermentations