From the Beer Writer: While there are plenty of “weird beers” out there, by and large, it seems the craft-drinking masses’ taste pendulum is swinging back toward traditional beer styles. This is good news for breweries that specialize in nailing the ales and lagers that formed the foundation upon which other brewers choose to experiment. Clean, balanced beer is hard to make, but for some, it’s their bread and butter. Take, for instance, New English Brewing, an operation that has specialized in spot-on classic styles for a decade. For the most part, this has involved English and West Coast ales, but tomorrow, Saturday, May 12, they will debut a farmhouse ale crafted a la francaise: Sorrento Saison. Fermented using French Saison yeast from local producer White Labs, it shows up in a goblet sporting a fluffy, sturdy, snow-white head emitting equal parts citrus and barnyard. The funk of the latter is subdued in the beer itself, which starts out floral before shape-shifting into a multi-faceted citrus expression featuring notes of tangerine, lemon and even a bit of grapefruit. Like saisons of the Old World, it finishes dry with a light, lingering tickle of bitterness. That short-lived souvenir of a masterfully-crafted beer actually comes from a West Coast addition… New World hops!
From the Brewer: “Our latest seasonal release is inspired by our Sorrento Valley location adjacent to the Torrey Pines Reserve and is called Sorrento Saison. Best served in a tulip-style glass, this French farmhouse saison has a fruity, citrus-forward nose with notes of candied lemons, tangerine and orange, courtesy of Mosaic and Citra hops. Strawberry-candy and white-pepper flavors follow with a dry, refreshing finish. The light-pale, straw-colored brew sits under a persistent, rocky white head and weighs in at 6.7% ABV (alcohol-by-volume), making this no lightweight, but a perfect accompaniment to the start of spring.”—Simon Lacey, Owner & Brewmaster, New English Brewing