This is the third installment of Maine Beer Company’s Collaboration Time Series; brewed in partnership with Kjetil Jikiun of Nøgne ø. The bottle notes that the aim of this beer was to use a blend of house Maine yeasts and create a sessionable beer that incorporates elements of a saison and a hoppy American ale.
More often than not spicy beers are a bit of a let down for me. It’s almost as though they brew the beers with the hot peppers intended to be nothing more than a selling point along the lines of, “We put in an 8th of a chile pepper, therefore we can list it on the bottle” or “all peppers! no beer!” (ala “Ghost Face Killah) as opposed to an actual flavor asset. Night Shift Viva Habanera is not one of those beers.
I told myself I was going to wait until the appropriate time to start pumpkin gushing…but I can’t wait anymore. They’re already starting to pile up in my fridge. I’m popping into Grain & Vine every other day to check on new arrivals. I cannot wait to assemble a compendium of our pumpkin posts here at Two Girls, gear up for our second Cambridge Brewing Pumpkin Festival, and possibly another attempt at a pumpkin homebrew.
But Alas, it is still only August. So while I am mentally preparing myself for the pumpkin onslaught, I will save it from the interwebs until a more applicable time. Thus, today we are reviewing last year’s anniversary beer put out by Avery; number eighteen, which comes to us in the form of a dry-hopped rye saison. Whoa.
This beer has some crazy coincidences surrounding it. Let’s start at the beginning. Tommy Stahle of Eartly Delights was talking to my boyfriend Ryan about Julio’s Liquors in Westboro, MA and how it would be right up our alley. They have thousands of craft beer selections, plus a whole section of the store devoted to hot sauce. All the way up my alley..
I am kind of undecided about IPAs and I don’t like rye bread. But when my friend offered me a bottle of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye (6.6% abv.), I had to try it because the bottle reminds me of some “old tyme” soda or something, plus I had never heard of a rye beer. Are they common and I just haven’t delved into that world yet?
It’s a copper color with a head that’s about 1 finger, but it dissipates leaving a thin foam cap with some lacing.
You can really smell the rye, that combined with the yeast makes it seem like liquid rye-bread at first, but the hops quickly balance out any bread/malt tones and make you realize that this beer is indeed an IPA. It’s got a nice, bitter, aftertaste where you can really taste the rye with the hops.
I dug it.