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Beer #101 – April 14, 2010: Lectio Divina

May 10, 2010

Beer: Lectio Divina

Brewery: Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, Tarpon Springs, Florida

Style: Saison

Serving Type: 750 ml bottle

Price: $11.99 / bottle

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Wine glass

Strength: 8.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: While this is a very delicious and intriguing beer, I’d also consider it a fizzy, lighter alternative to a Pinot noir or other lighter bodied red wine.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Hazy reddish-amber hue with a foamy cream-colored head.

Aroma: Suggestions of red wine and sweet balsamic vinegar.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a fizzy carbonation.

Taste: The beer starts with an initial honey, fruity, jam-like sweetness followed by tangy dark fruit of prune and raisin.  A slighlty yeasty flavor comes forward, with notes of oak, green apple, and a somewhat drying fizzy finish.  In many ways, this brew is like a lighter, sweeter take on a tart and complex Flanders red, just as complex, but much more drinkable.  Overall, it is extremely intruiging, delicious and refreshing take on a Saison, and by far the best beer I’ve ever tried from the state of Florida.

Pairing: Try this one with a nice mixed cheese plate (a soft, creamy cheese; a firm, nutty cheese; and a funky blue cheese).  The complex flavors in this beer may work with all three in different ways; a fun experiment in pairing.

Trivia: I understand that many of the beers from Saint Somewhere are brewed using an open fermenter.  Before the discovery of yeast, brewers assumed something magical or divine from the wind blew into their open fermenters to turn their sweet wort into beer.  While most beers today are brewed in a closed fermenter to carefully control the flavor and keep wild yeasts out, open fermenters are still used by some traditional Belgian brewers to allow the wild yeasts in, creating a funky, tart, complex and unique brew.  The location of the brewery affects the flavor as the wild yeasts in the area vary from place to place.  Apparently, Saint Somewhere has discovered that the wild yeasts of Tarpon Springs have a divine effect on beer as well.

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