Side Project and DeGarde both are underground germinating rhizomes from a distant alien being, spore technology sent back through the time continuum to alter the double helix of american wild ales as we know them. Today they spacedock in careless abandon with ORVIAMO.
Both breweries arose around the same time and took palates by storm with small runs of fruited acidic beers that continue to captivate faceholes. A collaboration was a no brainer, the only question was where they would go after the De Say collabo that was, admittedly, really amazing.
Both breweries have their fair share of intensely acidic beers and when I heard about the specs on this one I knew it would go one of two ways : 1) intensely acetic red wine vinegar blowout or 2) some phrnomenal fruit hybrid akin to Hommage/Caracterie Rouge.
Thank god it was the latter and my gumline remained intact, no GERD was transmitted. Thanks Obamacare.
The beer pours a beautiful slice of crimson sunset, staves of blood red ruby igniting within the confines of the glass. There is a certain muddiness and burnt sienna to the center like clay courts that rich assholes play tennis upon.
The nose leads with a smattering of the acetic character I initially feared, but thankfully it subsides into a fragrant fruit blossom profile and sublimates into a perfumey fruity bloom like Flowerbomb. Lol referencing perfume on this site is pointless for all these forever alone readers. While there’s a degree of jamminess to the raspberry, black cherry, and blackberry, it is a far cry from straight up fruit beers like New Glarus. The compromise works well to keep what could have been paint removing acidity in check.
The taste is incredibly dry and loaded with fruit tannins, farmers market bites into fruit tarts, currant, cherry, craisins (these go in salads, a salad is- nevermind) cranberry and even a touch of sour plum. YES EVEN SOUR PLUM HAS SCIENCE GONE TOO FAR? The sky high 10% Abv is well integrated and this beer drinks like one of those innumerable 6% fruited bus from them Tillamook boys.
The finish is long and dry like a John Cleese stand up set. The oak maintains a sort of light earthiness that underscores the vibrant fruit. The whole affair is pretty enjoyable, but tough to really justify given the straight vertical plane of entry.
Should breweries get beat up in reviews for having inaccessible products and covetous assholes for consumers? How much of that is crafted by their own marketing macchinstions? Is it just human nature to defile and hoard limited items until the world is steeped in the rancor of inequality? That is probably a topic best served on another day. I don’t feel like dealing with armchair economist dipshits.
In sum, this is a really tasty beer that would be inimitable if Rodenbach didn’t have world class Caracterie rouge just turding it up on BevMo shelves. This beer is an improvement but how much are you willing to tip up for this back room treatment? You want your cherry fully pitted? Then bring your fuckin checkbook, Cory and Trevor are going in dry.