I first heard about Afterthought back in 2014 when this guy Thorpe was obsessed with home brewing and would light up the BA forums. For years people always told me I needed to seek out this sacred home-brew, but old DDB was not anointed enough to stroke the regal Chicago robe. Half a decade passed by and AverageJoesBeerpodcast took pity on me and sent me some farmwater. When I say this place is small, I mean like, barely larger than home-brew, perhaps not even nano. 1.5bbl batches. That makes tiny Homage brewing look like an industrial giant by contrast.
Having had four of their beers now I can say there is a certain fermentation fingerprint attendant to their execution. Every Afterthought beer is intensely dry and crisp like anjou pear, the culture is almost too thin but boosts drinkability at the expense of complexity. The beers have this table beer meets radder sort of thing that i enjoy, intensely approachable to literally anyone, even PetNat brunch attendees. All of the beers are low in alcohol and are samey in the way what Monkish is samey: you know they are doing this thing well so you overlook the lack of diversity. Barrel #8 single barrel ale is no exception. It crackles with a lemon lime gatorade quench and the carb sustain rings like a hollow body Gretsch.
I don’t want to call this brand a Shasta Hill Farmstead because that would be bilaterally degrading and misstating my aim. It is less nuanced than some saison on the market, but in playing it safe, is more enjoyable. I think these bottles are also cheap as hell. You can play it cautious and crush some yellow Afterthought Fanta for $12 or drop $44 on some mind bending Ale Apothecary experiment that could be god tier or nautical hull solvent. Saisons are a gamble and I’m finna bet the farm.