Artisan’s new release vigour shows no sign of abating – and neither does the entropic span of Belgian inspiration on display. If there’s a new idea brewing, surely there’s a Belge riff to be explored!
We begin with Cherry Tart, an aptly-named liquid narrative that leads with cherry sherbet and almond meal aromatics. Gentle citrus, cinnamon and spiced cola notes add Euro yeast flair as zippy restraint and a dryness keeps the vibe goblet-able; appropriate glassware references are a key measure with such style-specific coverage.
Festbiere, meanwhile, jauntily straddles Oktoberfest Märzen-style celebrations with a western border crossing into Belgian yeast-driven complexity. Munich malts meet banana esters, honeyed notes and fleeting white pepper. It's remarkably dry, with a minerality keeping things entertaining across the shared brewing latitude. Prost! Or should that be Santé!
Joining them is Weekend at Friars, which bends Artisan’s "We’ll never make a juicy, hazy beer" dogma. When presented with an Abbey-style yeast which mimics hazy hop qualities, yet eschews typical Belgian banana and bubblegum notes, they figured: "Why not?"
Using Sitiva, Amarillo and Zamba hops, the yeast strain amplifies the US trio while unveiling some curious rose-free, crushed potpourri notes from nose to finish. These join sweet lemon and mandarin, OJ, spiced peach tea and a general tropi-citrus undercurrent as juiciness flips to an increasingly arid length, one reflective of its Belgian beer heritage.
For Artisan, it seems you can take the beer out of Belgium, but you can’t take Belgium out of the beer.
Published October 23, 2023 2023-10-23 00:00:00