In the early days of his Ocho adventure, Stu Grant spoke of plans to release a series of saisons, something that had the avowed saison freaks at Crafty Towers rather happy. Since then, while some have followed, he’s also diversified, with a seasonal IPA series and many other one-offs occupying much of the release schedule. But, in late spring 2018, a couple of very different saisons have left the Tassie haunt he occupies with Van Dieman.
One is the second Imaginary Ale release – and there’s a fair bit to unpack as the beer has multiple parts, made up as it is of two barrel aged saisons and a portion of mature sour golden ale. It’s not only got oak character aplenty but is awash with Brettanomyces too.
If you were only given one word with which to describe it, rustic would be as good as any as it’s a beer with both feet in the farmhouse, specifically the hay strewn barnyard. For, while there’s a juicy acidity running through it and some familiar saison spices, soft citrus and stone fruit tucked within its full, soft body, there’s also a dry, Brett character underneath that burrows into the palate, aided and abetted by oaky tannins.