When hearing about co-ferments for the first time, many people ask: “Is it more like a wine, or more like a beer?” It’s a good question; co-ferments are wine-beer hybrids, in this case with the pressed grape juice and the wort fermenting together. And the answer is: it depends. It depends on the grapes, the base beer, the yeast used, whether it’s been soured, the brewer… you get the idea.
Cupitt’s Arneis Co-Ferment 2019, however, is a fine example of a drink that takes after its grape parent more than its malt parent. The saison base is to thank for the golden inner glow, the medium body and the light banana esters, but the dominant flavours are from the Arneis grapes. Despite the fact the grape juice only makes up 30 percent of the volume, the pear-like character of the Arneis grapes and a citrus acidity, along with healthy effervescence, give an overall impression that’s closer to a sparkling dry white wine than a saison.
If you don’t like white wine, approach with caution. If you like white wine (or Brut IPAs, or crisp farmhouse ales), then this one’s for you.
- Beer-Wine Hybrid Farmhouse Ale