Before we begin, it’s worth noting the pronunciation of Artisan: aa·tuh·zan. Consider this an early note which will come in handy later; for now, however, let’s consider this diverse Belgian-inspired trio in ascending order of alcohol content.
Previously available in keg only incarnations, St Ruby pays tribute to national sales manager Josh Edmeades’ late dog Ruby, itself bestowed with a name inspired by Cat Stevens’s Rubylove. The Amercian-style amber stays true to Artisan’s Belgian ethos via fruit Abbey yeast esters that offer an intriguing choc-cherry vibe, and a little prune underneath.
Brewed for King Road’s 2023 Fresh Hop Festival, Brugge Bier is modelled on the Trappist Single beer, sometimes known as Patersbier: a lower ABV offering brewed for the monks themselves. Hallertau from Great Southern Hops was picked and added to the brew within hours, providing the Belgian blonde with vibrant floral and grassy notes. As for the specific Hallertau breed, it seems that time in the field has created what may be considered Great Southern Hallertau.
Now, cast your mind back to our earlier pronunciation workshop. After years of events, festivals and in-store tastings, perhaps the ongoing qualification of the brewery’s name has been met with the driest of humour. Why else would brewery called Artisan name a beer Artesian – pronounced aa·tee·zhn – other than for conjuring the prospect of sending co-owner / head brewer Brain Fitzgerald to collect spring water from his farm’s aquifer for this faux-eponymous beer.
Comedy aside, this is a robust saison. Artesian’s rye spice and toasted bread crust tones work in harmony with the house Belgian yeast profile’s nutmeg and warm cardamom. Preserved lemon notes, orange peel and white pepper provide subtle support and the whole is buoyed by the farm water; it's not something I’ve considered in detail previously, yet Artisan’s aquatic terroir brings a freshness that seems uniquely elemental.
Published April 25, 2023 2023-04-25 00:00:00