Nomad Brewing

They say Australia is a land of opportunity and the story of Nomad Brewing is bold proof. Theirs is a tale of a rising industry, native ingredients, globetrotting brewers, superstar collaborations, salty beer, lots of Italians – and one giant grappa barrel.

It began in earnest in 2013 with Kerrie and Johnny Latta, Sydneysiders living in Italy who had started a business, Experienceit, distributing Italian wine to Australia. They’re not the first couple to go to Italy for one reason only to discover a new love, but discover it they did amongst the country’s flourishing micro brewing industry.

Soon after, their wine shipments began to bulk out with the inclusion of Italian beer while their travels took them to the door of Leonardo di Vicenzo, founder of one of the country’s fastest rising breweries, Birra del Borgo. He signed on and the Lattas enticed him to accompany the beers Down Under to get a better feel for this faraway market. He liked what he saw and, with each successive trip, new ideas began to form.

Experienceit had always wanted to be involved in the beer community in a greater capacity than just as an importer. One evening, over dinner and and a throwaway comment, they settled on a plan: partnering with Leo to open a brewery. They found an empty warehouse in an old carpet factory in Brookvale and installed a gleaming new brewery – Italian made, of course. Nomad Brewing was born.

The choice of brewery name had much to do with the itinerant man brought in to be its head brewer: Brooks Caretta. His rise through the ranks is quite the tale in itself; three months after turning up to del Borgo for an apprenticeship he was shoulder tapped to take the reins at the soon-to-open Birreria microbrewery within New York’s Eataly – a project launched by Leo and the founders of respected breweries Baladin and Dogfish Head. Taken under their wings and undergoing the kind of fast-tracked education any young brewer would dream of, Brooks moved swiftly from home brewer to head brewer in New York, then on to Rome when Eataly expanded there. So when the Australian adventure became a reality, there was only one man for the job.

The original Nomad beers shared much of the same ethos Leo had pursued at Birra del Borgo: elegant and refined, almost always featuring some unique local ingredient. Perhaps the clearest illustration of this was their very first beer, the Nomad Saison; tweaking a traditional style with unusual native ingredients of wattle seed, Tasmanian pepper and locally ground coffee, it won the trophy for the country’s best French/Belgian style beer at the 2016 Craft Beer Awards.

They had more familiar beers like pales ales and IPAs – albeit laced with things like native finger limes – but they found more mass appeal through an appropriately unlikely source: Freshie. This is Nomad’s homage to the salty Gose style from Germany and their version began with Brooks wading into the sea at the nearby Freshwater Beach to collect buckets of salt water. Back at the brewery, this was mixed with coriander and their favoured Tasmanian pepper to produce a satisfying, strange and quite uniquely Australian beer. Freshie has gone on to become Nomad’s flagship and is now exported all around the world.

Back on the import front, as Nomad itself grew Experienceit had broadened its boundaries beyond Italian beer and was bringing in beer direct from the some of the world’s most respected and fast rising craft brewers; Stone, Jester King, Victory, The Bruery, Sixpoint, Beavertown, To Øl, De Ranke, Pasteur Street and plenty more. And as these brewers follow their beer Down Under to meet the locals, they inevitably take a detour via Brookvale, meaning the Nomad team has amassed perhaps the most impressive list of collaborators of any other local brewery. When you add to this regular contract brewers like Yeastie Boys and Doctor's Orders who make their beer here, it means the selection in the takeaway fridges of their tasting room – the Transit Lounge – surely ranks amongst the best of any brewery you’ll walk into in Australia.

Having started life as a production-only facility, over the years the brewery has morphed into a place where locals increasingly come to linger, with the Transit Lounge now opening out to a converted car park furnished with loungers, sun umbrellas and a pétanque court. And if the perpetually blue skies of the Northern Beaches should ever be interrupted by rain, you can pop indoors and watch the brewers at work, park up at the bar or bash away at the pinball machine.

As this gradual change has taken place thee’s a sense the wider Nomad brand itself has moved on too. The serious, European style labelling and bottles have been phased out in favour of vibrant and colourful cans that better suit the preferences and practicalities of a laid back beach life. They still knock out a wide array of interesting beers with the same ethos (case in point is the photogenic giant grappa barrel occasionally used for ageing), but the place feels more fun and playful than in the past. Perhaps that’s just the way the industry is moving. Or perhaps this group of nomads has simply found the place they’re happy to call home.

Nick Oscilowski

Name
Nomad Brewing
Address

5 Sydenham Road
Brookvale
NSW 2100

Website
Regular events

-Live music and food trucks every Saturday
-Dog friendly venue

Hours

Transit Lounge (cellar door):
Tasters, takeaways & snacks
Thu: 12pm–6pm
Fri: 12pm–8pm
Sat: 12pm–6pm
Sun: 12pm–6pm

Tours

By appointment

Nomad Brewing Regulars

Nomad Brewing Collaroy Gold

When it comes to being memorable, golden ales often suffer from their subtlety. But here's one that, for some reason, seems to stand out. It's probably not for the light body, it's probably not for the slight fruitiness on the palate, it's probably not for the mild bitterness. It must be something more. Perhaps it's that extra bit of herbal or spice element hidden away in there. More likely it's got something to do with that lovely little lingering honey character you get at the end which makes you… Read more
Style
Golden Ale
Strength
5.0%

Nomad Brewing Beach House Pale

It’s worth knowing from the off that Nomad’s Beach House Pale isn’t exactly a pale ale – at least, not in the strict sense of the style guidelines. Sure it’s got a pale appearance but underneath it’s a real mishmash of styles, some kind of blend between a kettle sour, saison and something altogether hoppier. Then, being Nomad, they’ve added lemon myrtle and lemon zest, which confuses the matter further. So how does that all come together? In a most delightful way. It’s an unabashedly… Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
5.0%

Nomad Brewing Sideways XPA

In some ways the Sideways XPA is the antithesis to the fruit driven pale ales and pale ale derivatives that have become a fixture elsewhere in Nomad’s permanent lineup. Unlike those beers which do their stock and trade on punchy tropical and citrus characters, this is spicier, grittier, more earthy. At just four percent ABV it’s a light bodied beer but is also packing plenty of bitterness for something of its size. That said, its not going to knock your sock off with flavour – and was never… Read more
Style
XPA
Strength
4.0%

Nomad Brewing South Pacific Dream

Most beer drinkers with half an eye open will know about the Pacific Ale style of beer, but what of a South Pacific Ale? Well, there may not be a definition so Nomad has thrown a beer into the mix with their South Pacific Dream. It uses American and Australian hops so is perhaps, technically, more of a trans-Pacific Ale than one solely representing the South, but it’s really not worth getting caught up in geography and semantics because that might prevent you enjoying what’s a quite lovely quaffer.… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
Strength
4.1%

Nomad Brewing Rosie's Summer Punch

Tapped December 23rd, 2016
One of the ways in which people like to add a bit of festive cheer to their Champagne (or nearest sparkling wine equivalent) is to drop into the glass a hibiscus flower that’s been soaked in syrup. The effect that has is to add some extra sweetness and a decidedly pink-red tinge. What Nomad did in time for its Christmas 2016 release was to have a go at replicating the Champagne and hibiscus serve, but in beer form. The way in which they went about it was to brew a Berliner Weisse and add hibiscus… Read more
Style
Berliner Weiss
Strength
3.5%

Nomad Brewing Long Reef Pale

Tapped October 26th, 2016
Nomad has built its brand on a blend of beers that don’t always play things straight. In the main this is done by way of the addition of native Australian ingredients, something perhaps best seen in beers like the Long Trip saison and Freshie salt and pepper gose. Along the way, they’ve had a few attempts at nailing a beer that sits in the approachable zone between pale ale and session IPA while taking in some of the more esoteric elements of their overall vibe, but none has managed to command… Read more
Style
Australian Pale Ale
Strength
5.2%

Nomad Brewing Freshie Salt n Pepper Gose

Tapped April 19th, 2015
Nomad doesn’t tend to do ordinary when designing recipes for their beers but, even by their standards, adding a few buckets of seawater to a beer seems a little out there. But there’s method to the madness here as they’ve tried to capture the essence of the Northern Beaches in a glass by brewing a Gose, the somewhat obscure style of beer originating from the German town of Goslar which counts salted water amongst its ingredients. Nomad’s saltwater came straight from Freshwater Beach, just… Read more
Style
Gose
Strength
4.5%
Bitterness
15 IBU

Nomad Brewing Specials

Nomad Brewing Supersonic DIPA Rainforest Lime Edition

Tapped July 23rd, 2018
A second in quick succession within the growing series of Supersonic double IPAs from Nomad has arrived in the form of a Rainforest Lime edition. Taking inspiration from the original Supersonic but with rather a lot more to do with the recent Finger Lime edition, this one sees the surprisingly malt-driven demeanour of its predecessor set aside for something that really does throw the lime to the fore. It starts off strong, serving up aromas of orange, grapefruit, passionfruit and a touch of peach… Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
7.8%

Nomad & Stone Brewing Supersonic & Hop Bomb

Tapped May 31st, 2018
After a solid stretch of in-house releases, Nomad has returned to its collaborative roots with a pair of beers made with San Diego’s Stone Brewing. And, to give things a bit of extra American gung-ho, they’ve branded both with a Top Gun theme. The first is the Supersonic Finger Lime Double IPA (codename Maverick) and it’s an adaptation of Nomad’s Supersonic DIPA but this time with the addition of finger limes and featuring a fairly recently developed hop variety from the Yakima Valley: Loral.… Read more
Style
Double IPA & Hoppy Gose
Strength
7.8% & 4.5%

Nomad Brewing Freshie Moka

Tapped September 6th, 2017
When Nomad first experimented with the gose style by adding local seawater and native pepper, they weren't to know they were about to strike the jackpot with the creation of Freshie, a beer that’s gone on to become a firm favourite that's dispatched all around the world. So you can understand why they’d want to keep the experimentation going, which is how we’ve ended up with a series of seasonal siblings starting with a Freshie base but all featuring slightly left field ingredients; summer… Read more
Style
Coffee Gose
Strength
4.5%

Nomad Brewing Bleaker Season

Tapped August 3rd, 2017
About a year ago Nomad brewed a beer called Bleak Season. It was a dark farmhouse ale made with the addition of roasted wattle seed and cinnamon myrtle and not all of it was sold. Some was transferred into barrels to age, the very same red and white wine barrels that had housed the Cultural Exchange made in collaboration with Texas icons Jester King. After six months in said barrels the intention was to pull it out and package it but, such is the inexact science of barrel ageing, they made the call… Read more
Style
Barrel Aged Dark Farmhouse Ale
Strength
6.0%

Nomad Brewing Lucky Dragon

Tapped August 1st, 2017
With many of the roots that make up Nomad Brewing stretching back to Europe, they’ve long looked towards the continent as inspiration when it comes to creating beers, whether in terms of style or just a general approach. It’s the food focused nature of the latter and an openness to beer and food pairing that’s seen them launch the Chef Series in the second half of 2017, a project that will see the brewing company working with notable restauranteurs across the country to make one-off beers.… Read more
Style
Spiced Belgian Pale Ale
Strength
4.8%

Nomad Brewing Co Orange & Caramel Gose

Tapped May 23rd, 2017
Isn’t it funny where an idea can take you? When Brooks Caretta and Leo di Vicenzo waded into the sea off Sydney’s Northern Beaches to collect some salt water to put in a beer recipe, the two Italian brewers couldn't have imagined that the result would become a defining beer for the Nomad brewery. The beer was to become Freshie, a German style Gose that makes use of salt water and Tasmanian mountain pepper. At that point there were few other Aussie breweries making gose but Nomad’s became popular… Read more
Style
Gose
Strength
4.8%

Nomad Brewing Granite Pale Ale

Tapped April 5th, 2017
Ever since they began releasing their new beers in cans, Nomad seems to have taken on a brighter and breezier outlook; a new pale ale full of tropical fruit character; a desert lime gose; a hibiscus Berliner weisse and now this, a pomegranate pale ale. Called Granite, the name is a double entendre referring to the granite hills of Mudgee where pomegranates were sourced before being added to this beer in three ways; the arils, the juice and a molasses. With all of that you'd be forgiven for expecting… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
Strength
5.0%
Bitterness
25 IBU

Nomad Brewing Saltpan Desert Gose

Tapped October 26th, 2016
When catching up with Nomad brewer Brooks Caretta upon the release of Freshie, the brewery’s salt and pepper gose, he admitted that he’d never actually brewed a gose before but, considering he’d gone and dumped buckets of seawater in the beer, was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Some 18 months after that release, Freshie hasn’t left Nomad’s menu and it seems set to be the brewery’s sleeper hit, having already been exported as far afield as the UK, US, Italy and even Brazil. It’s… Read more
Style
Gose
Strength
4.8%

Nomad & Stone Brewing Sol-Cal-Iente

Tapped July 25th, 2016
When beer from the iconic US brewery Stone started being distributed in Australia legitimately for the first time in 2015, their then brewmaster Mitch Steele followed the freight Down Under to see for himself how the beers were travelling. And, while here, he helped brew something new. It was a collaboration with the Nomad brewery (which shares some ownership with the distributor Experienceit that brings in Stone’s beers) and ended up as a rye IPA named AirRyeEvil. Fast forward a year or so and,… Read more
Style
Black IPA
Strength
5.5%
Stockists

Nomad Brewery

Nomad Brewing Choc Wort Orange

Tapped July 24th, 2016
They'll be happy Nomads in Brookvale this week after returning from the Craft Beer Awards in Brisbane with a champion's trophy in their luggage. After spending the past year or so diversifying their brewing palate in pretty much every direction imaginable, adding all manner of ingredients to beers, exploring high and low ABVs and collaborating with a high calibre roster of internationals, they may be particularly chuffed that it was one of their launch beers that took out the gong too: their Long… Read more
Style
Imperial Stout
Strength
9.5%
Stockists

Nomad Brewery

Archive

Cellarbrations Carlisle

Mane Liquor

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Nomad Brewing Easy As IPA

Tapped June 15th, 2016
Nomad Brewing continues to build its roster of hoppy pale ales. Into a lineup that starts with the Sideways Pale at 4.0 percent ABV, continues with the 4.8 percent ABV Cruisin' Ale and, in terms of year round brews at least, tops out with the Jet Lag IPA, comes the Easy As IPA. The Brookvale brewery's entry into the "session IPA" arena is a beer that, at 4.5 percent ABV, sits around the lower end of the booze scale for a contemporary Aussie brewed pale ale, but records a bitterness level… Read more
Style
Session IPA
Strength
4.5%

Nomad Brewing Brookvaler Weisse

Tapped March 1st, 2016
The team at Nomad has long been fond of a sour mash. It was a noted feature when their saison first came out through to the release of Freshie, the salt & pepper gose which earned a place in our best new NSW beers of 2015. But 2016 has seen them hit puckering new heights when it comes to sour beers. Most recently there has been the Wild Mongrel sour ale made with Shiraz grapes and Without A Paddle, their grape laden GABS entry and punny take on the Belgian kriek style. This beer is, if you couldn’t… Read more
Style
Berliner Weisse
Strength
3.6%

Nomad Brewing & Jester King Cultural Exchange

Tapped June 13th, 2016
When you've successfully snapped up several of the world's best brewers to your distribution business and you own a brewery, it makes sense to combine the two – and it's something Nomad has been doing with relish. Cultural Exchange (so called because it features a yeast strain from Jester King's Texan farmhouse brewery) started out in May 2015, when Ron and Amber from Jester King were in Australia for Good Beer Week and GABS. The two breweries decided upon a smoked saison, using spices as well… Read more
Style
Smoked Barrel Aged Saison
Strength
8.5%
Stockists

Find it at specialist bottleshops

Nomad Brewing Without A Paddle & Wild Mongrel

Tapped June 12th, 2016
They're carving out quite a niche as one of the more experimental local brewers at Nomad these days. Among the limited release beers out for the middle of 2016 are a couple of quite different sours. One is Without A Paddle, the punny title given to their 2016 GABS festival beer: a take on the Belgian kriek style. It's a pinky purple drop, the result of 300kg of cherries being added to a base beer that had already fermented with yeast from a prior wild fermented beer at the Northern Beaches brewery.… Read more
Style
Kriek and Soured Ale
Strength
5.8% & 6.7%
Stockists

Specialist bottleshops

Nomad & Sam Calagione Cross Pallet Nation

Tapped June 12th, 2016
Australian journos Rick Bannister and Nadia Saccardo achieved quite the coup when they enticed Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head to help them launch their thinking drinker's beer mag Pallet last year. The pair brought Sam to Australia for a couple of events either side of Christmas and, while here, lined up a brew day with Nomad Brewing in Sydney's Northern Beaches, to which were invited a bunch of Pallet mag subscribers. With so many people involved, cross-pollination was the only way, so the Aussie… Read more
Style
Spiced, Smoked Amber Ale
Strength
8.0%
Bitterness
20 IBU
Stockists

Find it at specialist bottleshops

Nomad Brewing Myrtle's Summer Fling

Tapped March 9th, 2016
In Myrtle’s Summer Fling, the team at Nomad has released its first dedicated summer ale. However, being the slightly and deliberately off-centre brewery they are, it’s got two things to differentiate it from your average summer ale release. The first is that, at just 2.8 percent ABV, it’s a bona-fide light beer. The other is that it’s been released in autumn. To be entirely accurate, the beer has made the odd appearance at the brewery and one or two other venues in the past month or so, but… Read more
Style
Summer Light Beer
Strength
2.8%
Stockists

Stockists TBC

Nomad Brewing Supersonic Jet Lag

Tapped December 30th, 2015
For their first birthday release, the team at Nomad did a little tinkering under the hood and brewed a one-off, super-sized version of their regular Jet Lag IPA. Named Supersonic, what they’ve effectively done is double the ingredients to create a double IPA that has its roots in the American take on the style but its feet firmly planted in Aussie soil. The malts have been upped to provide a stronger and sweeter backbone and it’s this which is most immediately apparent, along with the use of… Read more
Style
Double IPA
Strength
8.5%
Bitterness
70 IBU
Stockists

Good beer stockists nationwide

Nomad & Birra Del Borgo & Beavertown Threesome

Tapped November 12th, 2015
Step into a small brewery these days and you shouldn’t be surprised to see a barrel or two hidden away somewhere. Formerly used to house the likes of wine, whisky, rum and port, these vessels get given an afterlife by brewers keen to see what any residual woody, vinous or spirit flavours – not to mention any lingering bacteria – can do to their beers. But the barrel at the Nomad brewery in Brookvale is unlike most any other you’ll find. That much is immediately obvious because, in comparison… Read more
Style
Grappa Barrel Aged Strong Ale
Strength
7.7%

Nomad Brewing Couch Stout

Tapped September 9th, 2015
Winter may, technically, be over but the cooler weather that's been clinging to much of Australia for the past few months doesn't appear to have given up the ghost just yet. So no doubt there will be plenty happy to welcome another stout into the world. Couch Stout is an oatmeal stout from Nomad of Sydney's Northern Beaches and was conceived by co-founder Leonardo di Vincenzo (Birra del Borgo) as a "coccola", which means cuddle or caress as far as we can discern but in this case indicates… Read more
Style
Oatmeal Stout
Strength
5.3%
Bitterness
18 IBU
Stockists

On tap:

Winston Ale House

Little Prince

Print Hall

Bottles:

Liquorshed WA

The Highway

Vine Liquor Mart

More stockists...

Nomad / Victory Secunda Pils

Tapped August 14th, 2015
Around the time of Good Beer Week 2015, there were a lot of international brewers flying in and out of the country and, while here, many of them took the opportunity to visit a local brewery or three to collaborate on a beer. One of those was a legend of the US scene in Bill Covaleski of Pennsylvania’s Victory, who spent some time at Nomad’s Brookvale brewery. What he had a hand in creating is a sort-of sequel to the Prima Pils, Victory’s very highly regarded take on a classic pilsner. Called… Read more
Style
Pilsner
Strength
5.7%
Stockists

Nomad Brewery

Nomad & Stone Brewing AiRyEvil

Tapped March 31st, 2015
If you were going to brew an India Pale Ale and could choose one person in the world to help you do it, Mitch Steele might just be your man. He’s the brewmaster at Stone Brewing, the famed American brewery whose name can barely be spoken without the letters ‘I’, ‘P’ and ‘A’ following immediately afterwards. This is a man who not only oversees the production of some of the most iconic IPAs in American brewing, but has gone so far as to write a book about the style. So when Mitch came… Read more
Style
Rye IPA
Strength
5.2%
Stockists

Kegs initially. Bottles to follow.

The Roxbury

Frankie's

Old Fitzroy

Yardarm Taphouse

Bitter Phew

Super Whatnot

Bloodhound Bar

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Nomad Brewing Cruisin' Ale

Tapped January 21st, 2015
As with most things Nomad, the Cruisin' Ale has been designed by committee with the whole team getting involved in its creation with a series of blind tastings aimed at creating "the best go to session beer possible". Tagged as an Aussie ale, the goal was to conjure "Memories of cruisin' in an old FJ Holden, windows down, tunes playing on the radio and the amazing Australian landscape whizzing by." What that's turned into – via a combination of local and German malts with Aussie… Read more
Style
Australian Ale

Nomad & Cigar City Berry Cubana

Tapped November 25th, 2014
Another collaboration with a friend from America for Nomad, this one saw Wayne Wambles from Tampa's highly-rated Cigar City call in to the Northern Beaches. Together, they set about creating a dark brown ale loaded with "tasty caramel, toffee and a slight hint of roasted malts". A driving factor behind the beer was to find a local or native ingredient that would be fun and interesting to add to the beer. In the end, it was Riberries or Lilly Pilly fruits that were chosen for their slight… Read more
Style
Spiced Brown Ale
Strength
6.0%
Stockists

Dee Why Hotel

Bitter Phew

Selected craft beer venues

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Nomad Brewing Lost in Dubai

Tapped November 20th, 2014
When is an IPA not an IPA? When it gets lost in Dubai and becomes a Belgian pale ale instead. At least, that's the story here, with the Nomad brewing team initially setting off to brew their Jetlag IPA before they changed their minds along the way and "hijacked the beer and instead we had a stop off in Dubai with a Belgian pale!" Why Dubai? Presumably because it's the stop off point between Italy and Australia for this most international of Aussie breweries and why the reference to stopping… Read more
Style
Belgian Pale Ale
Strength
3.3%
Stockists

Dee Why Hotel

Bitter Phew

Selected craft beer venues

More stockists...

Nomad Brewing & Sixpoint Crush

Tapped November 25th, 2014
Given Nomad, one of Sydney's newest breweries, is a joint venture between Italians Birra del Borgo and importer / distributor Experienceit there's a broad palette of ready made, in-house collaborators to pick from. During 2014's Sydney Craft Beer Week, one of Experienceit's American buddies, Sixpoint, called into the Northern Beaches brewery and got to work with head brewer Brooks Caretta on this American Wheat. American wheat ales use wheat (obviously) alongside barley in the mix but alongside a… Read more
Style
American Wheat
Strength
5.0%
Stockists

Dee Why Hotel

Bitter Phew

Selected craft beer venues

More stockists...

Nomad Brewing Sideways Pale Ale

Sideways Pale Ale is billed as a hoppy pale ale, bursting with Australian and American hops - nothing particularly new there, you might rightly argue. But there’s a key difference: at a shade under four per cent, this is effectively a low alcohol brew. Although, you wouldn’t know it from the taste - and that’s entirely the point. With a pleasant fruity aroma combined with a long, lingering bitterness, this is a beer your palate will tell you that you’ve had even when your head would swear… Read more
Style
Pale Ale
Strength
4.0%
Bitterness
32 IBU

Nomad Brewing Jet Lag IPA

The Nomad Brewing Company has travel in its DNA. It harks back to when Australian husband and wife team Kerrie Abba and Johnny Latta moved to Italy, started their Experience IT beer distribution business and found themselves in the company of Leonardo Di Vincenzo, founder of Birra Del Borgo. After coaxing Leo back to Australia several times to help promote Del Borgo, at some point along the way the idea of a local brewery was raised. That idea became a possibility, then very suddenly a reality. But… Read more
Style
IPA
Strength
6.0%
Bitterness
55 IBU

Nomad Brewing Long Trip Saison

Our first brush with this saison was in the company of an avowed saison fanatic and genuine hard-guy-to-please, someone only too eager to pick holes in a beer. "That is a fantastic saison!" he declared after a swirl, sniff and sample. And who are we to disagree, with a beer that delivers so much complexity in its enticing 6 percent package. Simultaneously herbal, spicy and fruity, it has a surprisingly full and initially sweet malt backbone running through its heart around which the combination… Read more
Style
Saison
Strength
6.6%
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