Monday, August 18, 2008

Squatters: Fifth Element

If you live in or have ever visited Utah, you know that we have to do things a little different than most states when it comes to the making and enjoyment our suds. What may seem usual and mundane elsewhere can be a big deal here.

Seasonal beers are nothing new to Utah's brewers, they crank them out all the time. But when it comes to special edition brews, things become a little tricky. Especially if those special editions want to venture above the hollowed 4.0% ceiling. Things are getting better. The recent creation of the of the states new Type 5 package license gives brewers the ability to create, bottle and sell, right from the brewery or brewpub. Eliminating the tedious and needless Sell, buy-back, then sell again, crap that brewers have had to deal with for decades.

The first beneficiary of this new law is Squatters Brew Pub. Over the past few years Jenny Talley has been seeking inspiration and advice from all over the world to come up with a way of putting a new spin on old-world staples. Seeking input from some of America's best brewers; including(but not limited to) Firestone Walker's Matt Brynildson, Vinny Cilurzo of Russian River and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. Jenny told me that the the support she had from these folks including many, many others gave her the inspiration to start creating more daring beers as well as a name for her first bottle conditioned, oak aged ale.

Fifth Element like most beers are made up from the four primaries. Malted barley, hops, water and yeast. The "fifth element" according to Jenny is the brewing community for which she credits a great deal of her inspiration. Fifth Element is a Belgian style Saison ale. These are traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Fifth Element was brewed December 2007 and laid down to age in oak barrels January 2008.

Poures a cloudy apricot/straw color with a fizzy white head that reduced to a thin froth. The nose has a bit a of barnyard funkiness to it, with hints of lemon. The tastes starts with light citrus notes then transitions into tart green apples and peach. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well. The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals. Light and dry but highly drinkable. It's 6.75% ABV is well hidden. A great effort, well worth trying. Available only at Squatters. Cheers!



Squatters Debuted Fifth Element on August 13th

4 comments:

Douglas said...

Awesome review for an awesome beer. I am a bit worried that this one is not gonna last. Around 900 bottles made, but when I was in Squatters two tables next to me saw my bottle and ordered one for their table! Man I wish I could get a bottle or three for keeeping.

Andy said...

Awesome write-up, Mikey! I'd add the collaboration of two more big names: Jenny innoculated her barrels with yeast given to her straight from a particularly delicious barrel of Le Terroir (New Belgium) and also had input and guidance from Ron Jefferies from Jolly Pumpkin. I've also heard Jenny say that the "5th Element" is referring to the oak, which imparts as much flavor and character as the 4 ingredients of the Reinheitsgebot.

calanan said...

Always a pleasure seeing a new seasonal from Squatter's, thanks.

In other news, do you know if there are any plans for an upcoming beer festival in SLC (or surrounding)?

- mike (info at calanan dot com)

Mikey said...

Orginizers are running into some snags with venues. Salt Lake City which normally hosts the fest, has up'd they're take of concessions & ticket sales to over 20%. If it happens on city property (streets & parks). So they're looking elsewhere - private property and/or possibly Solitude.