Let's talk wild ales, shall we? If your not familar, these beers are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces , Pediococcus or Lactobacillus.
This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various "sour mash" techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be quite strange, interesting, pleasing to many.
Often sourness in beer is viewed upon as a major flaw in a beer and is usually a sign of poor sterilization or unintended infection. But in some beers that are intentionally made this way they can be true art in a bottle. It's not easy to make a beer so bad it's brilliant.
We are very lucky here in Utah to have two such exquisitely done wild/sour beers made annually and we have Squatters' own Jenny Talley to thank. Jenny's obsession with wild bugs in beer has produced two world class, highly sought after beers. Squatters Fifth Element and Squatters 529.
Normally these two beers are released at different times of the year. 2011 will see them both hit Squatters and their bottleshop on June 1st.
Fifth Element Pours 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, peach and white pepper. Next comes a dry oakiness that compliments the tartness well. The finish is a combination a champagne like dryness and bitter florals.
529 Poured a deeper amberish color with a small sized off white head. The nose is of of cherries, dust and some spiciness. The taste starts with notes of cherry tartness, caramel and brown sugar. Tobacco notes come next as well as lemon peel and sour grapes. The finish is tart, woody and dry.
Squatters has added a sticker on the Fifth Element bottles now so you know when it was released and they also changed the color scheme on the 529 label to indicate 2nd Vintage.
Don't be shy about trying these beers, they're a great local gateway to help get your funk-on.