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Bay & Pepper Your Bretts – Against the Grain

Bay & PepperThis beer is collaboration between Chef Josh Lehman of the Holy Grale and Against the Grain Brewery. The recipe may be collaboration between Mr. Gnagy & Mr. Lehman, but the name is all Against the Grain. The wordplay and punnery are classic AtG.  In my head I keep hearing – Spay and Neuter Your Pets.

 

The name may be silliness but the beer is legitimate. I found this one to be very well constructed. All of the elements seem to work here in harmony; no one flavor profile overpowers the others.

 

The body of this beer had the appearance of a dull butterscotch disk. Hazy, muddied orangey-yellow in color. The white head was loose and left patterns of lace. That is until I swirled my glass to agitate all of the wonderful aromas.

 

The bay leaf is so herbal and fresh, followed by a funky, woolliness in the nose – attributable to the Brettynomyces and yeast. Clean, lemony notes accent the wet concrete earthiness. Cracked peppercorns and hints of biscuits followed. There is a lot to love in the aroma of this one. I couldn’t stop swirling and sniffing!

 

The body was not as effervescent as I expected from this saison style beer. It was medium bodied but modestly carbonated.

 

The taste was fresh, luminous, and spicy. The bay leaf is unmistakable, yet subtle enough to enable the other flavors to also shine. Black pepper accents the spicy bay leaf. The twang from the Brett peaks in the middle and the bittering finish tastes of Meyer lemons. The gentle bitterness ends semi-dry and citrusy. Very satisfying. All of the flavors worked well together and I would say this beer begs to be paired with a nice dinner. Not quite delicate, but not quite bold either, masterfully balanced and very enjoyable.

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