Russian River Publication was a collaboration beer made in 2009 with the Publican National Committee, consisting of: Brouwer’s, The Falling Rock, The Horse Brass, Monk’s Cafe, and the Toronado. I didn’t get a chance to try this beer when it was fresh in 2009, but did get a chance to try it 3 years later at the PuckerFest 2012. Puckerfest is an annual event that occurs during July, Craft Beer Month in Oregon, at Belmont Station, a great bottle shop with a massive selection. During Puckerfest week, they feature sour and wild yeast beers from local and international breweries. If you’re a fan of the funk, this is the festival for you.
But if the beer was created for the bars listed above, how did Belmont Station get a keg? Well, the late Don Younger, owner of the Horse Brass Pub, was a part owner of Belmont Station and gave them a few of his allotted kegs. I spoke briefly with the owner of Belmont Station, Carl, about the Publication 2009. He described the fresh version as a nice Saison finished with brett, a good Russian River beer but not amazing. He then said that he’d tapped a keg last year to do a quick test and discovered it was nothing but diacetyl, so he put the kegs away for another year. Turn the clock ahead to 2012.
Appearance: Pale straw with a touch of haze.
Aroma: Horse blanket with a light earthy/fruity funk.
Taste: Tart, funky, aggressive peppery finish. Layers of Brett funk with a spritz-y tartness.
Overall Impression: This was a great opportunity to see a Brettanomyces beer in action. What started out as one beer became a totally new beer in just a few years. It was also a chance to drink a beer made for Don Younger, who I had the pleasure of knowing for many years before he passed. Overall, it was a great way to start my personal day at Puckerfest (I’ll be posting a few more reviews related to Puckerfest in the coming days).
Availability: None (Insert sad face here.)
8% ABV (originally)/8+% ABV (Now)