On my recent trip to Colorado, one of the breweries I was most excited to visit was Crooked Stave in Denver. Since their founding in 2010, they’ve quickly garnered a reputation as one of America’s brightest new breweries creating innovative wild beers. Much like Portland’s The Commons and Hood River’s Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Crooked Stave’s focus revolves around Saisons.
Their Vieille Artisanal Saison would be considered their entry point into their beer lineup. It’s a lower alcohol Saison that has been blended from their various “vieille” batches which have been influenced by Brettanomyces in both the fermentation and the barrel-aging. Additionally it has been “lightly” dry-hopped. According to the brewery, it takes 6 months from wort to packing to make this beer. I had it on draft at their taproom in Denver (I’ll post a full write-up of my visit in the near future).
Appearance: Hazy straw blonde. White head with good retention.
Aroma: Light funk with yeasty spiciness. Floral/Herbal notes. The hops provide light citrus hint.
Taste: A bit of graininess with lightly funky finish. Subtle lemon notes in the finish.
Overall Impression: There is a lot going on here for a low alcohol beer. The mouthfeel is great with a rich, silkiness. The Brett is provides a gentle but constant backbone adding a lot of wild yeast complexity. This is an outstanding beer. If you’re lucky enough to live in Colorado, get this beer! I hope they decide to come to Portland where they’d certainly be welcomed onto beer store shelves.
Availability: Colorado and soon to be in New York City.