Grassroots Arctic Saison

Reviewed by on November 24, 2015 in Autumn Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Anchorage Brewing Company

  • Origin: Anchorage, AK, US

  • Rated On: November 24, 2015

  • Best Before: bottled March 2014

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Saison

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Grassroots is a brand of Vermont’s Hill Farmstead Brewery, that seems to be about collaboration – thus, this Arctic Saison (an appropriate gap-filler between fall and winter) was made when they apparently trekked (north) to Alaska to help brew at Anchorage Brewing.  Batch #2 (fermented in oak tanks with Brett), with a fantastic pop when the cork was dislodged, rather easily, I was glad to see.

This 750ml caged and corked bottle pours a hazy, cloudy, medium tarnished golden yellow colour, with three fingers of puffy, spongy, and finely foamy rising off-white head, which leaves a solid pattern of snow crystal lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of edgy, grassy, and mildly funky yeast, grainy pale malt, a touch of wheatiness, indistinct dry citrus rind, mildly woody oak staves, and spicy, earthen hops. The taste is a fairly tart kick to the palate – sourly acidic apple and citrus, astringently funky Brett, raw wood fibers, stale, dry leather, musty white wine lees, and understated earthy, herbal, spicy hops. The carbonation is fairly tight and frothy, the body a pleasant enough medium-light weight, one whose smoothness is pretty hard to discern among all that heady funk and acid (hipster band name pending). It finishes on the dry side, as the graininess of the wheaty malt isn’t sturdy enough to keep fending off the Brett and oak overtones.

A generally approachable saison – from afar, of course, until your taste buds acclimatize, if they ever do. A lot going on here, the wood the most innocuous of the bunch, while the guest bacteria does what it does best, and the citrusy hops do well to keep things in traditional beer territory. Quite well made, this one is, and definitely worthy of seeking out, especially if you’re an avowed funk-chaser.

Brady White



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