After my trip to Colorado I was in the mood to sample more of what the brewing’s mad scientists across the Front Range had to offer. A quick trip to Benz Beverage Depot yielded a couple of interesting beers from New Belgium Brewery: Brett Beer and Prickly Passion Saison. Both are beers in the Lips of Faith series at New Belgium.
The Brett Beer is first:
The best Belgian beers that I have had try to find a way to balance the malt with either hops or alcohol. With this beer I think that the New Belgium folks were trying to go the alcohol route—granted the beer is not that heavy—but it comes across as too much. Like homebrewers who get obsessed with making the most potent brews possible without regard to flavor the Brett Beer just tastes of alcohol to me.
How about the Prickly Passion Saison:
Let me get this out of the way: I did not taste any prickly pear cactus at all in this beer. In fact, it tasted like a well-crafted saison and nothing more. That is no mean feat, but the inclusion of any other flavors seemed like a complete marketing gimmick to me. Maybe my palate is just not very refined.
This seems to be a growing trend in beer land—gimmicks. It’s no longer enough to produce a well-made beer. It’s no longer enough to refine your craft to a level that allows the ingredients and method to be showcased in a subtle and surprising way. Nope, now it is about brewing beer with yeast cultivated from some dude’s beard or uses an insane amount of hops.
With that being said, the Prickly Passion Saison was a good beer. It was just not worth the extra price that I paid compared with other well-crafted saisons.