November 5, 2008

Brew Review: The Bruery Batch Levud's

Batch No. 1 of Orange County, California based The Bruery's Batch Levud's, a Belgian style pale/golden ale brewed with Belgian sugar (#1038/2157). Shipped to me courtesy of the great Steve at Summer of Beer.

I'll be parallel tasting this with Summer of Beer Steve, with our review notes appearing at a later point on his website.

First things first, I'll pour this into a room temperature tulip glass as recommended. This beer comes in a 750ml green glass bottle, and is signed (awesome) by what looks like Tyler King (the head brewer I believe) and Patrick Rue (the owner).

Unlike most of the Bruery tastings so far, this one doesn't go crazy with the carbonation and head. There's an absolutely gorgeous bright white, big bubbled but overall modest sized head cresting the glass.

Its a medium murky dark golden color, smells fruity right away, like pears and passionfruit. The head is a sight to behold, Steve calls it sea foam-like, good description there. First taste is ripe fruit, more of the same flavor combinations, with a little something else I'll chase for a bit. This is nothing like the standard BSPA's, much less yeasty and hoppy, more malty and fruity.

If you've had the Ozzy BSPA from Baltimore's great The Brewer's Art ... this is nothing like it. They share a similar color and general direction, but this one veers off from convention (and Ozzy itself is unconventional) and goes fruity, sort of like a white wine meets BSPA.

Once again The Bruery has taken us into what I assume is uncharted territory. These guys have a special talent in doing the obscene and making it palatable for the 21st century beer drinker. In a way they have probably a certain similarity to the extreme brewing going on at Dogfish Head, but with less alcohol and a much greater nod to classic and Belgian styles.

I'm struggling to come up with a comparable beer, but my memory is surging with thoughts from some of the beers I tasted at The Trappist, a truly great Belgian beer bar in Oakland, California that I visited this summer.

This is quite refreshing, a bit out of season now in the Eastern fall as the leaves turn, the sun sets early and my mood darkens just a touch. It's not so refreshing as a fantastic summery Saison, but is more in the heavily fruited white wine class, like a beer-y Gewurztraminer with apples and pears and passionfruit to go with the grape.

Its going to take a while to drink this tonight, as it's really, really sweet. Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the rest of it, I'll offer any other insights if the relevant thoughts surge into my brain.

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