Bend’s Crux Fermentation Project is kicking off their 2017 [BANISHED] barrel-aged beer series this week with the release of In The Pocket, a Brettanomyces aged and blended imperial saison. From the description in the press release (below) it sounds amazingly complex, and some of my contacts at Crux are already waxing rhapsodic about this beer.
At Crux we love our farmhouse ales. If you visit our tasting room you’ll see that we almost always have at least one on tap – if not six, like when we’re celebrating Saison Day! So, when it came to adding a fourth barrel-aged creation to our [BANISHED] Series, a brett fermented saison was the obvious choice to kick off the 2017 line-up.
In The Pocket is a groovy blend of two imperial saisons. The “young” version was primarily fermented with Brettanomyces Lambicus and Bruxellensis, while the “elder” one was aged for 16 months in Northwest red wine barrels. The barrel aged portion was first fermented with a saison yeast, secondary fermentation was with Brettanomyces Lambicus.
The result of the combination is “in the pocket”, as a jazz musician might say. Delicate, tart oaky notes are laid down in lock step with the wild pear flavors from the brett duet for a harmonious sensory experience. Each sip reveals a new beat, enticing you to take another. But be careful, at 9.9% ABV this saison drinks easier than you think.
In The Pocket draft and bottles hit the market in limited quantities on April 27th with launch events at the Crux Tasting Room in Bend, The Upper Lip above Bailey’s Taproom in Portland, and at Whistle Stop in Everett, Washington.
Also new to the [BANISHED] Series is the 750ml bottle format. Previously, [BANISHED] Series beers like Tough Love, Freakcake, & Better Off Red were released in 375ml bottles so keep an eye out for this larger, easier-to-share format.
I should note the first paragraph of the release sounds a little misleading: it mentions “adding a fourth” [BANISHED] beer to their lineup, but if you pay attention to their On Tap page you’ll note there is almost always a one-off [BANISHED] series beer on tap, and I myself have had well more than four. In this case, they are taking about the bottled releases—I think. (I seem to remember [BANISHED] Doublecross being released in bottles, which would make this five instead of four, but I might well be wrong.)
At any rate, the series is a fascinating and tasty bit of experimentation by Crux, and I’d recommend checking out the one-offs if you get a chance. In the meantime, here are the planned release parties for In The Pocket all coming up this Thursday, April 27:
- Crux tasting room (original location)
- At Bailey’s Taproom’s The Upper Lip in Portland
- Washington release at Whistle Stop Deli and Growlers in Everett (no, I have no idea how this location scored the beer!)