In the craft beer world stories of people abandoning their chosen careers midlife to brew beer have become almost commonplace. In the case of Dave and Quynh Rathkamp, there leap of faith1 to start Save the World Brewing Co. trumps them all.
Quynh defected to America with her parents when she was six-years-old only to one day study biomedical engineering at Harvard and to go on to a successful career as a physician. Her husband Dave was a fellow physician when they both decided to make a sharp left turn in life and quit practicing medicine to open Save the World Brewing.
Save the World Brewing is a non-profit brewery located in Marble Falls, Texas. Yes, you read that right, non-profit brewery. Dave and Quynh opened a philanthropic brewery and donate the profits to various charities.2 Save the World brews old world-style brews to help feed the hungry.
The brewery has a pretty small distribution reach,3 but thanks to Tenemu I am sitting here with a bottle of Sanguis Barleywine. Sangius is an American style barley wine brewed with five different kinds of yeast and aged on raisins and oak. Brettanomyces was one of the yeast strains used in the fermentation process which only furthered my desire to try this beer.
As I crack open the bottle the first thought that runs through my head is how am I supposed to be on time for work tomorrow after a 750ml bottle of 11 percent beer by myself. I quickly move that past fear as I fill my glass. The beer pours a murky amber with an off white head that dissipates quickly. A slight fruityness wafts up from the glass reminiscent of stone fruit and raisins. I also get a light malty sweetness along with alcohol. The nose is very subtle for such a high ABV beer.
Barleywine is a style I drink often but my first sip of this beer is not like any barleywine I have tasted before. It is missing the signature flavors associated with an American barleywine. The caramel like sweetness and aggressive hop profile I expected are replaced with notes of red wine, almonds and bread dough. I am generally not very concerned with staying close to style but this was very different than I had expected so it took a few sips to get used to it. As I continued to drink the beer the alcohol became more prevalent along with a growing malt extract like sweetness. The finish had a lot of the bread dough character along with a slew of earthy yeast flavors. As the glass warmed I was able to detect the influence from the brett in just a touch of funkyness in the finish.