Side Project Brewing was up and coming onto the scene right when I started getting into the trading realm of craft beer.
Its beer, Fuzzy, batch one, was one of the first untouchable beers, or whales as the kids say, that my whole cellar at that point wouldn’t have pulled. Side Project hasn’t really slowed down since then and are without a doubt one of the most sought after breweries out there. If you’re not familiar with Side Project, here’s what the home page of its website says,
What began as a dream and a side project has now grown into our 100% barrel-aged brewery. Passion, experimentation and patience drive the creation of our rustic Saisons, Wild Ales and Spirit Barrel-Aged Ales. As we share our craft with you, we hope you share it with your friends as well.
Side Project cranks out extremely complex and balanced sours and have brewed a several stouts that I unfortunately have not had the pleasure to have.
The beer being reviewed today is one of their more standard offerings, Saison du Fermier. While it’s more standard it still spent months inside of a wine barrel and was fermented with with wild brettanomyces and lactobacillus found on the farm where it brews in Missouri. Two other variations of this beer have been brewed prior, the one being reviewed is a batch three that was released in April 2015. The two prior were released in June 2015 and September 2013.
The color on this beer is absolutely beautiful. A very deep golden orange color that looks almost like orange juice glowing in the glass. It is hazy, but not thick looking. The head is a cloudlike fluffy white color that hands on for the duration of drinking it.
I’m pretty floored, and slightly confused, this beer contains no fruit. My nose is immediately greeted with a stonefruit punch when I inhale. Ripe apricots and peach are abundant along with a nice touch of funk and sour, lemon peel and wine-like acidity.
Upon first taste, the words that come to mind are; incredibly complex. Just like in the nose, there is lemon peel, stonefruit, some earthiness, acidity and a really unique, almost grassy-esque flavor profile going on. There is so much going on in this beer, but the flavors come together flawlessly. It’s one of the few sours that I think would taking away from it had fruit been added. The base beer shines in this and is complemented very well with the wine barrel that comes through on the back end. The carbonation is really on point as well which allows there to be a nice silky mouthfeel. There is a slight metallic and sulfur finish, but it is very light and doesn’t dominate by any means.