They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Bruery Saison Rue

ABV: 8.5%
Origin
: Placentia, California, USA
Website
: www.thebruery.com

The Rue

The Bruery gets its name from a pun on the family name of founder Patrick Rue, and was first employed to designate his home brewing kit during his days as a law student. It was ported over when, having decided a career in brewing might offer more life satisfaction than a career in law, Patrick went commercial in 2008. The name seems curiously appropriate for an operation that’s both ambitious and still decidedly artisanal and idiosyncratic, focusing on distinctive and flavoursome unpasteurised beers, including Belgian-inspired and sour ales, often robust in alcohol, designed to match with food and conditioned in handsome 750ml bottles.

Located in Orange County, in the suburban sprawl around Los Angeles, the Bruery is a key name among a growing number of operations watering what was once something of a desert in one of the most craft beer-minded states. But its reputation is spreading much further, with Patrick tipped as a brewer to watch by US beer gurus like Sam Calagione.

Saison Rue is the closest the Bruery gets to a regular flagship beer. Inspired by both Wallonian saisons and Northern French bières de garde, this multiple award winner adds its own twist by including malted rye in the grist and a wild Belgian yeast strain in the final conditioning, giving it interesting ageing potential. I seized on the chance to buy a bottle – at a price – at the Great British Beer Festival in 2011.

The beer was a deep amber gold, rather lively with a fine creamy orange-tinged white head. Yeasty strawberry fruit and wet plastic wild yeast notes were apparent on a malty aroma with an emerging classic European hop character. The palate was very dry and very complex, though with notes of softening fruity sweetness. Spicy rye, herbal flavours and very slight sourness integrated perfectly with firm cereal malt and estery, almost varnish like alcoholic tones. A spicy, hoppyish finish had a slick of toffee malt, toast and herbal detergent notes and lasting vegetal hoppy dryness.

I wish I’d had the discipline to stash this splendid beer away for a couple of years as it clearly had the potential to age into something even more complex. But even relatively young, it’s a fine new saison, and a shining example of how US craft brewers are reinventing what were once obscure and declining beer styles from rural European backwaters.

3 comments to Bruery Saison Rue

  • Ted Blair

    I’ve drunk a few Bruery beers – mainly in the ETap where they have quite a few of theirs – they’ve all been pretty decent.

    I have a bottle of the saison rue in the cellar and will probably forget it about for a while and see how it improves.

  • Des

    Thanks for comment Ted. I’m just about to taste the very last beer in the selection I pulled out for the festive season 2011/12, a bottle of Bruery Cuir (aka Coton), a 14.5% old ale for which I parted with $20.99 at City Beer Store in SF last year — expecting good things…!

  • Justin

    The Bruery has so many great offerings, glad to see it getting some of the justice that it deserves! Orange County is really booming at the moment, and its amazing to be a part of this beer explosion.

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