Past & Future is our Flagship Saison and is probably my favorite beer we make at Odd Breed. I consider Past & Future to be an old-world interpretation of Saison, which is to say that the flavor is reminiscent of Belgian Lambic. Today, most beers labeled as Saison taste like Belgian blonde ale, and use production techniques more similar to those found in a larger brewery than a Belgian farmhouse brewery. Saison should be rustic and hard to define, with a certain terroir that doesn’t translate from one brewery to another. If I brewed Past & Future on a different brewhouse and aged it in different barrels (instead of our wonderful French Oak Puncheons) it would not taste the same.
Batch 1 and Batch 2 utilized the same recipe, and I was very happy with those batches. For Batch 3 I slightly altered the recipe by reducing the amount of flaked oats from two bags to one, while increasing the amount of raw wheat from two bags to three. This very slight change to the recipe makes the beer a little more crisp, while retaining a relatively full body for such a dry and moderately tart finish.
Like Batch 1 and 2, Batch 3 pours with a fluffy white head that slowly recedes to leave some lacing on the glass, and is carbonated to a relatively high level of 3.3 volumes. The aroma is a combination of aged whole leaf hops and fresh Czech Saaz. The aged hops add rustic funk with notes of hay while Czech Saaz adds classic perfumey, flowery aromatics typified by Czech Pilsners. Under the hops, our mixed culture delivers phenols and esters that suggest barnyard funk, citrus peel, and overripe tropical fruit.
This batch of Past & Future was brewed on November 8, 2018, at Barrel of Monks in Boca Raton (where we brew all of our batches) and spent over 5 months in large French Oak Puncheons before bottle conditioning. At over 7 months of production time, Past & Future is currently our quickest beer to make, but this beer ages elegantly and should hold up for at least a decade in the bottle.
Quip and Repartee is our Amber Saison made with Pilsner malt, raw wheat, rye, flaked oats, and a touch of caramel malts. This beer was brewed on August 23rd of 2018 and was aged in French Oak Puncheons for 9 months before bottle conditioning. Before aging Quip and Repartee, these French Oak puncheons held various types of red wine in Napa California.
The addition of caramel malts to what is otherwise our base Saison recipe works to amplify the vinous dark fruit notes present in the barrels, making this amber Saison reminiscent of a natural red wine with Brett presence and moderate acidity.
A typical American or English-style beer made with caramel malts has notes of caramelized sugar and sometimes toasted bread or burnt malt. English and American ale yeast usually deliver some mild estery and fruity notes, but the resulting beers taste malty, not fruity. The wild yeast and bacteria in our mixed culture transform the malt profile and deliver aromatics and flavors that suggest cherries, raspberries, and red grapes, even though there is no fruit in this beer. We have learned that many of our customers prefer blonde wild ales, but we think our amber and reddish hued wild ales are complex and nuanced without the character that some find abrasive in more typical beers.
Quip and Repartee is 6% ABV and about 20 IBU. I think it is drinking very nicely now, but it will also age gracefully for at least 10 years thanks to conditioning with active wild yeast in the bottle.
By Matt Manthe
June 17, 2019