Review: Low Life Cabernet Franc Saison Grape Ale

It was almost a decade ago when I first discovered a beer that contained grapes or grape wine in it - Proximity by Blue Moon Brewing (Molson Coors Beverage Co). I stated for a while that beer was becoming the new wine, that beer styles are forever evolving, becoming more complex than any wine could ever be, something that to this very day I can't wrap my mind around how beer has gotten so complex in such a short period of time... it's almost like.. what isn't beer anymore?!

Winnipeg's Low Life Barrel House is one of the most interesting breweries in Manitoba for creating a new medley of beer and wine in a single beverage, sure they also do more classical styles of beer and not everything contains wine, but this is a brewery that I feel like the late great Diane Nelson of Brandon Sun's Vine Lines column would have absolutely loved and raved about. Today's sampling is their Cabernet Franc Saison Grape Ale.

6.7% ABV

Appearance: It has the appearance of some sort of fruit wine.. possibly pear? It's got a clear and light peachy-champagne colour to it, definitely reminds me more of a wine than a beer. The beer fizzes immediately with absolute minimal head on top.. maybe 10 of the tiniest bubbles on the planet. Nice amount of carbonation in the body.

Aroma: Funky Brett/wild yeast is the first thing I get, tart, a bit buttery. There's a hint of Champagne/sparkling wine, hint of lemon and a slight hint of honey at the end.

Taste: Sweet, tart, wine-y. I get a heavy dose of Brett/wild yeast that gives off a heavy funky vibe to it, a bit barnyardy. There's lots of fruit notes from the grapes to give it a very dry mouthfeel and notes of sparkling wine. There's a hint of something vegetal.. I want to say cucumber but my senses are a bit screwed this week so I'm not too sure. Quite sweet at the very end, not overly sugary but nice and welcoming.

Overall Thoughts: Not my kind of Saison* but it's a nice evening sort of beverage nonetheless. Quite a carbonated ale with a sweet, dry, wine-forward presence. Slight hint of bitterness from hops pops out once in a while but subtle otherwise.

*Mon idée of a Saison is a classic Belgian that is dry, notes of bubble gum, citrus, very straight forward, no funk, something I feel like my farming ancestors were drinking in southern Belgium 200 years ago. I do really like funky Saisons though.

No comments: