A couple of months ago I was invited to a private tasting held at the Gold Coast Beverage headquarters in Pompano Beach, where the guest of honor was none other than brewmaster and craft beer pioneer Gareth Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. Gareth talked about his new book The Oxford Companion to Beer, a 960 page book that covers everything from the origins of beer and brewing techniques, to the variety of hops from different regions, beer culture, and much more. Another interesting topic he touched on was the current trend of food and beer pairing in many high end restaurants, much like the roll wine has played over the years. Overall it was a very enlightening and informative experience to say the least.

Some of the beers we sampled that morning were Brooklyn Local 1, Local 2, and one of their most recent creations; Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. This saison style or farmhouse ale is brewed with a Japanese hop called Sorachi which is notorious for its lemony citric characteristics. A fine hop choice for the saison, a style known to be light and refreshing. Needless to say, the Sorachi Ace blew me away so I decided to stop by Total Wine & More to pick up a bottle and do a proper tasting at home.

Appearance: Poured a bright orange color with tons of carbonation. A fluffy white colored head sat nicely on top of the glass with an evenly dispersed lacing.

Smell: Bright and citric snap with a familiar smell of champagne. Earthy and rounded hop aromas with herbal notes and peppery spices.

Taste: Herbal with an almost tea-like bitterness, a little bit pungent with predominant flavors of lemon and hints of orange zest all around. Prickly mouth feel with an effervescent carbonation. Earthy and light bodied with a filling yet refreshing dry finish. I believe this will pair very well with a Thai or any other Asian dish.

Sorachi Ace is an outstanding representation of the saison style with an ace under its sleeve (pun intended). Interesting flavors of lemon makes it a palate cleansing, session brew. Excellent beer by Brooklyn Brewery, I would recommend it to anyone.

- Cheers.

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