Aurora’s Dry Dock Brewing Co. is easily one of the best breweries in the state and would be my local watering hole if it weren’t a 44-mile round-trip drive.
In addition to their spectacular year-round offerings — the award-winning Amber Ale and the delightfully refreshing Sour Apricot Ale — Dry Dock sports a healthy selection of seasonals and small batch recipes. Past favorites include an Oud Bruin (Oh, Cherry) and the wonderfully malty English-style IPA (U.S.S. Enterprise), and last night’s mixed culture saison, Cross Cultural Mixed Culture Saison (4.9% ABV 10 IBU), joins their rank.
Dry Dock’s tasting notes:
A low ABV Saison brewed with Pilsner and Munich Malts, Flaked Oats, and Malted Spelt. Fermented with French and Dupont Saison strains with a secondary fermentation from Brettanomyces Bruxellensis. Blended with a small amount of aged sour beer to provide a hint of acidity. It’s earthy, citrusy, and funky with a dry finish.
Pouring a cloudy yellow with a quickly dissipating head, Cross Cultural features a subtle nose and a nuanced mouth. The mouth is full and frothy, bready, with hints of lemon citrus and Brett funk.
Cross Cultural is not a beer that expresses well as a splash, or even with the first sip, but as the brew sits in the glass, the esters open, the Brett unfolds, and the flavors deepen. The acidity keeps the beverage lively while the malt and yeast harmonize and give a flavor of crusty sourdough. At 4.8% ABV, it doesn’t run you over, though $8 for 10 ounces certainly excludes Cross Cultural from the session category. You could pair it with stinky cheeses or a rustic soup, or just pick a nice quiet corner and complement it with a good book.