From Sept. 5, 2019’s Boulder Weekly:
Two University of Colorado grads are coming back to Boulder, beer-wise that is. Sharing a passion for punk rock, Jason zumBrunnen and Scott Kaplan became fast friends at CU before co-founding Ratio Beerworks in 2015 in Denver’s River North district. Since, Ratio has established a sizeable community and following with beers like Dear You, a delightfully bright and bready French saison, and Genius Wizard — a spectacular Russian Imperial Stout with a supreme representation of roasted malts.
And as of August, Ratio Beerworks is now distributed around Boulder and will be the featured brewery at Rayback Collective for September. All month long there will be special tappings, so drop by for a pour of King of Carrot Flowers: a Belgian-style saison brewed with carrot juice and elderflowers.
Per the brewery:
King of Carrot Flowers, carrot elderflower saison, 5.9% ABV
Innovation in brewing often requires a balanced combination of science, artisty, culinary inspiration, experimentation and luck. Such is the case with King of Carrot Flowers, Ratio Beerworks’ cult favorite Carrot Elderflower Saison, a beer that defines convention and crafted with culinary balance in mind.
First introduced in celebration of EatDenver’s 2017 Harvest Week at The Growhaus, King of Carrot Flowers burst forth in an illuminate, ripe cantaloupe orange hue, while exhibition subtle fruit-forward citrus notes and nuances of pear, honey, coriander and vanilla.
Because beer is food, this vibrant, expressive, dry Saison showcases the versatility that can occur between the culinary and brewing world. Fermented with 100% fresh-pressed organic carrot juice and “dry-hopped” with elderflower, King of Carrot Flowers represents the complete journey from the fields of the farm, to the streets of the city and into the beer drinker’s glass.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. King of Carrot Flowers does indeed pour a ripe cantaloupe orange — with a loose, rocky head that settles down quickly — and is wholly turbid. Even as it disappears down the glass, the brew holds its thick haze. The nose is like morning juice: Bright, citrusy, fruity, and sweet. In the mouth, it’s a story in three acts: soft at first with hints of sweet carrots and juicy stone fruit; then acid and carbonation building into a dry, bready saison; and then it finishes with a burst of chewy carrots — this time around, more substantial than the first.
There’s more fruit to the brew than you would expect from the name, and it’s lighter than you’d imagine. Scratch that, the whole experience isn’t like anything you’d expect. Let it warm a little and the alcohol starts to show, which oddly compliments the carrots. Kind of like the Neutral Milk Hotel song it’s named after, it’s a screwball of a beer. And a perfectly executed one at that.
Ratio tapped this year’s King of Carrot Flowers on August 30. The press release that accompanied the crowler sent to me was dated Sept. 13, so if you’re anywhere in the Denver/Boulder region, there’s bound to be some left. Planning on attending GBAF? They’ll be pouring it there — along with Dimed Out, Major Nights, Sparks Fly, and Stay Gold Oktoberfest Märzen.