Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company
Locale: Chicago, Illinoisin the Bucktown Neighborhood
Craft Circa: 2012
Style: Saison (artisanal variety w/peppercorns)
Notables: Available in the summertime.
Label: Great label. Rustic, old world, aged parchment look with cursive script that really makes its point that this beer has peppercorns in it with the spilled jar of peppercorns.
Overall: Great Beer. These guys have done it again. What does Poivre mean? From what I can tell it’s a French word (duh) that means “coated in black pepper.” Per the label this Saison has a “hefty dose of pink peppercorns, for floral and citrus notes.” And a “touch of tellicherry black peppercorns for a hint of spice.” This is sounding more like a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu or a cooking demo by the illustrious Julia Child than ingredients in beer.
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BTW Julia would’ve been 100 years old on August 15, 2012 (she got a Google Doodle for it!). Admittedly I was both disturbed and intrigued when Yinzer gave me the task of reviewing this beer. “Peppercorns???” (That’s the disturbed part). “Hmmm intriguing…” (That’s because it’s Pipeworks Brewing; these dudes are producing some quality beer and getting good press and word of mouth. Speaking of good press see B&B’s review of Pipeworks’ Glaucus Belgian IPA posted way back in July).
So I thought, “It has to be good.” And they did not disappoint. The concoctions these guys are making are VERY creative AND tasty. While slightly darker than the typical Saison, it had all the classic elements: great floral / spicy aroma, carbonation, and head. It had a lightly sweet bite on the palate, yet a light full bodied flavor, an almost champagne-like effervescence to it (maybe that’s the French strain of saison yeast?). This beer started off strong and finished strong. I kept wanting more; in fact, the only thing that slowed down the consumption was my note taking. There was a hint of spicy aftertaste from the peppercorns. Before my first sip I prepared for a pepper onslaught but as I drank I realized that would’ve been a bad move by Pipeworks. Any more pepper would’ve made this beer a marinade for some fine piece of meat or a bratwurst cookout hosted by the Sausage King of Chicago himself, Abe Froman.
Acquisition: 22oz. - $9.49.
Windfall: While there are many pepper types, two types of pepper come from India’s Malabar Coast: Malabar pepper and Tellicherry pepper. Tellicherry (one of the peppers in Pipeworks’ Poivre Rose Saison) is a pepper made from fruits from the grafted Malabar plants grown on Mount Tellicherry. (Wikipedia)